Swine flu vaccine Death Hungary
New treatment in flu vaccine controversy
20 October 2009
A 64-year-old woman died last week just two days after receiving an
inoculation against the new A(H1N1) influenza virus dubbed swine flu. The state
medical service ÁNTSZ ordered an autopsy to establish whether there was any link
between the vaccine and the death of the patient, who suffered from chronic, but
mild, heart disease.
Last week also saw Hungary’s fourth fatality attributed to A(H1N1) infection. A 47-year-old man who died in hospital was found to have been infected with the virus, health minister Tamás Székely told reporters last Thursday. The patient was being treated for pneumonia.
Hungary’s chief medical officer Ferenc Falus addressed a parliamentary Health Committee last Wednesday and urged Hungarians to get themselves vaccinated as quickly as possible. Falus had himself inoculated in front of reporters in a bid to quell public fears over the safety of the vaccine. The previous week, the manufacturer of Hungary’s A(H1N1) vaccine, Omninvest, had threatened to sue media for “scaremongering” by suggesting the vaccine could be ineffective or dangerous.
Winter epidemic possible
Meanwhile, the ÁNTSZ warned that infection could reach epidemic proportions by early next year following the onset of winter weather. Fewer than 300 cases of A(H1N1) infection have been confirmed in Hungary since the virus was first detected in humans. However, the week before last, some 16,000 cases of influenza were registered nationwide, and it is likely that a good deal, if not most, of these are down to the new variant virus.