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May 25, 1984

Swine Flu Vaccine and Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. Dr Molgaard is currently with San Diego State University. Ms Kurland is with the Interim Health Related Sciences Program, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn; Dr Wiederholt is a visiting scientist at the Mayo Clinic from the University of California at San Diego; and Dr Kirkpatrick is with the Medical Corps, Department of the Army, Office of the Surgeon General, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1984;251(20):2672-2675. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340440030022

Using age-specific rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) based on a national survey, the number of "naturally occurring" new cases of MS among the 45 million swine flu vaccine recipients in the United States is estimated as 1,624 during the year after vaccination, or 31 cases per week. Information from available reports and publications indicates no excess over the expected frequencies. Analyses of admissions for MS before, during, and after the immunization program showed no increase to the US Army hospitals or to the Mayo Clinic. Three independent controlled clinical investigations performed on patients with MS showed no increase in the frequency of exacerbations among those receiving swine flu vaccine as compared with those receiving placebo. Epidemiologic features of MS do not implicate killed virus vaccine as an etiologic factor in onset or exacerbations of the disease. There is no indication from these analyses of any association or cause-and-effect relationship between swine flu vaccine and MS.

(JAMA 1984;251:2672-2675)

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