Sweden prepared to offer swine flu jab apology

Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Published: 24 Nov 2013 09:26 GMT+01:00Updated: 24 Nov 2013 09:26 GMT+01:00

Sweden's Minister of Social Affairs Göran Hägglund has said he is prepared to make a public apology to the people, most young adults and children, who suffered from narcolepsy following vaccination against swine flu.

"I have no problem promising one if it is requested it, or if it is thought that it could lead to any improvement for these families," Hägglund said to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.


After it was established that the swine flu vaccination caused narcolepsy the state promised to be generous. But it is neither the state nor local health authorities who determine which sufferers are entitled to help, this responsibility falls on the private insurance firm Läkemedelsförsäkringen.


In order to receive compensation from insurance company, the patient must have been aware of the symptoms within eight months from the time of vaccination.


Some 28 people , including 19 children, have been thus denied compensation because they did not notice the symptoms in time, according to the SvD report.


However, according to several experts to whom both TT and SvD have spoken, such a limit can not be placed on the condition. Symptoms are initially diffuse and were previously relatively unknown. Many sufferers seek other explanations for their fatigue and it may have taken some time before getting a diagnosis.


Despite the difficulties for some sufferers, Hägglund told the newspaper that there are no plans to help the group that has not received any compensation.


"Not at the moment," he said.


The Local reported last week about one sufferer of narcolepsy who was ejected from a popular Stockholm night spot after she fell asleep at the bar.


Evelina Perés, a 20-year-old Swede, reported Stockholm nightclub Café Opera to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman, DO) after she was thrown out for dozing off. 


After snoozing on the stool, two bouncers took her by the arms and threw her onto the street, roughing her up enough to leave bruises on her arms, her report stated.

Perés, who has a doctor's certificate for her narcolepsy, wrote that the condition was a direct result of a swine flu jab, and added that she hoped her report could bring some much-needed attention to the problem.

"The state made us get the shot. We are already affected. We don't need to be punished more, we need support and help instead. I have friends with nacolepsy who no longer go out because they don't want to risk being kicked out," she told the paper.

A Swedish study  confirmed in March that the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix had a direct link to narcolepsy, with those taking the shot under the age of 21 at three times the risk of developing the condition.

Today's headlines

Swartlings riding school in Stockholm. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/TT

The 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of the brutal murder of a 25-year-old student outside a Stockholm riding school in 1996 was remanded into custody on Sunday despite his denial. READ () »

Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Sweden's Minister of Social Affairs Göran Hägglund has said he is prepared to make a public apology to the people, most young adults and children, who suffered from narcolepsy following vaccination against swine flu. READ () »

Photo: Anders Hillegren/TT

The captain of a vessel which ran aground north of Landskrona on the west coast of Sweden was arrested on Sunday after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol. READ () »

Swartlings riding school in Stockholm. Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/TT

A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 25-year-old student outside a Stockholm riding school in 1996. READ () »

Photo: Roberto Jorge/Flickr

A 30-year-old woman has been charged with aggravated assault on suspicion of having systematically tortured a 70-year-old man whom she referred to as "grandad". READ () »

The Sweden Democrat women's wing chairwoman Carina Herrstedt. File photo: Annicka af Klercker/TT

The Local catches up with Carina Herrstedt, chair of the Sweden Democrat women's wing, to learn more about women's place in a party sometimes labelled as a bunch of "angry white men". READ () »

Sweden is set to introduce crimes against humanity into its penal code in a move to tackle widespread, systematic, and inhumane crimes abroad in Swedish courts. READ () »

The ring is made of Roman gold. Photo: Camilla Lundin

A woman was left gobsmacked when she learned the gold ring she stumbled across in a field was 2,000 years old. READ () »

Elections 2014

Sweden Democrat Party Secretary Björn Söder. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Rebels or rogues? The national meeting of Sweden Democrats this weekend certainly has the Swedish political scene abuzz. With ten months until elections, the once Nazi-tainted party may soon find itself playing kingmaker. But will they get a say in their core question - immigration? READ () »

Top brass within Sweden's Armed Forces are furious after a Swedish female officer was sexually harassed while participating in an EU training mission in Africa. READ () »



Ten craziest licence plates banned in Sweden

Swede Of The Week

Kurdish-Swedish reporter Sîlan Diljen


Should Pia Sundhage coach the men's national football team?


People-watching, Nov 18-20


Highlights: Sweden vs Portugal


'Stockholm is the tech world's hidden nightclub'


Henrik Stenson claims new historic golf double


Sweden second best at aiding world's poor


Viking-age 'gold men' unearthed in Sweden


People-watching, November 15-17


What's the housing minister doing about Sweden's housing crunch?


What is this famous actor doing with these Volvo trucks, and why?


VIDEO: Gravity spoof in Ikea rockets to viral fame


'Menstruation tweet' from Swedish cops goes viral


Candy Crush King ranked Sweden's best workplace


Sweden's Ice Hotel told to get fire alarms

Sponsored Article

The Swedish boarding school broadening its language horizons

Sponsored Article

The magic of learning at a Stockholm school

Sponsored Article

The Swedish rental market (and new rules) made simple

Sponsored Article

Develop your career in Sweden: Are you MBA material?


Reefer madness: why are Swedes so scared of pot?


The Local List: Top ten expat complaints to their Swedish partners

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »