Concerns about squalene

New concerns about squalene, a constituent of the swine flu vaccine still being given to young children in the UK, have recently been published. Squalene is contained in several swine flu vaccines, including Pandemrix, the GSK vaccine used in the UK. The safety of using squalene in vaccines has been studied very little and certainly not sufficiently to exclude long-term problems. This is particularly important because animals injected with squalene have developed auto-immune diseases similar to multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Vaccines have often been associated with auto-immune disorders and it is worrying that a substance has been added that may increase this risk. Reassurances by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK department of health that the use of squalene in vaccines is safe is not based on sound evidence. Squalene should not be used as an adjuvant in vaccines until there is more substantial evidence of its effectiveness, both in the short and long term.

Added 5 March 2010