By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
COVENTRY, UK, September 29, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Natalie Morton, a 14-year-old girl who attended the Blue Coat Church of England School in Coventry, died today, hours after being given Cervarix - the controversial cervical cancer vaccine manufactured for the UK market by Glaxo SmithKline.
Natalie was injected with the vaccine as part of the UK National Health Service's (NHS) immunization program directed at teenage girls with the purpose of protecting them against strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease.
The NHS started the HPV vaccination program in April last year and has recorded 2,137 reports of adverse effects following the injection.
Health officials said today they are not sure whether Natalie had an extreme reaction to a standard vaccine, or whether the particular dose she was given was from a "rogue contaminated batch."
Either situation raises serious questions about the safety of the vaccine.
Dr. Caron Grainger, director for public health at Coventry city council, said an autopsy will be conducted to investigate if the vaccine played a role in Natalie's death.
"No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known and a post-mortem takes place," Grainger told the UK Daily Mail.
Mike Attwood, a spokesman for Coventry Primary Care Trust said: "An urgent investigation has been launched and while we wait for the results from the post mortem all vaccinations using the drug have been temporarily stopped."
The National Vaccine Information Centre (NVC), a private vaccine-safety group based in the US, reported that from 2006 as many as 11,900 girls and young women had reported adverse events after receiving the Gardasil vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck Pharmaceutical for use in the US and Canada.
These adverse events included such mild reactions as pain, fever, nausea, dizziness and itching, to serious effects such as Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures. The number of deaths associated with the Gardasil vaccine by the NVC is between 32 and 45 in the US alone.
See related LSN articles:
Deaths Associated with HPV Vaccine Start Rolling In, Over 3500 Adverse Affects Reported
Controversial HPV Vaccine Causing One Death Per Month: FDA Report