A mother has claimed a cancer vaccine left her daughter reliant on a wheelchair and virtually housebound.
Caran Dynan, 37, says her daughter Amy, 19, began suffering health problems a week after having the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine at school.
And now the mum-of-two says parents should be given more information about possible side effects of the drug which helps protect women against cervical cancer.
Experts say the vaccine, Gardasil, is ‘extraordinarily’ effective at preventing HPV, which is said to be responsible for around 90 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.
But Caran, from Kilsyth, in North Lanarkshire, believes the jab caused her daughter to suffer at least 14 different physical and mental health problems.
These included extreme, chronic fatigue, numbness in her lower legs, constant headaches, irregular heart rate, depression and cognitive impairment.
Caran says her daughter had to leave school and has not left the house alone, for at least four years because of mobility problems.
While Caran says doctors have dismissed any connection between her symptoms and the vaccine, she says they have not come up with an alternative diagnosis.
Caran, who works as a clerical assistant, said: “At first, Amy was fainting and she had never fainted before in her life.
“She became sort of detached from her friends, very anxious and unable to talk to anyone she didn’t know. She was in tears all the time.
“She was very, very tired and sleeping all day. We had thought there was a bullying issue at school but there wasn’t.
“She lost her appetite and she was missing a lot of school. To this day, she hardly eats.
“We took her to a counsellor as there was a point where she was having a lot of dark thoughts and we became very worried.
“She had to leave school, she wasn’t getting the work done, and she wasn’t able to concentrate and they eventually took her into a meeting and said, she was at the age where she could leave.
“She cannot walk unaided, she struggles about the house on crutches because the doorways are too narrow for her wheelchair, which she uses on the rare occasion she is out of the house.
“She is 19 years old now and has not been out of the house alone in about four years. It all stems from around the time she had the vaccine.
“I remember looking it up (online) and everything fell into place. She has seen several doctors and I’ve told them my concerns about it. I haven’t seen a single practitioner willing to say it’s attributed to the vaccine. But they don’t know what’s wrong.
“She’s had MRI scans, heart scans and we are not getting any answers.”
The safety and the efficacy of the vaccine have been tested by numerous independent investigations world-wide involving millions of people.
It was concluded the vaccine had a favourable safety profile.
Caran, who is also mum to eight-year-old John-Jack, says she has been in touch with 76 families across Scotland who have all reported side-effects from the vaccine.
She has also launched a support group as part of the Association of HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters, which claims 528 families have been affected in the UK.
Immunisation against HPV has been on offer in secondary schools in Scotland since 2008. Uptake has always been high – 9 out of 10 girls choose to get the vaccine.
Evidence shows a high uptake of the HPV vaccine has helped to reduce the levels of cancer-causing HPV in young women in Scotland by 90 per cent.
But Caran, who is married to John, 48, says she regrets the decision to consent to the vaccine, “every single day.”
She said: “The child and their parent/guardian should be able to decide whether they feel the potential benefits of the HPV Vaccine outweighs the risk of side effects.
“They should be given the full facts with regards to risk factors and side effects as well as actual statistics of proven cervical cancer preventions, in order that a well-considered decision can be made.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case here in Scotland, The child is given a Vaccine Guide and a Consent Form. No more, no less.
“They are not told about the life-changing side-effects.
“Maybe it is reducing the risk of HPV but it’s a sexually transmitted disease and she isn’t getting out and having the life a teenager should anyway.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2008 it has been used by millions of girls across the UK and around the world, and comprehensive research has found that it is extremely effective in reducing the incidence of the types of HPV which are known to cause cervical cancer.
“As with all vaccines and medicines, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitors and provides advice on the safety of the HPV vaccine in the UK, and the vaccination programme follows recommendations supported by expert independent advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
“The MHRA continue to advise that the vaccine has a very good safety profile.
“The MHRA keeps the HPV vaccine under close and continual review and would take regulatory action if new evidence emerged which called into question the safety of the HPV vaccine or any other vaccine currently in use.
“We would encourage all those eligible to take up the offer of HPV vaccination.”
By Ben Gelblum and Ellie Forbes