Girl dies hours after receiving HPV vaccine

Health officials await report on cause of death

A 14-year-old UK girl died shortly after being given a cervical cancer vaccine on Monday. Though health officials are still waiting for post-mortem tests that will confirm the exact cause of Natalie Morton’s death, some parents are already reconsidering plans to vaccinate their daughters. Dr. David Elliman, a community pediatrics consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, says they may be jumping to conclusions. “At this stage we don’t know what was the tragic cause of this child’s death, so whether or not it’s linked [to the vaccine] we cannot say.” Elliman contends that “a severe allergic reaction or most likely a coincidence” could have killed Morton instead of an unsafe dose of the vaccine. Still, the vaccine batch used on the girl has been placed into quarantine. And Britain’s vaccine program—which vaccinates teenage girls at schools across the country—has been put on hold in Morton’s area of Coventry. So far, there have been 4,657 suspected negative reactions to Cervarix, the vaccine used on Morton, from more than 1.4 million doses.


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