21 JAN 11 @ 01:41AM BY DENICE BARNES
MOTHER of three Lyndsey Bourne has a message for young women – investigate before you vaccinate.
The vaccination, an Australian first, was designed to protect against the second biggest cause of female deaths from cancer and is available free to women under 26.
The government has funded the national program in which millions of women and young girls have been vaccinated over the past five years.
It is administered as a series of three injections over seven months.
Ms Bourne had her first injection in December 2007, and her second in March 2008.
It was at that appointment she mentioned to her GP she was tired and had joint pain.
She never went back for the third injection fearing her physical state was a reaction to the vaccination.
“I had a newborn baby I couldn’t even pick up,” she said. “I had to use furniture to crawl up to get off the ground. I thought I had rheumatoid arthritis.
“I was a 27-year-old woman in an old person’s body.”
Not long after, she was driving her son home from football training when she got pins and needles on the left side of her body. She stayed overnight in hospital, saw a neurologist and underwent an MRI but there were no answers. After reading a report about the side effects of Gardasil, Ms Bourne believed her symptoms were a reaction to the vaccine.
CENTRAL Coast Division of General Practice chairman Phil Godden said he was not aware of any patients experiencing a significant reaction to the vaccination.
“I have administered the vaccinations hundreds of times and I don’t know any other GP who has experienced a reaction,” he said.
“What has been found that if there is a severe reaction, there has normaly been other things going on. People have to be aware of the risks of any vaccination but also understand the risk of not having the vaccine.”