By: Kelland, Kate
A key ingredient in a GlaxoSmithKline flu vaccine has come under intense scrutiny as a possible link to a spike in narcolepsy cases among children in Europe. The company’s Pandemrix flu vaccine is under suspicion for the connection to the incurable sleeping disorder. The ingredient AS03 was widely used in Europe during the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic and also is contained in GSK’s adjuvanted flu vaccine. Nearly 800 cases of narcolepsy have been linked to Pandemrix’s use in Europe during the flu pandemic. Some experts believe the turbo-charged immune response AS03 generates, or the ingredients that drive it, may be the reason for the spike.