A VACCINE justice group has revealed only five pc of its members consider themselves as anti-vaccine.
he revelation came as Ireland is preparing for the emergency roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine which leading pharmaceutical firm Pfizer indicated may be ready within weeks.
Further, an economic report by Barclays said it believed up to nine different coronavirus vaccines will become available within Europe over the next nine to 12 months.
Campaign group, Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder (SOUND), represents those who developed the sleep disorder narcolepsy as a result of the State’s use of the Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) manufactured Swine Flu vaccine, Pandemrix.
The jab had not completed its clinical trials when it was rushed into service in 2009 amid fears of a Swine Flu pandemic.
Ireland offered a full indemnity to GSK to get the vaccine into service before it had cleared its trials – and more than 100 claims over Pandemrix are now due before the High Court.
The first test case was settled in the High Court last year with costs of more than €6.3m.
Despite their ordeal, the clear majority of SOUND members indicated in a survey that they are pro-vaccine.
The survey found that:
* 70pc of SOUND member families received vaccines even after their experiences with Pandemrix.
* 47pc described themselves as pro-vaccine.
* 5pc said they were now anti-vaccine.
* 48pc were either ‘in between’ or preferred not to give an answer.
The most alarming aspect of the study was its depiction of what families had endured since narcolepsy and its related condition cataplexy were diagnosed.
It found that 80c of those with narcolepsy were still not fully diagnosed two years after displaying the first signs of the condition.
Some 53pc of those surveyed displayed the first symptoms of the sleep disorder within six weeks of receiving the Swine Flu vaccine.
Around 18pc of respondents were diagnosed within a year with 62pc taking between two to five years to diagnose.
Shockingly, it took between six to ten years to diagnose 18pc of respondents.
Of those surveyed, 90pc believe medical professionals have inadequate knowledge of the condition.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has come under fire for failing to accept an invitation to meet SOUND to discuss how the State could provide a long-sought pathway through life for the children and young adults with the chronic conditions, without each having to be continually assessed on an individual basis for critical support.
SOUND insisted the ongoing High Court proceedings taken by its 100 members against the State are not its primary focus as those actions are between the individuals involved and the State.
It warned the State has continually evaded its responsibilities to those who developed narcolepsy and cataplexy after being vaccinated with Pandemrix.
Mr Donnelly insisted that he has no legal authority to direct the State Claims Agency (SCA) as to how the cases should be handled – despite admitting that the legal costs involved in the first High Court test case were more than €6.3m.
“The management of litigation against the State by persons alleging narcolepsy and/or cataplexy following the receipt of the H1N1 vaccine, Pandemrix, is delegated to the SCA,” he said.
“I do not have any legal authority to direct the agency to deal in any particular way with a claim which falls to the SCA to manage.”
The group pleaded for the State to stop shirking its responsibilities and honour its commitment to those impacted by the vaccine.
“The State claims to have provided the necessary support to the children and young people affected, but, in fact, all it has actually done is allow them access to existing, often unsuitable, supports,”
SOUND Secretary Tadgh Kennedy said, “SOUND is seeking life-long living supports as each sufferer enters each new phase of their lives, and portable supports when sufferers are travelling or working abroad, as well as consistent updates on all relevant information.”
Source: Irish News