Manchester Evening News | 9 May 2016
The family claim a doctor dismissed her condition was linked to the HPV vaccine jab and astonishingly even branded her a ‘lazy child’ before she was sent home
A teenage girl died just five days after having a cervical cancer jab.
Shazel Zaman, 13, was suffering with a severe headache, vomiting and dizziness after having the jab.
Her symptoms became so severe that her family took her to Bury’s Fairfield Hospital.
But the family claim that a doctor dismissed her condition was linked to the HPV vaccine jab and astonishingly even branded her a ‘lazy child’ before she was sent home.
She was found collapsed unconscious with no pulse an hour later at her home in Bury, and died in hospital about four hours later.
Doctors had told her family they believed she might have a stomach bug and told them to bring her back to hospital if her condition worsened.
Now Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has launched an investigation into the standard of care Shazel received at the hospital.
Shazel’s family believe her death is linked directly to her having the vaccine.
She had been given her second course of the HPV vaccine at Derby High School in Bury on April 13, when she became ill. She died on April 17.
Her sister, Maham Hussain, 19, said: “She had the injection on the Wednesday. On Friday she was complaining of a sore arm – no swelling just redness.
“On the Saturday she complained of a severe headache, and by the evening she was throwing up. Come Sunday she was very pale, and my aunt took her to Fairfield.
“Whilst she was there she was in and out of consciousness. My aunt had to get a wheelchair for her.
“She had a blood test, and her heart rate checked, and everything was said to be nornal.
“She was asked to provide a urine test and when my aunt took her to the toilet she fell to the floor, she was so drowsy.
“My aunt took her back to the doctor and that’s when the doctor made the comment that Shazel ‘came across as a lazy child’.
Shazel’s aunt, Saimah Naseem, who took her to Fairfield, said: “I was shocked. That was a horrible thing to say. One of the nurses also made the comment ‘she’s fine’.”
Maham said: “I was at home when Shazel returned. She was in a really bad state. As soon as she came home my aunt put her to bed.
“My aunt gave her water so she wouldn’t dehydrate. My aunt and grandmother kept checking on her.
“An hour later she went blue. She had no pulse. The paramedics were here in seven minutes but she was not responding.
“At hospital it was just the machines that were keeping her alive.”
The family said that following her death she underwent a CT scan but it was unable to find a cause.
They then paid £670 for an MRI scan at Oldham Royal Hospital.
That too was inconclusive and an autopsy has now been carried out but the results will not be available for several months.
Mahan said: “The family strongly believe that there is a link between her death and the vaccination.
“Before that she was perfectly normal, and active. Our own GP was really shocked that she had passed away. The reason we are speaking out is to raise awareness of what might happen.”
“I don’t think the hospital took her seriously. If they had done more tests they could have picked something up.”
The family have praised staff from St Luke’s C of E Primary School, where Shazel was a pupil before moving to Derby High for their support.
Maham said: “Shazel had lots of friends. The support from St Luke’s for our family has been fantastic, especially the head teacher, Mrs Melanie Michael. The whole community is shocked by Shazel’s sudden death.”
Shazel leaves another sister, Amaima, eight, and two brothers, Aman, 11, and Zain, seven.
Investigations have been launched into Shazel’s treatment at hospital and whether her death was linked to the HPV jab.
In a letter to the child’s mother, Rob Barrow, Assistant Directorate Manager at Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which runs Fairfield Hospital in Bury, said: “In line with national and Trust policy, we will be undertaking an investigation looking at the care and treatment of your daughter whilst under the care of the Trust.”
He adds: “I know there are questions you may wish to raise to be considered as part of the investigation.”
In a statement Gill Harris, Chief Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and we offer them our sincere condolences for their tragic loss. We have started a full clinical review to examine the circumstances surrounding Shazel Zaman’s death to understand what happened following her attendance at our A&E department in April. We intend to share the findings from our review with the family, with the Coroner’ office, as well as with our own staff.”
Deputy Bury Coroner, Lisa Hashmi has also commenced an investigation but will assess evidence before deciding whether to have a full inquest if she deems Shazel’s death ‘unnatural.’
A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency said: “More than three million girls have been vaccinated so far in the UK with HPV vaccine, and tens of millions more have been vaccinated globally. As with all vaccines, safety remains under continual review, and HPV vaccine has a very good safety record.
“We are aware of the tragic death of a young girl, and our thoughts are with her family. As with any serious adverse events, we will establish the facts, but there has been no suggestion from safety monitoring so far that the vaccine has been responsible for any deaths.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, said: “PHE continues to encourage all girls aged 12 to 13 to take up HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination when offered as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.
“The vaccine protects against cervical cancer, the most common cancer among women aged 15 to 34 years. There are 3064 new cervical cancer diagnoses each year in the UK, sadly causing death in around 919 of these cases according to latest figures.
“Fortunately, HPV vaccine uptake rates in England are amongst the highest in the world, with latest figures showing that around 87% of eligible girls are fully immunised. We expect the major benefit of the vaccination programme – a decrease in cervical cancer, which peaks in women between 25 and 50 – will be seen in some years’ time. It’s estimated that around 400 lives could be saved every year in the UK as a result of the programme. The current vaccine also provides protection against genital warts.”
David Mesher, HPV Lead Scientist in the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said: “The recent PHE study published in BMJ Open provides the most recent evidence that the National HPV Immunisation Programme is successfully preventing HPV infections in young women in England. The study found HPV infections in around one in five sexually active women aged 16–18 years prior to the immunisation programme in 2008.”
“This reduced to one in 25 women infected with these HPV types after 4-5 years post-vaccination in 2012-2013. These data show that, as expected, the HPV immunisation programme in England is reducing HPV and doing so very substantially. We observed a clear correlation between vaccination coverage and reduced type 16 and 18 HPV infections. This adds to our confidence that the programme will achieve its aim of reducing cervical cancer.”