UK health officials have launched an urgent enquiry into the death of a 14 year old girl who died after receiving a cervical cancer vaccine at school.
The Coventry teenager died on 28 September shortly after receiving an injection against the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease linked to most cervical cancers.
The National Health Service (NHS) announced that the vaccine programme will be suspended for a short period and the vaccine batch used at the school has been placed into quarantine. However, it said that no link had been made between the death and the HPV jab.
A routine vaccination programme for girls aged 12 to 13 using GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix vaccine began across the UK in September 2008.
The pharmaceutical company has extended its condolences and has affirmed it will work with the UK Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to determine the exact cause of death.
Around 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK, of which a third are likely to die from the disease.