Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Say You Now, Liow Tiong Lai?

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The death of a 14-year-old girl in England after she received a vaccination for Human Papilloma virus (HPV) has prompted a widespread freeze on the country's national vaccination program.

Since 2008 millions of girls have received vaccinations for HPV, the virus that causes 99 percent of cervical cancers.

Millions of girls have received vaccinations for HPV since 2008, the virus that causes 99 percent of cervical cancers.

More than 1.4 million girls have received the vaccination in England since the National Health Service (NHS) started administering it in September 2008.

Natalie Morton's sudden death Monday occurred within hours after she received a shot of the vaccine Cervarix at the NHS at her school in Coventry.

Three other girls at the Blue Coat Church of England school suffered mild symptoms of dizziness and nausea after receiving the vaccine, according to media reports.

It remains unclear if the vaccine caused Morton's death. Only an autopsy will be able to determine the exactly cause of death.

Glaxo Smith Kline, the manufacturer of Cervarix, issued a recall of the batch of vaccine used in Coventry as a "precautionary measure."

"At this stage the cause of this tragic death is unknown," the company said in a statement posted on their Web site.

"Following immediate quarantine of the batch involved last night, we have taken the decision to voluntarily recall this batch as a further precautionary measure while the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Natalie's death is conducted."

On Tuesday several NHS clinics and schools indefinitely postponed immunizations.

Vital Signs
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"As a purely precautionary measure, we have asked the NHS to quarantine all stocks of HPV vaccine from the batch related to this case," a spokesperson for the NHS said.

"Where the local NHS has supplies of vaccine from other production batches, they should continue with the vaccination program."

Many clinics were forced to close as they checked the numbers on their batches of the vaccine.

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