The parents of 65 chronically ill teenage girls who claim they are suffering serious side effects from the HPV cervical cancer vaccine have joined a support group to get help for their daughters.
The group, REGRET, was set up in May by members of 10 families who believe their daughters became seriously ill following administration of the vaccine.
Health authorities here have received 945 reports of suspected adverse effects from the HPV vaccine.
Last month, the European Medicines Agency launched a review of its safety. It will examine two conditions — a chronic pain condition known as complex regional pain syndrome, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, associated with heart rate increase.
However, the agency also said there should be no change to national HPV vaccination recommendations.
The HSE has said the human papillomavirus vaccine is considered “safe and well tolerated”, with no known long-term effects.
One of the founder members of REGRET, Ann Fitzpatrick from Ballybar, Co Carlow, claims her daughter was left chronically ill and unable to attend school after receiving the vaccine almost three years ago. She said her daughter was just 12 when she had her first epileptic fit at a youth disco in Carlow. It was a month after she received the vaccine. She has reflux seizures, an elevated heart rate, and suffers from general fatigue.
“I have a daughter who has had no schooling and has to use a wheelchair,” she said. “I just feel that her life is slipping away and I can’t help her.”
Máiréad McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament, said similar reports of girls experiencing a range of symptoms after receiving the vaccine had emerged from other states.
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