Flu-Vaccine Fears Unfounded
Montreal Gazette; A7
Shire Biologics, maker of the Fluviral influenza vaccine, has reformulated it to reduce the risk of oculorespiratory syndrome (ORS)--a side effect that mimics an allergic reaction but is not one. Two years ago, over 900 people in Canada came down with ORS after being vaccinated with Fluviral, but researchers have now published a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stating that any future risk of ORS is very low. Lead study author Dr. Danuta Skowronski, who works at the University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, polled 202 people who were vaccinated in 2000 and 2001; 122 suffered ORS in 2000, but just six reported symptoms in 2001 after being vaccinated, and four of those said their symptoms were milder the second time. Researchers found similar results in Quebec. Skowronski notes that it is important to reassure people who experienced ORS that it is safe for them to be vaccinated again. Approximately one in 1 million people vaccinated have severe allergic reactions to the vaccine.