Cancer jab girl ‘had health problem’

Post mortem results show schoolgirl had a serious underlying medical condition

The girl who died on Tuesday after a cervical cancer vaccine had a "serious underlying medical condition", it emerged yesterday.

Dr Caron Grainger, joint director of public health for NHS Coventry said in a statement: "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."

It has not been disclosed whether or not this condition was known before the vaccine was administered.

The trust said it was not suspending the immunisation programme in the city but would "pause" it to prepare medical staff for the inevitable questions from worried parents. The national programme began last year and the vaccine – delivered in three shots over six months – is due to be offered to every 12 or 13-year-old girl in the country, with a catch-up programme for older girls up to 18 which launched this autumn.

A spokesman for NHS Coventry said the trust was "rescheduling" the clinics planned for yesterday and today "to be able to brief our frontline clinicians ... so that they are prepared to handle any enquiries they may get". He added: "We fully expect to resume the programme in the coming days."

Meanwhile "The jab to save life took a life," was among the messages posted yesterday on the Blue Coat School website. "RIP Natalie – love and prayers to your devastated family".

Scores of similar tributes were left to the 14-year-old girl, Natalie Morton, who collapsed and died at the school in Coventry after receiving her first cervical cancer jab on Monday as part of the national immunisation programme against the disease.

Julie Roberts, the school's headteacher, said special assemblies were being held to support the children. "We have made provision for counselling and we have a school chaplain for every year. As far as the school is concerned, our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and our first priority has to be the children."

The Department of Health said it was working closely with the NHS and regulatory bodies to investigate the details of the case. "No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known," a spokesman said.

The batch of vaccine from which Natalie was vaccinated had been quarantined "as a purely precautionary measure", he said. The vaccine had passed the "rigorous safety testing" needed for it to be used in the UK and Europe and had a "strong safety record".

The spokesman said: "There is no reason for the campaign to be suspended or interrupted. However, we recognise that minor delays may occur in the next day or so in some areas."

Doctors and medical charities yesterday urged parents not to panic. Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, has been licensed in 95 countries and millions of doses have been given worldwide, including 1.4 million in the UK.

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency said there had been 4,657 suspected reactions to Cervarix reported in the UK. It added that it had received 2,137 reports between 14 April 2008 and 23 September this year.

Doctors and the public are encouraged to report any adverse event, however unlikely its connection with the vaccine, so that drug safety experts can examine them for patterns. Most reported reactions turn out to have nothing to do with their supposed cause.

David Elliman, consultant in community child health at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said yesterday: "Since the [Cervarix] vaccine was introduced, its safety has been monitored very carefully. In spite of millions of doses being given, we are not aware of any similar occurrence previously."

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    BI Manager - £50,000

    £49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

    £48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

    VB.Net Developer

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

    SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn