The parents of a schoolgirl claim their daughter has been left in a "waking coma" after suffering suspected side effects from a cervical cancer jab.
Lucy Hinks, 13, began to experience extreme exhaustion soon after having the vaccine alongside classmates at Wigton's Nelson Thomlinson School in Cumbria. Since then, her parents say her health has deteriorated so much that she has not opened her eyes for seven weeks and is unable to walk or talk.
Lucy's mother, Pauline, and father, Steve, told The News And Star newspaper they feared it could be years before she recovers and now care for her around the clock. The couple, of Port Carlisle, near Wigton, are urging parents to find out about the potential side effects of the vaccine, Cervarix.
Mrs Hinks said: "I'd not wish what we've been through on anyone. I've not seen the whites of Lucy's eyes for weeks and nobody can tell us when it will turn.
"I would urge parents to get all the facts, gather as much information as you can. Decide for yourself if it's right for your child."
Cumbria's health authority said the cervical cancer jab, used to immunise 60,000 girls in the county since September 2008, has a "strong safety record".
An NHS Cumbria spokesman said: "The vaccine has been rigorously tested and a million doses have now been given in the UK. The Cervarix vaccine which is used in England and Wales meets all the safety standards necessary for it to be used in the UK and other European countries and has a strong safety record."
According to GlaxoSmithKline, which produces Cervarix, it has been shown to be "generally well tolerated".
A spokesman for the company said: "Any suspected adverse reaction related to vaccination can be very distressing and we take these reports very seriously.
"The UK medicines safety agency regularly reviews all reported suspected adverse events and has concluded that no new or serious risks have been identified during use of Cervarix in the UK, and that the balance of benefits and risks remains positive."
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