Nearly 1,700 young girls in the US have died or suffered permanent disability after being given the HPV vaccine, new official figures reveal. The vaccine, which is designed to prevent cervical cancer, was introduced into the UK last autumn.
A further 19,500 girls have suffered ‘non-serious’ reactions to the vaccine, which has been given to adolescent girls in the US since 2006. The 1,671 girls who suffered a ‘serious reaction’ died, suffered permanent disability, a life-threatening illness or needed emergency hospital care.
Astonishingly, US health regulators say there are “no serious safety concerns” over the HPV vaccine. Instead, their concerns focus on the low uptake of the vaccine. Only around 33 per cent of the target population of girls aged between 11 and 12 years have had all three doses of the vaccine, and they urge doctors to offer the vaccine at every possible “healthcare encounter”.
(Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2013; 62: 591-5).