Written by: QMI Agency
Dec. 20, 2010
MONTREAL – A Quebec coroner can’t explain why a 14-year-old girl died after receiving a dose of the Gardasil vaccine.
In December 2008, Anabelle Morin’s mother found the teenage girl unconscious in the bathtub of their home. Just days earlier, the teenager had received her second dose of Gardasil, which vaccinates against the HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted infection that can be a precursor to cervical cancer.
Morin had an adverse reaction after her first shot in October 2008. A few days following the immunization, she began experiencing dizziness and memory loss. The symptoms were so severe she was transported to a Montreal hospital for tests.
But two months later she received the necessary second immunization.
Coroner Michel Ferland’s report concludes Morin died from drowning. But while there is no evidence the shot killed the teenager, he is refusing to rule out a link between Gardasil and her death.
Ferland is recommending Health Canada, along with provincial and municipal health agencies, better inform patients about the vaccine’s side effects.
He also noted the National Vaccine Information Center, a U.S. immunization safety watchdog group, links 78 deaths to the Gardasil vaccine south of the border.
The coroner said he’d like to see further studies carried out in Canada.
Gardasil vaccinates against HPV – the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women aged 20 to 44. Publicly-funded vaccine programs have been implemented across Canada.
Health Canada approved the vaccine in 2006. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, most reported adverse effects are minor – though there have been 22 hospitalizations reported following an HPV immunization.
About two-thirds of all sexually-active Canadians are expected to contract an HPV infection in their lifetime.