A 15-year-old girl has developed the sleeping disorder narcolepsy after getting a swine flu shot, according to the News Corp Australia Website News.com
Just four months after being given the Pandemrix injection, Chloe Glasson is now falling asleep as many as 30 times a day, according to reports first carried in The Daily Mail. She said she recently went missing for two hours after going into a "dreamlike autopilot" state while making a short journey to her grandmother's house.
Although, she eventually found her own way home safely, her terrified family had contacted police out of concern for her safety.
Doctors say they are hoping a pioneering treatment will help her to establish a more normal sleeping pattern. She is to receive the specialist drug sodium oxybate — at a cost of $23,000 a year — at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
"I am putting a lot of faith in the treatment," Chloe told The Daily Mail. "While the tablets won't cure me, they may offer the chance of a more normal life."
Vaccinated with Pandemrix in November 2009 during a flu pandemic, she is one of at least 100 people estimated to have developed narcolepsy afterwards, the news organization reported.
The U.K. Government has said it would pay damages to some of those who developed problems after being given the vaccine. Chloe's family hopes she will receive the maximum compensation of $220,000.
GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Pandemrix, said: "Patient safety is our number one priority and we are researching how narcolepsy is triggered and how this vaccine might have interacted with other risk factors in affected individuals. We hope ongoing research efforts will enable us to provide more answers."
Chloe's mother Rebecca, said that her daughter's life "has been devastated after we followed government advice to have her immunized against the threat of swine flu. She has gone from being a bright, outgoing girl to one who cannot go out on her own. She doesn't doze for more than a couple of hours at a time, but she can have disturbing dreams.
"We desperately hope this new treatment will help."