Concern over vaccine reactions

A NORTHERN Rivers mother is desperately calling for parents to 'study up' before letting their children have the new cervical cancer vaccine, following her 12-year-old daughter suffering seizures after having the jab.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said her daughter had come close to death after suffering convulsions, which she said started five minutes after the vaccine was injected.

The case comes as Sydney newspapers have reported a rise in the number of girls and women suffering reactions to the Gardasil vaccine, prompting the Australian Vaccination Network to call for the vaccine to be recalled 'until it is proven to be safe'.

“It was dreadful. She'd never had a reaction to anything like that before,” the mother said.

“The most frustrating part is that we were doubted by doctors.

“They doubted the seizures were linked to the vaccine, but it was happening right in front of them.”

Alstonville naturopath Andrea Norman has been treating the 12-year-old girl since she started having the seizures and said it had been a traumatic time for the child and her family.

“It's a pretty mean feat to pretend to seize,” Ms Norman said.

“A psychologist referred her to me, saying she was okay psychologically, and I've been working to detoxify her system.

“It's scary, but not surprising as anecdotal evidence links the vaccine to issues with the central nervous system.”

However, Dr Sue Page, vaccination spokesperson for the Northern Rivers General Practice Network, said the odds that seizures were associated with the vaccine were unlikely, as they were not associated with the virus or the substance used to carry the vaccine.

“No medication is 100 per cent safe or effective,” Dr Page said.

“But what you have to ask is: 'Does it work and is it worth putting a small number of people at risk to protect a much larger number?'

“Yes, it is early days, but it has been proven safe or it wouldn't have passed its drug trials.

“People often think an adverse event is vaccine related because it is a defined event. That's not always the case - they owe it to themselves to get properly checked out.”

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