An 11-year-old girl died on Aug. 30, 2020 after receiving an HPV (human papillomavirus infection) vaccine for cervical cancer at her school in Maha Rat, Thailand. It is unclear how much time elapsed between the time the girl was vaccinated and her death. It is also not clear if the death was caused by the vaccine.1 2 3
The child’s mother said that her daughter went to school with a fever. The doctor who administered the vaccine did not take the child’s temperature so he was unaware she had a fever when he vaccinated her.1 2
Aside from the fever, the girl, a fifth grader, was reportedly healthy. According to her mother, “My child developed angina (chest pains caused when the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygenated blood), vomited, and later died. My child had no underlying disease. She was healthy as usual.”1 2
The Ministry of Public Health of Thailand recommends HPV vaccination as part of its national vaccination program. It recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine be given six months apart. The Ministry has provided free HPV vaccinations, using both GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix and Merck’s Gardasil vaccines, for students in fifth grade since 2017.4 5
In 2017, 11 schoolgirls developed adverse reactions (tightness in the chest, palpitations and fatigue) after they were given the HPV vaccine at a health center in Ban Krang, Thailand. Five of the girls were hospitalized.6
1 Devi. A Little Girl in Thailand Died After Getting a Vaccine For Cervical Cancer. News24xx Sept. 1, 2020.
2 Liew E. 11yo Thai Girl Dies Allegedly After Getting Vaccinated In School As Doctor Didn’t Know She Had A Fever. World of Buzz Sept. 1, 2020.
3 Surapot Sukkha. Facebook Aug. 30, 2020.
4 Chanprasertpinyo W, Rerkswattavorn C. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine status and knowledge of students at a university in rural Thailand. Heliyon Aug. 5, 2020.
5 The Nation. Almost 34,000 Prathom 5 schoolgirls to get anti-HPV vaccine. The National Thailand July 18, 2017.
6 Singha C. Schoolgirls sent to hospital after getting HPV vaccine. Bangkok Post Aug. 9, 2017.