Anorak News | Natalie Morton, Cervical Cancer And A Scare Story

Natalie Morton, Cervical Cancer And A Scare Story

by | 29th, September 2009

mortonSCARE Story: A 14-year-old girl in Coventry, one Natalie Morton, has died shortly after being given the cervical cancer vaccine at school.

Time to panic! And a time for a rare moment of understatement. On the school’s website, a message from the headmistress:

Immunisation tests were carried out today in the school to all girls eligible to receive the HPV1 vaccine. During the session an unfortunate incident occurred and one of the girls suffered a rare, but extreme reaction to the vaccine. A number of other girls also reported being unwell and some were sent home.

And then the headlines in which the jab and the death are linked by fact:

Metro: “Cervical jab fear as girl, 14, dies”

The death has raised questions about the safety of the vaccine, the secrecy surrounding clinical trials and why Britain has chosen a different type to most other countries.

Daily Telegraph: “Tributes to 14-year-old schoolgirl who died after being given cervical cancer jab”

“Charmaine Dunn-Myria, 15, who was in the same year as Natalie, said: “There was panic around the school when we found out what happened. Girls were in tears in the corridors and everyone was in shock. I had my jab today as well and I was really worried about it and that something was going to happen to me. They never told us that there was any danger in these jabs. I didn’t know you could get sick or die from them.”

Well, nothing has been proven. And the Telegraph seeks to dampen fears by telling readers:

But since April last year the MHRA has received more than 2,000 reports of suspected reactions to the vaccine, including 409 related to anaphylactic shock, which can be rapidly fatal.

Channel 4: “Cervical cancer jab fears after girl dies”

“No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known and a post-mortem takes place.


“NHS Coventry said although no link had been made between the death and the vaccination, it had quarantined the batch used at the school as a “precautionary measure”.

Daily Mirror: “14-year-old girl dies after cervical cancer jab”


Scare? Or scare story?

About 1.4million vaccine doses have been given since last September. The jab guards against the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted infection that causes 70 per cent of cervical cancers. Health officials last night stressed that there was not yet any evidence the jab was responsible for Natalie’s death.

A girl has died, and that is tragic. And her name is being used to spread the fear, today’s media scare story.

Posted: 29th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts Comments (10) | TrackBack | Permalink