Encephalitis Cervarix

Mum’s worries over girl’s smear jab



The mother of a 13-year-old Shropshire girl struck down by a mystery virus is concerned a cervical smear jab given to her daughter could be connected to her falling ill.

Paige Brennan, of Telford, remains poorly in hospital after she was struck down in March. She is being treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where her mother, Margaret, said that her condition had improved slightly.

The Thomas Telford School pupil fell ill with encephalitis, a rare brain virus, and NMDA, where her antibodies started attacking her brain.

She was “perfectly normal” until she came home from school with a headache. Within hours she was having seizures and ended up in intensive care, said her mother.

Mrs Brennan, of The Rock, said: “She is slightly better but is still quite poorly. She might be there for Christmas. They said it would be a long time.

“We are still playing a waiting game to see how she comes out of it. She is going in the right direction.”

She added: “I think it was the cervical smear injection. She had that a week before. It’s proving it.”

She said Paige was now out of the critical stage but was still up and down with the teenager sometimes being able to stand up and sometimes not.

Mrs Brennan said Paige, who is being fed through a tube, would now look at them when they spoke whereas before she did not.

She said she wanted to thank everybody who had supported her, her husband, Jim, 48, and Paige’s sister, Chloe, who will be 12 on August 23.

Chris Weiner, consultant in public health at NHS Telford and Wrekin, said: “More than 800,000 doses of Cervarix have now been administered in the UK, with several million doses distributed worldwide.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine carries any long-term side effects. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency reviews each individual report of a suspected side effect.

“If parents or young people are worried about the safety of any vaccine they should speak to their GP to discuss concerns, or visit www.immunisation.nhs.uk where they can find more information about all vaccinations routinely given.”