Dr James Reilly T.D., Minister for Health, today (19/4/12) published a study commissioned by his Department to investigate a possible association between narcolepsy and the vaccine Pandemrix®. The study was carried out by an expert group led by Dr Darina O’Flanagan, Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
The study found an increased risk of developing narcolepsy in the 5-19 years age group who had received the Pandemrix® vaccine compared with those who had not received that vaccine.
These results are very similar to those seen in Sweden and Finland with a clear increased risk evident from the available data. However, it is very unlikely that the vaccine alone would be sufficient to explain what has been observed. International experts agree that a number of factors are likely to have contributed to the increased risk and a number of international studies are continuing which should provide additional information.
The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Education and Skills are working together to put in place necessary supports for those people affected by this condition. These will include health and educational supports.
A copy of the report is available at:
Narcolepsy - Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 19 April 2012
Investigation of an association between onset of narcolepsy and vaccination with pandemic influenza vaccine, Ireland April 2009-December 2010 - Eurosurveillance, Volume 19, Issue 17, 01 May 2014