Swine Flu

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st July 2009.

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Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether sufficient field trials and safety checks will take place to ensure any potential to contract Guillain-Barré syndrome from the prospective swine flu vaccine is discounted before the vaccine is administered.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

Studies of seasonal influenza vaccines since 1976 have found no robust evidence of an increased risk of contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome, including a recent United Kingdom study covering the last 15 years of flu vaccine.

Detailed pharmacovigilance plans are in place for when the swine flu pandemic vaccination programme is introduced in the UK. This work, co-ordinated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, will monitor age and sex-specific background incidence rates for a wide range of illnesses, including Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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