Spain has suspended a batch of Sanofi-Aventis SA and Merck & Co.’s cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil after two teenagers who were injected with the substance went into convulsions. The 14-year-olds were hospitalised, and the government has suspended the use of the vaccine batch without withdrawing it from the market, according to Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the vaccine joint venture between Sanofi and Merck. The teenagers were among a group of patients who received the shots in Valencia. Over 75,000 doses of the batch have been distributed throughout Spain, and Valencia's health office says that regional health authorities purchased around 20,000 for vaccination programmes while the rest were bought by pharmacies. On its website, Spain’s Health Ministry says that experts are now investigating the possible link between the vaccine and the girls’ symptoms. Merck revealed earlier this month that it expects 2009 sales of Gardasil, which vaccinates patients against the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer, to total US$300m less than forecast because the vaccine has failed to catch on with young women between the ages of 18 and 26.