Recently, health officials in Coventry, a city in England, suspended a vaccination program when a 14-year-old girl breathed her last some hours after she was inoculated against the virus that results in cervical cancer. The National Health Service (NHS) officials in Coventry have declared that they have stopped the immunization program for two days with a view to train the personnel who are engaged in administering the vaccine in how to answer questions from people who are apprehensive regarding the safety of the vaccination.
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In a statement released by the health authority in Coventry, the NHS said that it was completely optimistic of recommencing the vaccination program in the ensuing days. According to reports, Natalie Morton, a 14-year-old girl who was immunized at her school in Coventry, succumbed to the Cervarix inoculation some hours after she was administered the vaccine that provides fortification against two strains of the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer.
Incidentally, Natalie Morton seemed to be in good physical shape prior to being administered the Cervarix inoculation. According to the director for public health at the Coventry City Council, Caron Grainger, the local health authorities will conduct a postmortem to find out if there is any relation between Natalie Morton's untimely demise and the Cervarix vaccination. Local health officials at Coventry further said that they had already quarantined the entire batch of the vaccine that was administered to the students in Natalie Morton's school.
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On the other hand, Julie Roberts, principal of Natalie Morton's school in Coventry, has stated that in addition to the girl's death, a number of other girls have also complained of falling sick soon after they were administered the Cervarix vaccination and were immediately send off to their respective homes. It may be mentioned here that the publicly owned National Health Services (NHS) in Britain has been providing Cervarix vaccine to teenage girls since last year and thus far, more than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine have been administered under the national inoculation program against cervical cancer. Since it has been found that the virus of cervical cancer is transmitted through sexual activities, the health authorities had desired to offer the vaccine to girls when they are as young as 13 years old with a view to provide them adequate protection against this deadly disease by the time these young girls were sexually active.
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It may be noted that the cervical cancer inoculation is regularly given to millions of teenage girls in many parts of North America as well as Europe. Thus far, there has not been any question regarding the safety of this vaccine in any of these regions. However, when the cervical cancer inoculation program was first introduced in the United Kingdom, it had give rise to a controversy. Some opponents of the program had disputed that the cervical cancer vaccination would, in effect, egg on the young girls to become sexually active at a very tender age.
According to professor Malcolm McCrae, a virologist at the University of Warwick, like in the case of any medical involvement, on exceptional occasions, people may come across such disastrous and dreadful upshots. He further said that on the whole the vaccination is a highly reliable and proven inoculation that has yielded positive results vis-à-vis responding to a vital health topic like the cancer of the cervix - a malady that accounts for as many as 1,000 deaths every year in the United Kingdom alone.
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Meanwhile, according to Dr. Pim Kon, the medical director at GlaxoSmithKline UK, the company that manufactures the Cervarix vaccination, the drug firm was working in tandem with the United Kingdom Department of Health as well as the health regulators in probing into the tragic death of Natalie Morton.
As mentioned earlier, this program had sparked off a heated debate when initially launched in the United Kingdom. One of the critics of this program, Norman Wells who is from the Family Education Trust charity, argued that the cervical cancer inoculation program had the potential to make the young people feel a bogus sense of security vis-à-vis sexual activity and prompt them to believe that as they have been immunized they have protection against the most horrible consequences of sexual lewdness. Wells was of the opinion that such a false perception may encourage these young people to engage more and more in casual sexual activities without actually considering about the fall-outs of such actions.
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Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that Natalie Morton's tragic death comes at a time when the doctors are about to commence a clinical trial involving administering vaccination against another deadly disease - swine flu to children. Physicians all over England have already begun giving one of the two inoculations to around 1,000 children in the age group of six months and 12 years. While one of these vaccines against swine flu is manufactured by Baxter, the other is produced by GlaxoSmithKline, which is also the manufacturer of the Cervarix vaccination that allegedly claimed Natalie Morton's life. The clinical trial involving swine flu immunization to children with two vaccinations manufactured by two different drug firms aims to find out which of these are actually more effectual on children.
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