Colds and flu

04 December 2009

Swine flu jab safe so far

The vaccination of millions of Europeans against swine flu has yet to raise any major safety concerns, the European Union's medicines watchdog said.

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The vaccination of millions of Europeans against swine flu has yet to raise any major safety concerns, the European Union's medicines watchdog said.

About 10 million people have been vaccinated against the A(H1N1) virus across the 27-nation bloc so far and "to date, no unexpected serious safety issues have been identified", the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) said.

"The vaccine adverse effects reported so far have mainly been symptoms such as fever, nausea, headache, allergic reactions and injection site reactions, confirming the expected safety profile of the three vaccines," it said.

The London-based EMEA used information obtained from EudraVigilance, a database system used to collect and evaluate reports of suspected adverse reactions to drugs across the European Economic Area.

Thursday's update was the first of a series of weekly bulletins it intends to issue about adverse reactions to the vaccines.

Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued on November 27 show 858 people have died in Europe from swine flu since the virus first appeared in Mexico in April. - (Sapa/AFP, December 2009)

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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