Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kelowna sees Swine Flu Shot Reactions - Interior Health authority states

Interior Health Authority seeing some adverse reactions to H1N1 vaccination

By John McDonald

It’s got to be a public health official’s worst nightmare: a citizen dutifully lines up at a public clinic for a vaccination, in this case H1N1, hoping to avoid becoming one of the people the virus strikes particularly hard.

According to public health, it’s the right thing to do. But before the H1N1 antibodies can kick in, indeed even before the citizen leaves the building, he or she becomes a patient, the victim of a potentially life-threatening adverse reaction to the vaccination.

It’s happened eight times in the Interior Health Authority since the H1N1 vaccination program began, twice within one hour last Thursday at the clinic at Willow Park Church in Rutland.

“I can confirm that B.C. Ambulance has been used on eight occasions for transportation to hospital,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, a medical health officer with the IHA. “Of those, only two were assessed as a severe allergic reaction, suspected but not diagnosed as anaphylaxia. In several of the others, their reaction was not directly related to the vaccine.”

Hasselback said those two cases are subject to provincial review as part of the quality control program for the vaccine. Citing privacy concerns, he would not confirm whether either of the two cases at Willow Park Church were anaphylaxis, although he said most cases do not require hospitalization.

“Allergic and adverse reactions do occur,” conceded Hasselback. “They are uncommon and over a spread of 100,000 vaccinations, it’s not surprising that we have had a handful of incidents.”

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