Gardasil, the vaccine designed to protect against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus, is responsible for the deaths of 10 adolescent girls and 140 reports of serious side effects this year in the USA.
The vaccine has been given routinely to adolescent girls when they are 12 and 13 for several years now in America, and the pattern of deaths and side effects is now starting to be repeated in other countries, such as the UK, which have only recently introduced the vaccine.
Judicial Watch, an American public watchdog group, has recently issued the latest figures on the vaccines safety. Of the 140 adverse events this year, several have included miscarriage and onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a nervous system disease that causes weakness and tingling in the arms and legs.
The vaccine has also loomed large in the publics consciousness with the story of 13-year-old Jenny Tetlock who is now almost completely paralyzed after being given the vaccine.
Meanwhile, undeterred by these worrying stories, the UK government is widening the availability of its own HPV vaccine to include teenage girls aged between 17 and 18.
Source: US News, July 2, 2008