NewsTue Oct 6, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Seizures and Brain Damage Follow HPV Vaccine Injection for U.K. Girl
By James Tillman
October 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An 18 year-old U.K. girl has suffered severe brain damage from seizures that began after receiving the vaccination Cervarix.
Stacey Jones, 18, of Bilston in the West Midlands of England, began to have seizures days after receiving the first injection. The fits eventually caused such severe brain injury that she had to be admitted to a rehabilitation unit to relearn simple tasks.
Stacey's mother, Julie Jones, believes that the vaccine Cervarix is unsafe and caused the swelling in the brain that has been diagnosed as the cause of Stacy's neurological problems.
Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), vaccinates patients against human papillomavirus (HPV) strains 16 and 18, which is sexually transmitted. It is meant to protect against the later onset of cervical cancer, which is caused by these two strains in approximately 70% of cases.
Cervarix also contains the adjuvant AS04, which is designed to stimulate the body's immune system to create more antibodies.
Britain's National Health Service (NHS) began vaccinating girls aged 12 and 13 with Cervarix last year; more than 1.4 million vaccinations have been given thus far. The government of the UK claims that widespread vaccination with Cervarix will save 400 lives a year. The drug is recommended by the Department of Health, but it is not compulsory.
There have been more than 4,600 reported adverse reactions to the vaccine in the UK. In addition to seizures, other reported adverse effects include paralysis, nausea, blackouts, shivering, headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, and soreness. It has not yet been approved by the FDA for use in the US.
Cervarix has previously been accused of causing the paralysis from the waist down of a 13 year-old girl, Ashleigh Cave, who collapsed 30 minutes after being given the injection at school. The girl's mother, Cheryl Cave, is planning legal action against the vaccine's producer, GlaxoSmithKline.
A 14-year-old also recently died shortly after receiving this vaccination, although many claim that she likely died because of a pre-existing condition. GSK recalled the batch with which she was injected as a precautionary measure.
Dr. Diane Harper, who helped develop the drug, has claimed in an interview with the Sunday Express that the drug is being "over marketed" and that there could be serious side effects. The risks of taking the vaccination, according to her, could be worse than the risk of developing the cancer the vaccine helps prevent. She also claimed that the drug would do nothing to lower rates of cervical cancer.
Last year GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) won a contract with the UK to distribute the vaccine. GSK had been competing with Sanofi-Pasteeur MSD, which was marketing the rival vaccine Gardasil, developed by Merck. The government saved approximately £18.6m by deciding to use Cervarix rather than Gardasil. Although Gardasil is used more widely than Cervarix, it has been linked to numerous serious reactions in the US, including death, spontaneous abortion, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Religious organizations and parents have also criticized the distribution of Cervarix on the grounds that it will increase promiscuity and that the best cure for HPV is simply to practice premarital abstinence.
See related LSN articles: