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The agency that licenses medicines in Britain has received 150 reports of suspected adverse reactions to the Tamiflu treatment for swine flu.
The figure was released yesterday as GPs said some patients were choosing not to take the drug because of concern about the possible side effects.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the 150 reports received within the UK up until 23 July mention 241 separate side effects, most of which were mild and already recognised as linked with the anti-viral drug.
They include "mild allergic and gastrointestinal events", such as diarrhoea and vomiting. There were five reports involving nine suspected adverse reactions to Relenza, the rival drug to Tamiflu which is taken by inhalation and is less widely used.
Dr Buckman said there was an urgent need for calm in the face of what one virologist had called "the weakest pandemic the world has ever seen."
"We must not underplay it, but we also must not overplay it as a medieval plague," Dr Buckman said.
Professor Stephen Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "We have got to try and get the message across that for most fit and healthy people, swine flu won't cause much harm."
The World Health Organisation has raised concerns about the fast-track production of the swine flu vaccine in Europe, where the treatment is due to be made available at least two months earlier than in the US. Britain is expected to be the first country in Europe to provide the vaccine, with the first of 132 million ordered doses due to be administered next month.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the drug regulatory body for the EU, is accelerating the approval process for the vaccine, and countries including Britain, Greece, France and Sweden plan to start using it as soon as it is cleared. The most vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and young children, will be given priority.
Dr Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's flu chief, warned about the potential dangers of untested vaccines. "There are certain areas where you can make economies, perhaps, but certain areas where you simply do not try to make any economies," he told Associated Press.
Earlier this month the head of the WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, said that while a vaccine might be produced next month the clinical trial data to ensure it was safe would not be available for a further two to three months.
Pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which is producing the vaccine for Britain, insist they will be able to start shipping the first batches of vaccine before then.
Meanwhile the House of Lords science and technology committee is expected to accuse ministers of failing to keep their promise to set up a flu helpline by April and question the conflicting advice given to the public, in particular to vulnerable groups such as expectant mothers.
ATLANTA -- The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu, thousands filed claims contending they suffered side effects from the shots. This time, the government has already taken steps to head that off.
Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, government health officials said Friday.
Seems many people have taken ill from the Tamiflu vaccine
Originally posted by ChemBreather
reply to post by sugarmonkey
TamiFlu is what makes your child go up on the roof thinking he can fly.
Tamiflu kills more people than the flu it self..
The coming vaccine is full of Mercury (Poison, incase you dint know that either.) and is proven and spreads conserns in sweeden..