Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cervarix vaccine death: was it anaphylaxis? If not, what?

I am not satisfied with the news reports on the tragic death of Natalie Morton after receiving the Cervarix vaccination.

They are saying that she had a "serious underlying health condition". What was it? This is not idle curiosity, but a vital bit of information that anyone who might be called upon to administer Cervarix should know about, so that they do not give it to anyone who has the same condition.

Until positive information is put in the public arena, I will continue to suspect that poor Natalie died of anaphylactic shock, which is a known risk with any vaccination.

The side effect report for Cervarix, which can be downloaded from here, include 409 allergic reactions (out of a total of 1.4 million doses given), of which 10 were anaphylactic reactions, and one was anaphylactic shock.

The way to avoid anaphylactic problems is for the vaccinated persons to wait around for 20 minutes within reach of the anaphylaxis pack, which basically consists of an injection of adrenaline.

409 out of 1.4 million is not a lot, and it remains the case that despite all the side effects, it is still worth using Cervarix because it will save a lot of lives as well as a lot of problems with genital herpes.

But Government must be transparent about the cause of Natalie's death. Was it anaphylaxis? If not, what was the reason? Clamming up and telling us not to worry will not do. We must be given the facts, because witholding facts leads to imaginings.


Dorothea said...

It was a malignant tumour.

The media have been totally irresponsible in their reporting this on this. They know full well how hysterical people get, so they shouldn't be whipping it up worse than it is.

DocRichard said...

Natalie may have had a malignant tumour that seemingly had not yet produced symptoms, but malignant tumours rarely present as sudden death. Did the immunisation react with the tumour in some way? Could the tumour or its secretions have produced an abnormal reaction?

I agree that the media are always inclined to hysteria, that is, extreme emotional reactions, but there are still a number of medical questions to be answered.