14th May 2009, Surrey Mirror
Reigate teen unable to walk without crutches after cancer jab
A sport-loving teenager is unable to walk without crutches after being vaccinated with a controversial cervical cancer “wonder drug”.
Rebecca Ramagge, 13, has suffered excruciating joint pain and fatigue since being administered three Cervarix jabs, against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus, between September 2008 and March this year.
She also suffers dizziness, chronic fatigue, aching muscles, sight problems and nausea on a daily basis.
The pain and discomfort has become so great that she is often unable to attend her lessons at St Bede’s School, Redhill.
Her mother, Clare, of West Street, Reigate, told the Mirror how her once “fit and active” daughter now struggles to get out of bed.
“What I am looking at is a bright, alert, fit, very active young lady whose life I see wrecked.
“I see her struggling out of bed and out of chairs and often needing help to get dressed and get around.”
Mrs Ramagge, who runs South Park Motor Company, in Allingham Road, Reigate, with husband John, said she queried the symptoms with GPs after the first jab.
“After the one in September, she had problems with her knees. After the one in November, she started getting pains in her hands and legs.
Mrs Ramagge, 47, called an NHS helpline to ask about the drug and was told that one in 10 girls experience side effects such as dizziness and soreness in the arm.
After pushing further, she was told one in 100 girls have more serious problems and one in 1,000 experience side effects such as those endured by Rebecca.
The family visited their GP on numerous occasions and were eventually referred to a consultant paediatrician at East Surrey Hospital.
NHS Surrey spokeswoman Ruth Hutchinson said: “We’re very concerned to hear that Rebecca has become ill. However, I’d like to reassure people that the HPV vaccine [Cervarix] is safe.”
She added: “We’re aware of a very small number of people in the UK who have become ill and who have had the HPV vaccination; there is an established process to assess every individual and determine if there is a link between the vaccination and their symptoms.”
In the UK, girls in Year 8 at school, aged 12 to 13, have been offered an HPV vaccine since September 2008.
The vaccine the Government chose to use is Cervarix.
Yesterday (May 13), Reigate MP Crispin Blunt raised awareness of the possible side effects of the jabs to peers in the House of Commons.
He told them: “There still remain serious questions to be raised about this vaccine, the quality of the information available about its risks and the way it in which it is being marketed by the government.”
For more information if you, or your daughter, have experienced new health problems after HPV vaccination: http://timeforaction.org.uk/has-your-family-been-affected/