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Cervical cancer vaccinations postponed

Sarah Boseley and James Sturcke
London Guardian [1]
Tuesday, Sept 29th, 2009

Public health officials struggled to reassure parents and keep the cervical cancer vaccination programme on track today as some NHS authorities and schools took the decision to postpone immunisation sessions for a day or two, following the death of 14-year-old Natalie Morton in Coventry.

NHS Coventry denied that it was unilaterally opting out of the programme while the medicines regulator leads an investigation to find out whether the jab caused, contributed to, or played no role in Natalie’s death. A spokesman said the cessation of clinics was just temporary.

“NHS Coventry has not suspended its local HPV programme in the city,” he said. “We have taken the decision to reschedule the catch-up clinics planned for today and tomorrow to be able to brief our frontline clinicans who are responsible for delivering the vaccine programme in the community, so that they are prepared to handle any inquiries they may get. We fully expect to resume the programme in the coming days.”

Other NHS bodies and schools said they had been forced to cancel clinics scheduled for today while they checked the batch numbers of vaccines they were about to use, following Department of Health instructions. The batch used in Natalie’s vaccination has been withdrawn for investigation.

Full article here [1]