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Death after vaccine use investigated

The health service is carrying out an investigation into why a 14-year-old girl died in hospital after being given the cervical cancer vaccine at her school.

The victim, reportedly named Natalie Morton, died soon after she was given the HPV1 Cervarix jab at the Blue Coat Church of England School in Coventry.

A number of other girls at the school were reported to have suffered dizziness and nausea and were sent home. Natalie was reported as suffering a "rare but extreme reaction" to the drug, which has been given out more than 1.4 million times.

Joint Director for Public Health for NHS Coventry and Coventry City Council, Dr Caron Grainger, said a postmortem would be needed for all the details of the death to be understood, including if it was linked to the drug use.

She said: "NHS Coventry has taken the proactive step to quarantine the batch of vaccine being used as a precautionary measure only and have informed the regulatory authority.

"We are conducting an urgent and full investigation into the events surrounding this tragedy."

Vaccination is not compulsory and consent is required before it is administered to the under-16s.

According to the NHS, Cervarix, the HPV vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, which was selected for the national immunisation programme, underwent "rigorous safety testing" as part of the licensing process.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

NHS Coventry