HPV vaccine news

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The Christmas issue of Passion featured an article about the new HPV vaccination programme. From Autumn 2008, all 12-13 year old girls in England have been offered the HPV vaccine in a bid to fight cervical cancer.  A catch-up programme began earlier this year to target girls up to 18 years of age. The introduction of the vaccine was controversial as it does not protect against all forms of HPV and as HPV is symptom-free, regular cervical screening is still essential. It was also unclear how safe the vaccine, Cervarix, was and how thoroughly it had been tested before being launched across the UK. 

This week, several girls have been featured in the press having fallen ill soon after being vaccinated with Cervarix. A recent report from the MHRA showed that out of the 700,000 girls vaccinated in 2008, over 1,300 girls had officially reported an adverse reaction. These reactions include fainting, black outs, dizziness, convulsions, exhaustion, aching joints, sore arms, nausea, sight problems and numbness in the limbs.

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