Cervarix vaccine causing severe reactions

Cervarix vaccine causing severe reactions

MORE than 1300 schoolgirls have experienced adverse reactions to the controversial cervical cancer jab.

Doctors have reported girls aged just 12 and 13 have suffered paralysis, convulsions and sight problems after being given the vaccine.

Dozens were described as having pain “in extremity” while others suffered from nausea, muscle weakness, fever, dizziness and numbness.

The vaccine is being given to girls under a government program to prevent women from developing cervical cancer. Ministers say it will ultimately save 700 lives a year.

Some have dubbed it the “promiscuity jab” because it is given to girls to protect against the sexually-transmitted HPV virus, which causes 70 per cent of cervical tumours.

Last night campaigners called for the vaccination campaign to be suspended.

But government health experts insisted the Cervarix vaccine was safe and that the 1340 reports was to be expected, given that more than 700,000 girls were vaccinated last year.

They also said many of the reactions resulted from the act of injection, and said there was no evidence that the jab caused any of the serious conditions, such as paralysis.

Cancer charities urged parents to continue allowing their daughters to have the jabs, saying any risks were so minor and unproven that they could not outweigh the benefit of possibly saving lives.

The vaccination program of young secondary school girls began in September last year following clinical trials on more than 18,000 women under the age of 26.

Critics have claimed that not enough pre-pubescent girls were involved.

The vaccine, which is administered in three doses, is also being given to girls aged 17 and 18. By 2011, all those under the age of 18 will have been vaccinated.

The drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said doctors had made 1340 reports listing 2891 different adverse effects.

Most were minor complaints such as rashes, swelling on the injection site, pain or allergic reactions, but there were many more worrying problems.

Four girls had convulsions, one had a seizure and one had an epileptic fit. There were several cases of paralysis.

There were almost 20 cases of blurred vision and one girl was reported as developing anorexia.

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