Canada is ground zero of a H1N1 vaccine recall associated with life threatening allergic side effects. Not as widely reported is the news that H1N1 mutations are being found. Is the pandemic starting in earnest?
H1N1 Recall: Swine Flu Vaccine Recall after Unusual Number of Adverse Reactions are Reported
KSLA 12 News reports on vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline, which warned Canadian health officials to avoid using a recalled swine flu vaccine. The 172,000 doses that are subject to the H1N1 vaccine recall are thought to potentially set into motion a life threatening allergic reaction in recipients. The H1N1 vaccine recall is the result of six reports of severe allergic reactions. According to the Triangle Business Journal, this number of adverse reactions is significantly higher with this one batch of vaccine than any other.
Concurrently: New H1N1 Mutation Worries Europe
H1N1 mutation news are sweeping Europe, and it appears that the swine flu virus is now undergoing the dreaded change that scientists have hoped would not happen. Reuters reveals that – thus far – three H1N1 mutation cases have been documented, two of them postmortem. The World Health Organizations suggests that the mutated virus strain is still treatable with antiviral medications and also possibly preventable with the proper vaccination, but for how long?
Is It the H1N1 Mutation and Is It More Rapid Than You Think?
Apparently not for too long, as the BBC reports on new Tamiflu resistant cases of H1N1 that seem to spread between hospitalized patients. Making matters worse, while it is always possible for the occasional patient to not respond to antiviral medications, the fact that these patients actually transmitted the resisting virus to someone else makes this a new occurrence. Interestingly, Reuters points out that these swine flu cases do still respond to GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza.
Already there are also reports of Tamiflu resistant swine flu cases in the United States. WKYC explains that Duke University Medical Centers and Rainbow Babies Children’s Hospital are aware of resistant swine flu cases but consider this a foreseeable event.
Is the Pandemic Starting for Real?
While the mortality rate of the swine flu and the seasonal flu are still fairly comparable, Americans in particular have been slow to stand in line for the swine flu vaccine. Here in Los Angeles, nightly news reports continue to belabor the apparent absence of African Americans from these lines.
Those willing to take the jab are frustrated when little or no doses of the vaccine are available. With the news of the H1N1 vaccine recall now hot on the heels of the possible H1N1 mutation, will the potential seriousness of the situation overcome any lingering doubts and necessitate tough security at vaccine clinics?
Moreover, with holiday travel sure to bring together travelers from all over the world, will there be an increase in swine flu cases, especially those resistant to treatment?