In the News: Girl Dies after Cervical Cancer Vaccination

By: Tiffani Haynes

 A 14-year-old girl died on Monday after receiving a cervical cancer vaccination. The young British girl was given Cervarix, a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), while at school in Coventry, England. Shortly after, she was rushed to the hospital where she died.

There have been no clear ties made between the girl’s death and Cervarix, yet local health authorities have began an “urgent” investigation, according to the Associated Press. There have been at least a few other girls who became mildly sick with dizziness and nausea after receiving the vaccination.

According to the Associated Press, “Cervarix, manufactured by UK-headquartered GlaxoSmithKline, has been used for the past year in Britain’s national immunization program. It is estimated that about a million girls have already safely received the vaccine. It defends against two HPV strains which cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.”

Recently, the US FDA voted the vaccine safe for public use.

This European-based vaccination is completely different from Gardasil, the one advertised and used in America. Yet, Gardasil has also had its share of safety concerns. In August, ABC News published a story voicing the concerns of the drug. The vaccine has been linked 32 unconfirmed deaths and shown to increase the chances of fainting and blood clots.

According to ABC News, “Although the number of serious adverse events is small and rare, they are real and cannot be overlooked or dismissed without disclosing the possibility to all other possible vaccine recipients,” said Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at University of Missouri. “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”

Doctors are urging parents to closely study the different vaccines, their benefits and risks.

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