Source: Scottish Government
Published Wednesday, 30 September, 2009 – 11:47
Health chiefs in Scotland are taking steps to reassure girls and parents following the death of a teenager in England on the day she received the HPV vaccine, Cervarix.
As a precaution, all vaccine stocks in Scotland from the same batch as was used in the affected English school have been quarantined. Scotland’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer has instructed all health boards to take this batch out of circulation.
At this stage there is no proven link between the girl’s death and the HPV vaccine and this step is being taken in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK as a precautionary measure.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Harry Burns said:
“This death is tragic. Although no link can be made with the vaccine until all facts are known, I want to reassure girls and parents steps have been taken to put this batch beyond use.
“Scotland’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer has written to all boards today instructing them to quarantine this particular batch.
“Supplies are likely to have been used already and there have been no reports of serious side-effects, but we think it’s important to take all sensible safety precautions.
“Obviously, parents and girls are anxious but I would remind people that this is a vaccine with a very strong safety record. We await investigations by the UK regulatory authorities as a matter of priority.”
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
“It is important to take all sensible safety precautions and that is why the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer has instructed boards to quarantine this batch.
“The HPV vaccine is very safe, it has been rigorously tested and will save lives. For that reason we think it’s important to carry on with the programme, but clearly we will continue to take expert clinical advice.
“While we await the results of the investigations into this tragic death, we are taking the sensible step of taking this batch of vaccine off the shelves.”
The UK-wide body responsible for monitoring the safety of vaccines and other medicines is the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
Comment from Leslie
Why weren’t batches quarantined in the United States????? Merck, CDC, FDA all failed on this one. Certainly there is more pressure on GSK now – especially in lieu of the number of deaths and adverse reactions that are starting to come in worldwide.
This is called damage control and political posturing that is all. GSK’s marketing department is behind it all. They are working hard to for their salaries this week.