updated 10/1/2009 9:17:43 AM ET 2009-10-01T13:17:43

A British coroner says a girl who died after receiving a vaccine against cervical cancer was likely killed by a tumor.

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Natalie Morton collapsed Monday about two hours after being given Cervarix, a vaccine which protects against two viruses that can cause cervical cancer.

Deputy coroner Louise Hunt said Thursday at an inquest into the teenager's death "it appears that Natalie died from a tumor in her chest involving her heart and her lungs."

Her mother and stepfather say that Natalie was "kind, fun-loving and had a beautiful smile. We will miss her very much."

Britain's National Health Service began offering the Cervarix vaccine to teenage girls last year. More than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine have been given out so far.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine for cervical cancer, with a drug company spokesperson saying the review was continuing. An advisory panel had recommended approval of Cervarix in the United State, noting that the vaccine appears safe and effective for girls and women ages 10 to 25. The agency does not have to follow the panel's advice, although it usually does. The Cervarix vaccine is already available in nearly 100 countries, but approval in the U.S. has been delayed since 2007.

The human papilloma virus, or HPV, is spread mainly through sexual contact. Last year, nearly 4,000 women died of cervical cancer in the U.S.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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