Cervical cancer vaccine has made my daughter ill
Published 15/07/2015 | 08:26
A woman has told how she believes a vaccine given to her daughter to prevent cervical cancer has left her with long-term health problems.
Kiva Murphy (44), from Swords, said her daughter Kelly Power (17) received the first dose of Gardasil vaccine in September 2011 when she was 13.
Problems began to arise around six months later, she said.
Ms Murphy is now seeking a meeting, along with other concerned parents, with Health Minister Leo Varadkar to discuss the issue.
Ms Murphy said Kelly's problems began with back pain and a specialist prescribed anti-inflammatories, but there was a further deterioration in her health.
"I kept saying there was something wrong, that she hadn't been right since the vaccination," she said.
"She was a very sporty child. She was very good in school and won student of the year in first year."
Kelly suffered from massive headaches, chronic fatigue and pain throughout her body.
Her mother said she kept being told that the problems were not a side-effect of the vaccine.
The HSE said in a statement that Gardasil is considered safe and well-tolerated.
"The most frequently reported side-effects are local redness and/or swelling at the point of injection and fever," said a spokesperson.
"These are typical and usually mild and temporary reactions to any kind of vaccination."
Each year in Ireland, around 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 100 die from the disease.
All cervical cancers are linked to high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types.
HPV vaccines, of which two are licensed for use in Ireland, protect girls from cervical cancer when they are adults.
The vaccine used in the HPV school vaccination programme is Gardasil, and the contract was awarded after a tender.
"Like Ireland, every one of the many countries implementing HPV vaccination programmes are doing so in the best interest of their citizens, to maximise health, prevent disease and prolong life," the HSE said.
Meanwhile, Gardasil manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur MSD said nothing was more important to it than the safety of its vaccines.
"We are confident in the safety profile of Gardasil," it said, adding that it was the result of more than 10 years of research and development.
An Irish support group, REGRET (Reactions and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma), has been established.