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Wisconsin middle-school girl dies after getting vaccination

The family of a 12-year-old Wisconsin girl says they’re wondering if there is any connection between her death and a visit to the doctor.

Rebecca Prohaska took her daughter, Meredith, to the doctor for a sore throat according to our sister station WITI. While she was there, Meredith had her first HPV vaccine at about 10:30 a.m.

A half-hour later, Meredith was falling asleep. Later that afternoon, Rebecca said, she went out for food and returned home to find her daughter on the floor.  Rebecca called 911 and performed CPR, but Meredith was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Meredith’s autopsy report ruled her cause of death as inconclusive, WITI reported.

“It was the hardest thing when they called and said they don’t know. There was no reason. She was the healthiest 12-year-old,” Rebecca Prohaska said. “The only thing different about that day was that shot.”

“It has to be that vaccine,” said Meredith’s father, Mark Prohaska.

The risk of serious side effects from the HPV vaccine is about one in a million, according to Dr. Geoffrey Swain of the Milwaukee Health Department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 92% of the reactions reported were classified as ‘non-serious.’

The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine is given as a series of three injections over six months, and it protects against Human Papillomavirus infection and certain cancers and conditions associated with HPV.

The Prohaska family was awaiting results from more tests. Meredith’s funeral was planned for August 9.


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