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Cervarix vaccination death in the UKIt is with shock that I read the following in the Cape Argus today:
"LONDON: A girl of 14 died after receiving a cervical cancer vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, British health officials said. The 14 year old fell ill after she was given the Cervarix vaccination against the STD human papillomavirus at her school as part of a national immunisation programme."
This is outrageous!
And isn't it so predictable that they are saying that she died of underlying health problems (although they haven't been named yet). Also Doctors and nurses are urging other 14 year old girls(and their parents) to continue with the vaccination program, instead of halting it for a thorough investigation. Typical and absolute madness!! GlaxoSmithKline "very much doubt that the vaccination was the cause of death".
I suppose there's the other side of the story....some may say (certainly not Natalie's parents!!) that if she's the first to die in one & a half million already vaccinated then that's a small price to pay for saving 400 girls a year(according to health department) who would normally go on to get cervical cancer. But does it really save them, does this vaccine actually prevent cervical cancer? What else is in the vaccination that could cause horrible reactions or is just plain poison? Is there no way of testing for allergic reactions beforehand?
This says it all really...taken from www.jabs.org.uk It still does seem strange that she should die a couple of hours after the vaccination, but of course nobody will admit that it could have been a contributing factor...
Reprinted from the Daily Mail, 2nd October 2009
Cervical cancer jab girl died from unrelated chest tumour as researcher calls vaccine plan a 'mass experiment'
By Daniel Martin and David Derbyshire
Last updated at 8:34 AM on 02nd October 2009
Teenager Natalie Morton died from a malignant tumour in her chest and not from a reaction to the cervical cancer jab, it was revealed today.
Deputy coroner for Coventry Louise Hunt told Natalie's parents that the current indication was that the vaccine was not a contributing factor in her death.
Opening and adjourning the inquest at Coventry Magistrates' Court, she said: 'It appears that Natalie died from a tumour in her chest which had spread to her heart and her lungs'.
Natalie, 14, collapsed less than two hours after being given a cervical cancer vaccination at Coventry's Blue Coat Church of England School on Monday.
Pathologist Alexander Kolar told the inquest that Natalie's chest was "heavily infiltrated" by a tumour that had extended to the left lung.
The growth had compressed Natalie's aorta and pulmonary artery, shutting off the blood supply to her entire body and causing her to collapse.
He said: "It was so severe that death could have arrived at any time."
Natalie's mother Elaine Bullock and stepfather Andrew Bullock, paid tribute the 14-year-old outside the court.
They said she was a 'kind and fun-loving teenager with a beautiful smile'.
Mr Bullock said: 'Natalie was a wonderful daughter, sister and granddaughter.
'She was kind, fun-loving and had a beautiful smile. Natalie had a strong personal faith in God. We know that she has gone to heaven to be with her saviour, Jesus'.
He added: 'We now know that Natalie's death was the result of a serious underlying medical condition and most probably nothing to do with the vaccine that she had at school on Monday'.
The findings come as the cervical cancer vaccination programme was branded a 'public health experiment' by a senior researcher who helped develop the drug.
Dr Diane Harper - one of the world's leading cervical cancer experts - said health officials and drug firm bosses were exaggerating the jab's benefits.
And she claimed parents were not being properly warned about the 'small but potentially adverse' risks of Cervarix and other vaccines.
But health officials, cancer charities and scientific experts all insist the programme is safe and urged parents and schools not to panic.
Under the Government's cervical cancer programme, Cervarix is being offered to girls between 12 and 18.
It works against two strains of HPV - a sexually transmitted virus that causes 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases.
Yesterday the Department of Health said it had 'great confidence' in the safety of its cervical cancer vaccination programme.
'We have been clear all along that there is no reason to suspend HPV immunisation - the programme against cervical cancer continues today,' a spokesman said.
'We have one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world and have great confidence in the safety of them.
'Young girls can continue to protect themselves against cervical cancer by having this vaccine.' But Dr Harper, of the University of Missouri-Kansas, who was involved in the clinical trials of Cervarix, believes it should have been tested for another four years before being introduced in Britain.
Patient trials have only been running for seven and a half years - not long enough to show whether it continues protecting women into their late 20s and 30s, she said.
'It is a public health experiment,' she said.
'Parents consenting to HPV vaccination must be told that the duration of the vaccine is unknown, and that it is entirely possible that the initial vaccination series will only postpone, not prevent, future cervical cancers in their daughter,' Dr Harper said.
Around one million girls have been given the vaccine. There have been 4,657 reports of suspected adverse reactions - including sore arms, dizziness and swelling.
Although the drug is safe for the majority of women, there are very rare 'real dangers' - including the risk of brain damage, paralysis and death, Dr Harper said.
Even if the jab is only dangerous for one person in a million, women should be told the risks, she said.
She also believes the benefits of the vaccine as a 'cure' are being exaggerated. The jab does not prevent 30 per cent of cervical cancers - which means women will still need to be screened for pre-cancerous lesions.
Dr Harper helped develop the HPV vaccine which is produced as Cervarix - the GlaxoSmithKline product distributed by the NHS - and Gardasil which is produced by Merck and distributed in the U.S.
A Department of Health spokesman said: 'It is wrong to suggest the benefits are exaggerated. Ninety nine per cent of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV and the vaccine will protect against about 70 per cent of them.
'The evidence is that the vaccine is very safe. And long-term follow up studies have shown that it offers extremely high levels of protection that continue to last.'
An initial post mortem showed the vaccine was 'unlikely' to have caused the death of Natalie Morton as she had a rare and grave underlying health problem, which was unknown to her family.
Stepfather Andrew Bullock said Natalie, who attended Blue Coat CofE School, in Coventry, had been 'poorly for some time'.
She had been to see her GP several times and investigations into a mystery illness had been under way, he said.
How Britain went for the £18m cheaper option
Britain's decision to go against the rest of the Western world and opt for the Cervarix vaccine was made to save money, health charities claim.
They said the decision condemned thousands of young women to an unpleasant sexual infection from which they would have been protected had ministers chosen the rival vaccine, Gardasil.
The U.S. and every single major western European country went for Gardasil, which protects against more strains of HPV, the sexual infection which can cause cervical cancer.
It is understood that Britain chose Cervarix after the Health Protection Agency advised that it would save more than £18million a year.
There is no suggestion that Gardasil is any safer than Cervarix. In fact there have been 30 deaths following reported adverse reactions to Gardasil in the U.S., plus a number in Germany and Austria.
But charities pointed out the extra strains of HPV that Gardasil protects against would have prevented thousands from catching genital warts - an infection on the rise, especially among the young.
They said the money saved will be outweighed by the £22million the NHS spends every year treating genital warts.
'Our concern is that we didn't pick the right vaccine in the UK,' said Lisa Power, of the Terrence Higgins Trust sexual health charity. 'We felt that Gardasil was more effective against more things.
'HPV may not be fatal, but it is very unpleasant and it is on the rise. In 2008 there were 92,525 new cases of genital warts. That's very expensive to treat, as well as leaving 92,525 very unhappy people.'
GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Cervarix, claims its vaccine lasts longer than Gardasil, meaning there is less chance of a booster being needed later in life.