Dutch scientists have failed to find a link between a vaccination against cervical cancer and extreme fatigue in teenage girls.
However, researchers at the Lareb laboratory, which specialises in analysing pharmaceutical side effects, say they cannot rule out the complaints being connected to the vaccine, broadcaster Nos reported on Tuesday.
Since 2009, all girls in the Netherlands are offered a vaccination against the HPV virus at the age of 13. Lareb was prompted to investigate the side effects following reports that a number of girls were experiencing long-term tiredness.
In total, Lareb has received 231 reports of side effects associated with the vaccine since 2009, of which 168 mentioned chronic fatigue.
After questioning the girls, their parents, family doctors and medical specialists, Lareb says it is unable to find a link with the vaccine or another medical cause.
‘Unfortunately, the research has not made the picture any clearer when it comes to the length of time between the vaccination and the onset of the symptoms,’ director Agnes Kant told the broadcaster. ‘The variation runs from a few days to several years.’
The Dutch public health institute RIVM is now carrying out a follow-up study. In particular, it will look at whether chronic fatigue is more common in girls who have been vaccinated.
According to British research, there are no more cases of chronic fatigue than would be expected in teenage girls and there is no evidence to link it to the HPV vaccine.
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