Nov 14 2010 Mark Aitken, Sunday Mail
THE Government yesterday moved to reassure parents over possible side-effects of cancer jabs for schoolgirls.
They spoke out after official Holyrood figures revealed that 75 possible cases of bad reactions to the cervical cancer vaccine have been reported to doctors.
One teenager’s cerebral palsy was may be linked to the HPV – human papillomavirus – jags while other girls are said to have contracted arthritis or suffered anaphylactic shock.
Four girls began suffering from asthma after getting the injection. Other less serious side effects included nausea, headaches, neck pain and anxiety.
It is estimated that one in 116 women in the UK will develop cervical cancer and 3000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
High-profile victims of the disease include Big Brother star Jade Goody, who backed the mass vaccine programme before she died.
Details on the dossier of cases sent to medical watchdogs were revealed by health secretary Nicola Sturgeon after questions from Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson.
The government insist there is no proven link between the vaccine and any of the cases but Dr Simpson warned: “This demonstrates that no drug or vaccine is without risks.
“There should be an adequate consent procedure that spells out benefits and risks.
“Over a million vaccines have been given “Over a million vaccines have been given across the UK, so 75 reactions is a very small number. But people need to be warned it is not completely free of risk.”
In her reply to Dr Simpson, Sturgeon said: “Such reports do not necessarily mean that the events were caused by the vaccine.”
But she also admitted that the cases were “considered serious” when reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.