Engels schoolmeisje sterft na vaccinatie tegen baarmoederhalskanker
Tributes to 14-year-old schoolgirl who died after being given cervical cancer jab
Friends paid tribute to Natalie Morton, the 14-year-old schoolgirl who died shortly after being given the cervical cancer vaccine.
Natalie was one of four classmates who suffered side-effects at Blue Coat CofE School in Coventry after receiving the vaccine as part of the national immunisation programme.
She was subsequently taken to Coventry’s University Hospital where she died on Monday afternoon.
Charmaine Dunn-Myria, 15, who was in the same year as Natalie, said: "There was panic around the school when we found out what happened. Girls were in tears in the corridors and everyone was in shock.
"I had my jab today as well and I was really worried about it and that something was going to happen to me.
"They never told us that there was any danger in these jabs. I didn’t know you could get sick or die from them.
"The school gave everyone a letter telling us about Natalie and the three other girls. I am just really scared about what will happen to them. I can’t believe this has happened."
Tributes were already being posted last night on social networking website Facebook. A group titled ‘Natalie Morton – Forever in our hearts’ already had more than 200 members.
One friend, Suzie Grace Gee, wrote: "What a lovely girl. Always had a smile on her face! It’s such a shock to everyone, and it’s going to be odd not seeing her every Sunday at church. She will forever be missed, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family. She’s with Jesus now! Rest in peace."
Another, Hannah Howard, wrote: "We had the best times at church and at the clubs we went to. I have like grown up with you. You are with god now and I hope and pray he will be there for you loking [sic] after you. I hope to see you again one day".
In a letter to parents, Dr Julie Roberts, the school’s headteacher said during the immunisation "an unfortunate incident occurred and one of the girls suffered a rare, but extreme reaction to the vaccine.
"A number of other girls also reported being unwell and some were sent home.
"If your daughter has received a vaccine today we ask that you are extra vigilant regarding any signs or symptoms."
The HPV virus is a sexually transmitted infection that causes up to seven in 10 cervical cancer cases. If any link were proved between the 14-year-old’s death and the jab it is thought it would be the first since the nationwide vaccination commenced last year.
The Cervarix vaccine is being distributed to all schoolgirls aged 12 and over as part of the national campaign, which began last year. By 2011 all girls under 18 will have been offered the jab. Ministers say the scheme will ultimately save 700 lives a year. Around 1.4 million doses have been administered in Britain so far.
But since April last year the MHRA has received more than 2,000 reports of suspected reactions to the vaccine, including 409 related to anaphylactic shock, which can be rapidly fatal.
There are two cervical cancer vaccines license, Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and Gardasil, made by Merck.
Many other European countries are using Gardasil because of the additional protection it offers against four strains of HPV instead of two.