British girl dies after cervical cancer vaccine jab

September 29, 2009

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline said Tuesday it was working with health authorities here probing the death of a schoolgirl following a cervical cancer vaccination.

The 14-year-old died on Monday after an adverse reaction to the Cervarix vaccine at her school in Coventry, central England, as part of a national vaccination to protect women against the disease.

Health authorities have isolated the batch of vaccine used in the school involved against the (HPV), a sexually-transmitted virus which is the primary cause of .

"The incident happened shortly after the girl had received her in the school," said Dr. Caron Grainger, joint head of public health for the National Health Service (NHS) in Coventry and Coventry City Council.

"No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known and a post-mortem takes place."

She added: "We are conducting an urgent and full investigation into the events surrounding this tragedy."

In a statement GSK, which produces Cervarix, said it was working with health authorities "to better understand this case, as at this stage the exact cause of this tragic death is unknown.

"As a precautionary measure, the batch of vaccine involved has been quarantined until the situation is fully understood," it said, noting that over 1.4 million doses of Cervarix have been given in Britain.

And it added: "To date the vast majority of suspected adverse reactions (to Cervarix) have related either to the signs and symptoms of recognised side effects listed in the product information or were due to the injection process and not the vaccine itself."

Awareness of cervical cancer was boosted earlier this year by the death from the disease of a reality television star, Jade Goody, who garnered publicity notably for the need for women to have regular cervical smear tests.

(c) 2009 AFP

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3 / 5 (4) Sep 29, 2009
All of the adverse reactions, which were listed in the product information as recognized side effects, were due to the injection process and not the vaccine?

I smell some B.S., and I'm not even a conspiracy nut. It's just that there's a very glaring logical problem here.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2009
Well, I have never liked this vaccine, because well, how the hades do you vaccinate against cancer? That's what it is claiming it can do. Plus of course, once a woman is certain she's vaccinated against the cancer, she is far less likely to attend the horrible annual smear tests, intended to detect formation in time to do something about it.
3 / 5 (2) Sep 29, 2009
The safety of vaccinations is very well established. There are risks, but they are remote, especially when compared to the diseases they prevent. I don't understand what happened in this particular case, but it's the first death in England. In contrast, a quick search reveals that about 750 women die from cervical cancer in England every year. With these statistics, it's hard to argue against vaccination.

There is no evidence those vaccinated are less likely to get pap smears. Furthermore, those most likely to die from cervical cancer do not get them in the first place, so it's a moot point.

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