A health alert has been issued for the world's major swine-flu vaccine-although it has already been given to 31 million people around the world.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has discovered that Pandemrix increases the risk of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy by up to 13 times, especially in children and adolescents.
People suffering from narcolepsy fall asleep suddenly, regardless of whatever they are doing at the time.
The Agency issued the warning after receiving reports from Finland, Sweden, Iceland and the UK. Remaining stocks of the vaccine are slated to be destroyed this autumn, says manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline-although 31 million people have already been given the vaccine against the H1N1 virus, including six million in the UK alone (www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/ Press_ release/2011/07/WC500109182.pdf).