The coverage of the cervical cancer jab has been ridiculous, with a flood of speculation that the girl who died was killed by the jab followed by a trickle of reporting that she probably wasn't.
Of course it it possible that some people will have bad reactions to some vaccines even if that doesn't appear to have occurred here. However as Theodore Dalrymple points out we have become so accustomed to the benefits of vaccination that the minuscule risks are no longer weighed against the dangers of infectious diseases.
The comments on this Daily Mail thread have to be read to be believed, with a solid majority of commentators peddling psuedo science, hypochondria and conspiracy theories (I'm not a fan of the government but anyone who thinks they are covering up the mass poisoning of children to protect the pharmaceutical industry's profits is insane).
Although deaths among 14 year old girls are very rare they do happen, the risk of death at that age is around 1 in 5000. So if there are roughly 500,000 14 year old girls in the UK then around 100 will die each year. If they have all received a jab that year then it is highly likely that once every couple of years someone will die with 24 hours of being vaccinated. These will be heavily publicised whereas the far more frequent deaths from HPV related cancers among adults will be ignored, unless it's Jade Goody.
As there are several routine vaccinations at around that age, it is amazing that more deaths don't get spuriously linked to vaccinations.
Tracing the lost River Westbourne
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