A review by Chinese researchers has determined that the H1N1 vaccine was not linked to serious side effects, particularly Guillain-Barré syndrome. Almost 90 million H1N1 vaccines were administered in China last year. The disease causes a person's immune system to attack the nervous system, leading to nerve inflammation that causes muscle weakness.
In the mid-1970s, a vaccination campaign was launched against a strain of swine flu that never took hold. But following the vaccinations, hundreds of cases of Guillain-Barré were reported and the vaccine was withdrawn. But only 11 cases of the disease cropped up in those vaccinated in China last year--no higher than would be found in the general population, noted researchers. Overall, 6,552 adverse events were reported in those who received the shot. Allergic reactions were the most common side effect.
"These findings suggest that the H1N1 vaccine has a reasonable safety profile, and there is no evidence that the vaccine is associated with an increased risk of the Guillain-Barre syndrome," the researchers concluded, according to Reuters.