Lachlan Neylan: 22 month old severely brain damaged after a flu shot

 In Stories

Lachlan Neylan was a happy, walking and talking 22-month-old boy…until in March 2012 he was given a flu shot that almost cost him his life. He was left unable to walk or talk and suffered severe brain damage, including seizures and swelling of the brain, known as encephalopathy, after he was accidentally given a flu shot banned for children under age five in Australia, where this story takes place.

Lachlan began having seizures within hours of the shots. His parents were told he was unlikely to live, yet he managed to pull through. But he will likely never walk or talk again.

He just collapsed and started to have seizures. Doctors said they thought our son wouldn’t make it through the weekend. It was terrifying,” said Lachlan’s father.

Before the injection, Lachlan had been a “walking, talking toddler.” After the flu shot, he stopped being able to sit, walk or talk and “he was back to being a three-month-old,” according to his parents.

Fluvax (the shot given to Lachlan) had been banned for children under five in 2010 ­after it had been found to trigger febrile ­convulsions in one in every 100 children. Despite the ban, the Australian Department of Health confirmed the banned shot had been administered to 43 children under the age of five just that year. The shot is also regularly given to children older than five and to adults.

We don’t want anyone else to go through what we have been through,” said Mr Neylan after speaking out to media.

The family’s home has now had to be turned into a ­rehabilitation centre for Lachlan, who now faces a lifetime of disability. The family has yet to receive compensation for this injury that has completely changed their lives.

Studies show that the flu shot rarely protects people from getting the flu and that increased vaccination does NOT reduce mortality in any age group. “We could not correlate increasing vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group. Because fewer than 10% of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.” (Study published in Archives of Internal Medicine)

So is that flu shot worth the REAL risk? Just to escape a few days of rest? Think twice before rolling up your sleeve. Actually, think three times, four times, five times…

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