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Fury at HSE as cancer jab sparks illness

A MOTHER whose 13-year-old daughter got sick within hours of receiving the HPV vaccination against cervical cancer, has accused the HSE of "disgraceful dishonesty".

Elaine Sammon, of Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, says she is now "deeply distrustful" of the authority whose "lack of transparency and honesty has left me feeling very angry".

Elaine's daughter was given the vaccine last month and within an hour she rang home telling her mother she felt "dizzy, nauseous, had a pounding headache and that her legs weren't working properly.

"I got a terrible fright as I was unprepared for any such reactions," says Elaine.

The concerned mother later found out that her daughter and "about 25pc" of the others who got the vaccine were sent home from school.

"I asked whether I should bring her to the doctor but was told by a nurse not to worry that this reaction was standard.

"My daughter went to bed and recovered though did complain of aches over the following days. However a friend's headache continued for three days and a rash developed which spread from her legs up over her torso."



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She says she had given her consent for her daughter's HPV vaccination "based on what I now consider to be very inadequate information".

The leaflet she had received "stated that the vaccine is very safe and referred the reader to the Irish Medicines Board for reports of side effects". When Elaine checked the manufacturer's website and that of the European Medicines Agency "it listed fainting, nausea and dizziness as common reactions.

"I can only wonder why the HSE do not consider it appropriate to state this in their information leaflet.

"Instead, I and other parents are left unprepared for such reactions.

"If I had been aware of some of the more serious potential side effect, I might not have given consent".

She says she would not now allow her daughter to have any further doses.

At least 145,000 doses of the vaccine were administered up to last June as part of the HSE schools programme.

csheehy@herald.ie