Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Girl who died after cancer jab had ‘underlying condition’

A 14-year-old girl who died shortly after being given a cervical cancer vaccine had a “serious underlying medical condition”, health officials said last night.

Natalie Morton collapsed at Coventry's Blue Coat Church of England School on Monday and died in hospital.

Preliminary results from post-mortem tests indicated it was “most unlikely” the HPV jab caused her death, according to Dr Caron Grainger, joint director of public health for NHS Coventry and Coventry City Council.

Dr Grainger said: “The preliminary post-mortem results have revealed a serious underlying medical condition which was likely to have caused death.

“We are awaiting further test results which will take some time. However, indications are that it was most unlikely that the HPV vaccination was the cause of death.

“We would again like to reiterate our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Natalie Morton during this difficult time.”

Earlier, a family doctor — and mother of a teenage girl — called for health officials in Northern Ireland to suspend the cervical cancer vaccine programme until a full investigation into the death is complete.

Dr Josephine Deehan, whose daughter is due to receive the jab, is urging the Department of Health to stop vaccinating schoolgirls until the exact cause of Natalie Morton’s death is established.

The Omagh GP spoke of her concern after Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride confirmed some stocks of the cervical cancer vaccine have been withdrawn in Northern Ireland as a precautionary measure following the sudden death.

“I am going to wait and see what the outcome of the official investigation is until my own daughter is allowed to have the vaccine. It may well be that this girl’s death had nothing to do with the vaccine but it would be worth holding back the programme for a few weeks or a month until the matter’s been fully investigated,” she said.

Meanwhile, the mum of a Northern Ireland teenager who suffered an adverse reaction after she received the vaccine at her school in Co Antrim last night said she does not regret her daughter getting the jab.

Kathryn Clarke, the mother of a 15-year-old girl who experienced nausea and dizziness after receiving the vaccine, said her daughter will complete the vaccination programme unless it is proven that it is a danger.

Each year in Northern Ireland 78 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer.

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