Thousands of schoolgirls have suffered suspected adverse reactions to a controversial cervical cancer vaccine introduced by the Government.
By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
Published: 9:00PM BST 12 Sep 2009
Doctors’ reports show that girls of 12 and 13 have experienced convulsions, fever and paralysis after being given the vaccine, which is now administered in schools as part of efforts to prevent women developing cancer.
Others suffered nausea, muscle weakness, dizziness and blurred vision, according to a special report drawn up by drug safety watchdogs.
A support group says it has received dozens of calls from parents who believe their daughters have been damaged by the vaccine.
The parents of one teenage girl given the jab last autumn believe it was to blame for repeated seizures which have left her with brain damage and psychosis.
The immunisation programme for teenage girls is controversial because it protects them from the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus which causes 70 per cent of cervical tumours.
When the Government introduced the Cervarix vaccination programme last year, some campaigners dubbed it a “promiscuity jab”.
Campaigners and families said the new figures showed the vaccination should not have been introduced via a mass programme.
More than one million girls have already been given the jab, which is offered to all as they enter their teens.
Until 2011 it will also be administered to older girls, so that all female teens below the age of 18 will be covered by the programme.
Dated, yes – but still of concern….the real question is what are the numbers since then – and how and why has this campaign gone on for so long?