|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 10/01/2009 : 06:48:18
from today's Guardian what a load of ...
Natalie Morton, the 14-year-old from Coventry who died in hospital after having the cervical cancer vaccination, was not killed by the jab. Public health doctors breathed again when the preliminary result of her postmortem was released on Tuesday night. She had a serious underlying medical problem – nobody has yet specified what. Yet she may well have died because she had the jab. Though it may not have been the cause, the HPV vaccine could have been the trigger.
Vaccines are miraculous, life-saving inventions. They have stopped our babies dying of diphtheria and being disabled by polio. But they can kill. It's extremely rare, but it happens.
Let's be clear. Nobody has died from the cervical cancer HPV vaccine. But one death in the UK and 32 in the US have been linked to it – meaning that these young women died of something within seven days of receiving the jab. As with Natalie, it is highly unlikely the jab was the direct cause of death, and some of these deaths will have been totally coincidental.
Paul Hunt, consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at St George's hospital, London, says there are three categories of side-effects with vaccines: local, such as pain and redness at the injection site; general, such as fever; and severe allergic reactions. "These occur and are rare," he says. "Maybe one in 1m doses will result in a severe anaphylaxis – the serious allergic reaction some people have to a bee sting and the antidote is usually adrenalin, which vaccinators should have in case."
But beyond all that there is sometimes, as with Natalie, the existence of an unknown medical problem, which could have struck them down at any time. "It is conceivable that a child could have an underlying problem with their heart or a heart valve or an unrelated seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, which has not until that event become evident. The event could coincide with vaccination," he says. It is also possible that the vaccine – or the pain or anxiety around having the injection – could trigger the fatal episode.
Public health officials who launch immunisation programmes for an entire population are aware of these risks. But simple maths enables them to sleep at night. Vaccines do good for vast numbers of people. They save lives. In the UK, more than 1.4m doses of the HPV vaccine were given and 4,657 adverse reactions, mostly of the sore arm variety, were reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority between April 2008 and September 2009.
The death of one girl from something triggered by the vaccine – if that is what happened – is a tragedy. But set against the potential of the HPV jab to prevent maybe 400 of the nearly 1,000 deaths from cervical cancer each year, there is no contest in most medical minds. "We are saving an awful lot more than one in a million lives," says Sean Kehoe of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. "We have to keep with the positive message that there is far more benefit than risk."
But what about the parents? And here I have to acknowledge a personal interest. We are not so good at coolly considering the public health risk-benefit calculations. We try to be rational, but can't help wondering if our daughter will be the next Natalie Morton.
When the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine scare was triggered by a paper from Dr Andrew Wakefield and colleagues from the Royal Free hospital in London, who suggested a link to autism, my second daughter had not yet had the booster jab given at four years old. Nervously, in spite of my own belief in what the public health experts were saying, I delayed it. In the end, she had it during the catch-up campaign, was the only girl in the class to be called out for her jab, and fainted from the anxiety.
Now she is due to have the cervical cancer vaccine. Her older sister has had the first two of three doses. Last week, before Natalie died, I signed the permission form and sent it to school. This time, I did not hesitate. My 25-year-old niece was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year. After surgery, she seems clear, but will need regular check-ups. No cancer is anything other than horrible and we live in fear that it will return.
The risk-benefit calculation I made, with my daughters, was easy. But without cancer staring you in the face, it's harder, as many parents know. "People are very bad at estimating their own risk of anything. The fact that lots of people play the lottery shows that," says Dr Anne Szarewski of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London. "People have a completely distorted idea of risk. Sometimes they think it is much higher and sometimes they think it is much lower than it is."
She has examined many women with abnormalities that could be the precursor to cervical cancer and has no doubt about the vaccine's value, but she acknowledges how much tougher it is to make the choice for someone you love rather than for yourself. "Deciding for your daughter is a much more difficult decision," she says.
Many parents will have been reassured by NHS Coventry's statement that Natalie died because of an unknown medical problem. Many will find that scary too, just as some of us had moments of rising panic when we heard that children had died of swine flu only because of a health problem their parents had no clue about.
One often undetected condition is an irregular heart rhythm. Alison Cox, chief executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young, says it strikes without warning, can be triggered by fear or over-excitement and causes, in this country, about 12 deaths a week in under-35s. "In 80% of kids, the first symptom is sudden death," she says. She cites the example of an 18-year-old who died while cutting her birthday cake. Not every underlying condition can be screened for, but this one – an irregular heart rhythm – can.
There are no easy answers. There is no test that can rule out every conceivable medical problem. In the end, we all have to make a very personal decision, and what's worse is that we make it for our children and if anything happens to them, we will never forgive ourselves. But there are risks whatever we decide. My daughter could suffer some unexpected, incredibly rare reaction to the HPV vaccine, or she could, in a few years, have unprotected sex and develop cervical cancer, which could kill her or destroy her chances of having a family. I've made my choice and I'm sticking by it.
|15 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 11/03/2015 : 14:19:54
Schoolgirls should stop being given HPV vaccine until investigation into side effects, campaigner says
Schoolgirls should stop being given a vaccine which helps protect them from cervical cancer until a "proper investigation" is held into side effects, a campaigner has insisted.
Freda Birrell, of UK Association of HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters (AHVID), called for a moratorium on the use of the controversial HPV vaccine until more is known about "serious adverse reactions".
She made the plea as she called for the Scottish Government to hold a roundtable discussion on the safety of the vaccine, involving medical and scientific experts from both sides of the debate.
Members of Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee agreed to ask ministers for their view on this, although committee convener Michael McMahon expressed some reservations about the petition.
Mr McMahon said while Ms Birrell had "raised a lot of very important issues", he added he was unsure about what would be resolved by holding a roundtable discussion.
"I'm not quite sure how we can take this petition forward on the basis that all you are asking for is a roundtable discussion," he said.
But Ms Birrell said the point of having roundtable talks was so "you people can ask for the science" about the safety of HPV vaccines.
"Where is the science that will show there is no harm to the child?" she asked.
"That is why we asked for a roundtable so questions can be asked openly and they could be asked for that science - they will ignore us but they will not ignore you."
The campaigner told MSPs on the committee: "I have never asked for a ban on the HPV vaccines, I know it's a huge thing to do that.
"What I am asking, if it was possible for a moratorium so a proper investigation could take place to determine why certain young people are having serious adverse reactions and these serious adverse reactions are lasting for many years."
She said AHVID, which was set up earlier this year, represented those "who have had their lives turned upside down after HPV vaccine".
It has 208 members, including 15% who are in Scotland, but Ms Birrell said: "We don't know how many others are out there but for now there appears to be no end in sight."
In July the European Medicines Agency began a specific review to clarify the safety profile of HPV, with AHVID currently compiling a submission to this.
Ms Birrell said: "Of the 88 family reports analysed so far 68% reported their daughters had experienced health problems serious enough to interfere with their education, 24% reported symptoms so severe that their daughter could no longer participate in educational activities, 70% required help with daily care and a full 91% reported being told their daughter's medical conditions were psychological in origin."
She added: "I am very much aware HPV vaccines are a controversial issue and that this information put's Scotland at a cross roads with a very difficult decision to make.
"Do we accept what the manufacturer and their list of experts are saying and assume that HPV vaccines are safe and effective and there just happens to be an epidemic of psychosomatic disorders spreading round the world, affecting certain young people who have one thing in common - they were injected with the HPV vaccine.
"Or do we listen to experts from both sides, to try to discover exactly what the situation is and make every effort we can to get the problem solved?"
Sanofi Pasteur MSD which produces the HPV vaccine Gardasil said: The safety of our vaccines is of the utmost importance to us; our vaccines adhere to strict testing procedures to assess their quality, efficacy and safety before being administered to the public.
"Furthermore, an on-going assessment involving our company, health authorities and regulatory agencies at both national and international levels takes place to continuously evaluate the safety profile of our vaccines.
"We welcome any rigorous, scientifically based evaluation of the safety and efficacy of vaccines in general."
GlaxoSmithKline which markets the Cervarix HPV vaccine said: "It is GSK’s practice to monitor and routinely investigate and analyse all available safety data both from marketed use and from clinical studies for all its medicines and vaccines.
"More than 55 million doses of Cervarix have been distributed worldwide since its first market introduction in 2007.
"GSK remains confident in the benefit-risk profile of Cervarix to help prevent cervical cancer and this view is supported by several independent health organisations.
"The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have made independent reviews of the safety and efficacy of HPV vaccination and conclude the benefits of the vaccines outweigh any associated risks. These organisations all continue to recommend HPV vaccination to help protect women against cervical cancer."
SEE COMMENTS POSTED:
||Posted - 06/04/2015 : 07:56:16
Note comments by Tom Jefferson of Cochrane...
Just how safe is the cervical cancer jab? More and more families say their daughters suffered devastating side-effects from the HPV vaccine and experts are worried too
Katie Green was 15 when she was given the human papillomavirus jab. Shortly after her first shot of Cervarix Katie’s arm began to swell. After the second jab she became dizzy, nauseous and generally unwell. Katie's mother thinks the jab has damaged her daughter's nervous system
By JOHN NAISH FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 07:14 EST, 2 June 2015 | UPDATED: 02:05 EST, 3 June 2015
When Katie Green was 15, like thousands of schoolgirls she was given a jab against the human papillomavirus (HPV). This has been linked to cervical cancer and, under an NHS scheme introduced in 2008, all girls aged 12 to 15 are offered the vaccine against it.
In November 2009, Katie brought home a school note about having the jab. Her mother Carol, 50, a teacher in the family’s home town of Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, was happy to agree.
‘Katie had all the other vaccinations and was fine,’ she says. ‘Apart from asthma and allergies to pets, her health had always been robust.’
But shortly after her first shot of Cervarix (one of the two brands of the vaccine), Katie’s arm swelled. ‘It stayed swollen for days and she felt groggy,’ says Carol.
These side-effects are not uncommon and are warned of in literature given with the vaccine.
A month later, Katie had the second of the three-course jab and her ordeal truly began. ‘Next morning, she was uncharacteristically late rising for school,’ says Carol. ‘When I woke her, she didn’t seem with it. She had wet the bed, which was completely unusual. Now I wonder if she had suffered a fit in the night.’
When Katie did get up, her balance was affected — the jab’s list of short-term side-effects said recipients could feel dizzy, nauseous and generally unwell, so she was kept off school for three days.
But more worrying signs appeared, particularly a lump the size of half an egg on the arm where she’d had the injection.
‘It was still there when we went to see the GP a few days later to check if all was well,’ says Carol. ‘The GP was reassuring and the following week Katie returned to school and tried to play rugby, but she went into a total relapse, feeling dizzy, exhausted and unwell.
‘Later that month we tried to hold a 16th birthday for her, but it was a disaster. She was so dizzy she looked as if she was on a ship.
‘We took her back to the GP who gave us a “to whom it may concern” letter, saying his strong feeling is that the vaccine contributed to Katie’s illness.
‘But when we have taken Katie for hospital checks and tests, she has been given no treatment and has been labelled as having post-viral syndrome [where sufferers have long-term disabling tiredness after fighting a virus].’
At 15, Katie had been flying high academically, played cricket for Worcestershire and joined trials for the England women’s junior rugby squad. Today, aged 20, it’s a different story.
She can’t run more than a few steps and is on incapacity benefits due to a ‘brain fog’ so severe she finds work or study impossible.
During a particularly grim six-month period after she first became ill, Carol had to puree all her food because she was unable to eat properly due to a lack of co-ordination.
The family have no doubt what is to blame for this catastrophic change — the HPV jab.
And the Mail has been contacted by a growing number of families with similar stories of fit, healthy daughters disabled by mysterious neurological disorders shortly after HPV jabs.
Some have been so serious that their families believe it has driven the girls to attempt suicide.
The Greens are among 65 families in one online network who believe their daughters have been afflicted. That is a tiny proportion of girls given the jab, but the families passionately believe they deserve investigation and that others may not recognise their sickness as related to the HPV vaccine.
Now it seems their suspicion might have scientific foundation. An article published last week in the journal Clinical Rheumatology warned that chronic pain conditions are ‘more frequent after HPV vaccination’.
Researcher Dr Manuel Martinez-Lavin warned that fibromyalgia — which causes widespread pain — and a condition called postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), seem to be linked to the jabs. PoTS is a disorder of the nervous system thought to be caused by disturbances to the immune system. Symptoms include fainting, dizziness, inability to concentrate and fatigue. The condition can be long-term or even permanent.
Last week’s report is not the only one to question the vaccination’s safety. In January, a study of 53 girls and young women in the Danish Medical Journal concluded they were all suffering from various types of neurological damage consistent with ‘suspected side-effects to the HPV vaccine’.
Another study, in the European Journal of Neurology examined the cases of six young women who had developed PoTS within weeks of receiving HPV jabs. It, too, suggested there may be a link.
In the U.S., France, Spain and Denmark, more than 250 court cases are being mounted over HPV vaccinations. Damages have been won in the U.S. and France.
Last year, Japan withdrew its recommendation for the HPV vaccine because of reported side-effects and leading British scientists are beginning to question the vaccine’s value.
Last September, public health analysts at Queen Mary University of London questioned the scientific basis used by the World Health Organisation in 2009 to justify HPV mass vaccination. ‘It is based on weak evidence and data on long-term efficacy are lacking,’ they warned in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Beyond feared side-effects, there is also concern that the vaccinations used in Britain don’t offer adequate protection against HPV. Evidence gathered by the NHS in Scotland and Wales indicates the jabs may actually expose young women to a greater risk of cervical cancer.
The reason? There are more than 100 strains of HPV. Two, HPV16 and HPV18, are blamed by proponents of the vaccine for 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases. Cervarix targets only these two strains, while the other vaccine, Gardasil, also protects against two more.
By knocking out only these strains, vaccination opens up the opportunity for other strains to thrive in their place, say critics. These strains are also sexually transmitted, but vaccinated girls may believe they are protected against HPV (and thus against cervical cancer) being transmitted by unprotected sex.
Nevertheless, MPs are pushing for the HPV programme’s coverage to be doubled by giving it to schoolboys as well as girls as a way of reducing penile cancer.
The UK medicines watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), operates the Yellow Card Scheme, where doctors and the public can report side-effects of drugs.
In 2009, an MHRA paper revealed more than 300 schoolgirls a year are reporting side-effects from HPV jabs, which include severe pain and nervous disorders such as facial palsy. The agency received 3,972 Yellow Cards between 2010 and 2013. More than 940 were categorised as serious.
Yet the MHRA is not worried. In January last year, Dr Ian Hudson, the MHRA chief executive, wrote to Richard Benyon, the Conservative MP for Newbury, saying: ‘The fact that we have received more reports for HPV vaccine than other vaccines does not in itself raise any particular concerns.’
This is typical of official responses to concern about the vaccine, says British epidemiologist Dr Tom Jefferson, a global authority on vaccine trial evidence, who works for the scientific body, the Cochrane Collaboration.
‘The HPV vaccine’s benefits have been hyped and the harms hardly investigated,’ he says. He is highly critical of the drug company funded clinical trial data that is used to justify the use of mass vaccination.
He adds that pharmaceutical companies may hide negative results deep in their trial data and hugely inflate the benefits.
‘The reason for introducing vaccination against HPV was to prevent cancer,’ he says. ‘But there is no clinical evidence to prove it will do that. We have to tread a very careful line, weighing the potential benefits and harms that a vaccine may cause. With HPV, the harms have not been properly studied.
‘It is extremely difficult to publish anything against HPV vaccination. Vaccines have become like a religion. They are not something you question. If you do, you are seen as being an anti-vaccine extremist. The authorities do not want to hear “side-effect”.
‘Some in the Department of Health believe any mention of unexpected harm from a vaccine must be stamped out in case it lowers uptake.’
Last June, Carol Green was among 12 families who met Luciana Berger, then shadow minister for public health, lobbying for help for daughters thought damaged by HPV jabs.
Ms Berger was ‘wary of commenting because vaccine stories in the media can be dangerous’, said her spokeswoman. ‘She attended the meeting in a listening capacity. She hasn’t asked any official questions as a result.’
This is disappointing for Katie’s family who simply want recognition she has been vaccine-damaged. ‘We still hope she will get better,’ says Carol. ‘But if we are to mount a legal claim, we have to do it before her 21st birthday to beat the deadline. We can’t get a solicitor to represent us. They say in English law we have to prove in court that the vaccine caused the damage.
‘For that we need evidence from a big scientific study of vaccinated girls. But no one is doing that. Who knows how many other worried parents may exist?’
A spokesperson for GSK, manufacturers of Cervarix, told Good Health: ‘Patient safety is always GSK’s first priority. A vaccine is only ever approved for the public if clinical trials show the benefits of vaccination outweigh any risks associated with its use.
‘Governments globally scrutinise clinical trial data through independent medicines review agencies before vaccines can be approved for use. We remain confident in the favourable benefit-risk profile of Cervarix to help prevent cervical cancer.’
Katie’s energy and balance have improved a little, but she can’t play sport. ‘I think she may have suffered an acute immune response that has damaged her nervous system,’ says Carol.
Some scientific sources say privately that a major reassessment of the evidence behind the vaccine may be in the pipeline.
For this to happen, all clinical trial data collected by the pharmaceutical companies must be analysed independently.
The mysterious illnesses in girls such as Katie just after HPV vaccinations might be rare. And they may, indeed, be nothing to do with the jabs. But before the Government doubles the HPV programme by including boys, it must properly examine the disturbing evidence so far.
If girls have been damaged, they must surely have their cases acknowledged, treated and justly compensated.
||Posted - 06/01/2015 : 16:19:36
By Fiona MacRae
1st June 2015
Tens of thousands of teenage girls believed to have fallen ill with debilitating illnesses after routine HPV cervical cancer jab
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency had 8,228 adverse reaction reports in 10 years - only estimated 10 per cent of real tally
Side effects including chest and abdominal pains, exhaustion, breathing difficulties, fibromyalgia and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
Some have been left wheelchair-bound by apparent effects of vaccine
Despite this MHRA said it had no concerns on numbers of HPV complaints
Thousands of teenage girls have suffered serious illness after being vaccinated against cervical cancer.
Official figures show the HPV vaccination programme drew 8,228 reports of suspected side-effects over the last decade – almost more than all other routine jabs put together.
More than a quarter of these reports were classed as 'serious', a category that includes symptoms severe enough to require hospital treatment or even be life-threatening.
Worried mothers have told how their previously healthy daughters have suffered fits, extreme tiredness and even been left wheelchair-bound after being vaccinated in their early teens.
In some cases, the girls started to feel ill on the day they were vaccinated. Others became sick several weeks later.
Concern about side-effects has led Japan's health ministry to stop recommending girls be vaccinated.
European authorities are investigating possible links with the rare heart condition postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
But UK watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which collected the figures on suspected side-effects, urged parents not to worry.
It said the HPV vaccine has been given to more than eight million people in the UK, and there are 'no major safety concerns'.
Charities warned that cervical cancer can cause infertility and early menopause, as well as kill.
Cervical cancer is the most common form of the disease in women under-35. The HPV jab has routinely been given to 12 and 13-year-old girls since 2008. It prevents infection by the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus which is behind the majority of cervical cancer cases.
It is thought the vaccination programme could save almost half of the 1,000 lives lost each year to the disease.
However, campaigners say parents are not being given enough information about potential side-effects of the vaccine.
And they say girls who fall ill after vaccination are not being taken seriously by GPs when parents suggest the illness could be vaccine-related. Jackie Fletcher, of pressure group Jabs, said: 'Previously fit and healthy young girls have developed seizures or viral fatigue, some have lost the ability to walk. And years on, some have still not recovered.'
Manuel Martinez-Lavin, an expert in chronic pain, has urged doctors to be aware of possible links between the jab and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, where simply standing up after lying down can trigger an abnormally high heart rate.
He is also concerned about links with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes long-term pain all over the body.
Writing in the journal Clinical Rheumatology, Dr Martinez-Lavin said while vaccination has been 'one of the most effective public health measures in the history of medicine', side-effects seem to be more common with the HPV vaccine than with others.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said the 'expected benefits in preventing illness and death from HPV infection outweigh the known risks'.
Importantly, the 8,228 adverse drug reaction reports in the past decade about the jab relate to suspected side-effects. They do not prove a link with the vaccine.
Robert Music, of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said: 'We strongly encourage females to protect themselves against cervical cancer and this includes both getting vaccinated and attending regular screening when invited.'
And Claire Knight, Cancer Research UK's health information manager, said: ‘The HPV vaccine is very effective at preventing infection by the two types of human papillomavirus responsible for around 7 out of 10 cervical cancers.
'If it were to be proven that the vaccine is linked to these illnesses in girls that would be a concern, but the vaccine has been rigorously tested in trials and shown to be safe.’
||Posted - 06/01/2015 : 16:12:02
Independent on Sunday
31st May 2015
By Paul Gallagher
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
When Caron Ryalls was asked to sign consent forms so that her then 13-year-old daughter, Emily, could be vaccinated against cervical cancer, she assumed it was the best way to protect Emily’s long-term health.
Yet the past four years have turned into a nightmare for the family as Emily soon suffered side effects. Only two weeks after her first HPV injection, the teenager experienced dizziness and nausea.
“The symptoms grew increasingly worse after the second and third injections, and I went to A&E several times with severe chest and abdominal pains as well as difficulty breathing,” Emily, now 17, said. “One time I couldn’t move anything on one side of my body. I didn’t know what was happening.”
Emily is one of the thousands of teenage girls who have endured debilitating illnesses following the routine immunisation. She is yet to recover and has no idea when her health will return to normal. vaccine1 “Prior to the vaccination Emily had an ‘unremarkable’medical history with no problems,” said Mrs Ryalls, 49, from in Ossett, West Yorkshire. “She was considered very healthy and represented the school at hockey, netball, athletics and was a keen dancer. She was also a high achiever at school, in the top sets for everything and predicted at least 10 GCSE with high grades. Her future was very bright.”
Mrs Ryalls reported Emily’s condition to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). In the 10 years to April this year the agency received almost 22,000 “spontaneous suspected” adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports in 13 routine immunisation categories including flu, MMR, tetanus, diphtheria and polio, according to a Freedom of Information response released earlier this month.
In the HPV category alone, ADRs numbered 8,228, of which 2,587 were classified as “serious” – defined by several criteria, including whether it resulted in hospitalisation or was deemed life threatening.
The MHRA said that the figures did not reflect the true amount of ADRs because of an “unknown and variable level of under-reporting”. The agency estimates it receives about 10 per cent of all reports, suggesting the actual number of girls suffering ADRs could be tens of thousands. It also said that “many millions” of the vaccinations were administered in this time frame without any problems reported.
“Every visit to a doctor was met with rolled eyes,” said Mrs Ryalls. “Every mention of the HPV vaccination was met with hostility and ridicule. We were eventually referred to a local paediatrician who told her to push herself to get back to normal – ‘We all feel tired in the mornings, Emily’ was one of the remarks regarding her complete exhaustion.”
Two years after falling ill, Emily was eventually referred to Dr Pradip Thakker at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham; he used a tilt table test to diagnose PoTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), a condition where moving from lying down to standing up causes an abnormally high heart rate. By this time Emily was able to manage only three to four hours of school a week. Mrs Ryalls, who had built up a small publishing company from scratch, was forced to close it and become Emily’s full-time carer.
Cancer Research UK points out that cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35. In the UK, about 3,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer and it is estimated that about 400 lives could be saved every year as a result of vaccinating girls before they are infected with the human papilloma virus.
The NHS says that the vaccine, which was introduced as part of the routine immunisation programme in 2008, protects against the two HPV types that cause 70 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer. Screening is still needed to try to pick up cervical abnormalities caused by other HPV types that could lead to cancer.
Since September 2014, girls have received only two injections; the second is taken six to 24 months after the first. The NHS says the programme has proved to be “very effective”.
However, other countries are taking action following reports of increasing numbers of girls suffering side effects. A Danish TV documentary broadcast earlier this year highlighted the large number of girls who appear to have been affected following their HPV vaccination. Some, like those the Ryalls have met in the UK, are now wheelchair-bound.
Last year, Japan withdrew its recommendation for the HPV vaccine because of reported side effects.
In an article published last week in the Springer journal Clinical Rheumatology, Dr Manuel Martinez-Lavin, who has been treating people with chronic pain conditions for more than 30 years, said these illnesses are “more frequent after HPV vaccination”. He wrote: “Vaccination has been one of the most effective public health measures in the history of medicine. However, seemingly inexplicit adverse reactions have been described after the injection of the newer vaccines vs human papillomavirus (HPV). Adverse reactions appear to be more frequent after HPV vaccination when compared to other type of immunisations.”
Dr Martinez-Lavin said PoTS and fibromyalgia are among the diseases he believes have developed after HPV vaccination, and that clinicians should be aware of the possible association between HPV vaccination and the development of these “difficult to diagnose” painful syndromes.
Mrs Ryalls and about 80 families in similar situations across the UK are taking action. They have formed the Association for HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters (AHVID) to bring families with girls adversely affected by the HPV vaccine together.
She said: “We want to have a stronger voice and we are pushing hard for regional treatment and assessment centres along the lines of Denmark and Japan. We want increased reporting of adverse reactions, better educational support and greater transparency and information to enable parents to make an informed decision regarding consent to HPV vaccination.”
Mrs Ryalls also said the AHVID wants better research and treatment for the girls’ conditions and that treatment is currently “pot luck”, as too few doctors spot the signs of PoTS and other autoimmune conditions.
“I’m not anti-vaccination,” Mrs Ryalls said, “but it’s a big area with a lot of questions. I would never say to anyone don’t have it, because it has to be a personal choice. I would say do your own research and don’t just rely on the school leaflet.”
Emily managed to return to school to complete enough GCSEs to move into the sixth-form college where she is now studying English language and photography. She hopes to study the latter at university.
The MHRA said it had no concerns on the numbers of ADRs related to the HPV vaccine and that the “expected benefits in preventing illness and death from HPV infection outweigh the known risks”.
The agency said: “The vast majority of suspected side effect reports for HPV vaccine relate to known risks of vaccination that are well described in the available product information. The reporting rate of suspected side effects, which are not necessarily proven to be caused by the vaccine, is influenced by many factors and expected to differ across vaccines. The greater number of reports for HPV vaccine does not necessarily mean that it is any less safe than other vaccines.
“Reports of PoTS following HPV vaccine remain under review by EU regulators. PoTS can occur naturally in adolescent girls and, at present, there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the vaccine is a cause. This will remain under review.”
||Posted - 04/13/2015 : 16:28:43
Medical News Today
9th January 2015
HPV test 'more accurate' than Pap for cervical cancer screening.....................
||Posted - 04/13/2015 : 16:24:39
The Star - Toronto
Study backs HPV vaccine for boys
Vaccinating boys against the human papillomavirus could help reduce throat cancers and save millions, says study in journal Cancer.
||Posted - 04/13/2015 : 16:22:02
HPV vaccines for all boys could save millions in health care costs, study suggests
Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press
||Posted - 04/13/2015 : 16:19:19
HPV vaccine for boys may prevent cancer and save money
'Morbid disease' of throat and mouth cancer often caused by HPV
Vaccinating boys against the human papillomavirus (HPV) might be cost effective over their lifetimes to prevent a type of throat and mouth cancer, new Canadian modelling suggests.
Dr. Lillian Siu, a senior medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, has treated oropharyngeal cancer that starts at the back of the throat and mouth for about 18 years, and has seen the incidence of the disease rise.
The HPV vaccine is covered by provincial medicare plans for girls to prevent cervical cancer. The vaccine also reduces anal cancer in both genders as well as some cancers of the penis and oropharyngeal cancer, which also involves the tonsils and base of the tongue.
"We would see now about 80 per cent of our oropharyngeal cancer patients are what we call HPV positive," said Siu. "It is a morbid disease so I think we have to spend some time thinking about how to prevent it."
To that end, Siu and her team created a model to compare the potential cost savings of vaccinating a theoretical group of about 190,000 boys at age 12 followed over their lifetime using factors such as vaccine cost, vaccine effectiveness, costs of cancer treatment and how the quality of life of cancer patients diminishes.
"We don't know how to predict who will get the disease and anyone who is sexually active is at risk of developing such a cancer," Siu said.
In Monday's online issue of the journal Cancer, Siu and her coauthors concluded the vaccine could potentially save between $8 million and $28 million over the boys' lifetimes, or up to nearly $42 per person per year, compared with no vaccine.
Confrontation with mortality
Siu isn't advocating for the vaccine to be offered free to boys until more research is done. "I think if we can raise the awareness to start looking at this question in greater depth, we've achieved our goal."
One limitation of the model is the researchers weren't able to account for the interaction with smoking, another risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer. In developed countries, HPV is surpassing smoking as a cause factor, she said.
Conservative MP Peter Kent became an advocate for HPV vaccination after his diagnosis in 2013.
"It was my first confrontation with mortality and I thought, well, here we go," Kent recalled. "The diagnosis was Stage 4 HPV-related cancer, which is a fairly ominous diagnosis."
Kent had seven weeks of radiation treatment and three rounds of chemotherapy.
"I don't want any youngster today to face what I did, to experience what I did, 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years down the road because it is avoidable and I think that governments have to face their responsibility and make that investment in the future."
Three doses of the vaccine cost about $500. B.C. and Quebec use two doses for girls. Currently, Alberta and Prince Edward Island cover the cost for boys. Nova Scotia's new budget includes plans to add HPV vaccines for boys in Grade 7 in the fall.
Toronto pediatrician Dr. Marvin Gans tells families about the costs and benefits of HPV vaccination for both girls and boys.
Some studies point to benefits for men by vaccinating women through herd immunity. "Clearly, the more girls that get [vaccinated] the decrease we'll see in males. However, that's not a guarantee of how to do things."
At Gans' office, Fern Stark sees the preventive value. "I think boys, teenaged boys, should have the vaccine. In fact my older son who is almost 17, has had it and I'm going to be making arrangements for my younger son, who is 13, to get it."
With files from CBC's Stephanie Matteis and Marcy Cuttler
||Posted - 10/06/2013 : 22:30:56
You're very welcome, Patricia.
I hope my suggestions prove useful.
||Posted - 10/06/2013 : 15:51:16
Thank you so much Jackie for your advice. I am very grateful.
||Posted - 10/06/2013 : 11:56:48
I'm so sorry that you are being faced with this dilemma.
I think you need to act speedily with this as your son could be persuaded by the school medical team to countermand any decision you and his father make.
I would like to speak with you about this and offer some suggestions which may also help your son to find a way through this without feeling he is the odd one out or making a hasty decision one way or the other.
I can be reached on the JABS telephone line: 01942 713565.
||Posted - 10/06/2013 : 01:12:38
My nearly 14 year old son has just informed me that his school are planning to give a vaccine for "testicular cancer" to all boys in his school! I am assuming, as I have received no information about it, that they mean the HPV vaccine. Are they allowed to promote it in this way? We have had a long conversation about it and, as I have read and researched vaccines myself, I have resolved not to vaccinate my children and so I am not inclined to allow him to have it. But it seems it is not going to be as easy for me to make that decision. He says he doesn't want to appear to be the only one not getting it. The pressure is very unfair on young people, who cannot possibly understand or absorb the implications of having this jab, or to understand any of the information in favour of non-vaccination. He doesn't know how it could be possible for people in his school or health professionals to mislead or give false information, and why should his family go against the grain? Does anyone have any advice on how to tackle this one?
||Posted - 10/04/2013 : 12:58:55
19th September 2013
Boys should get HPV cancer jab too, experts say
Public health bodies are calling for a universal vaccine for both girls and boys in the UK
By Heather Saul
Public and sexual health bodies are calling for boys to receive the HPV vaccine already offered to girls to protect them from cervical cancer.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with different forms of cancer, including cancer of the penis, vagina and mouth, and spreads through sexual contact.
Girls aged 12-13 are offered the HPV vaccination whilst at school in the UK, but the Faculty of Public Health and the British Association for Sexual Health has said that boys should also be routinely offered the jab.
HPV vaccinations currently provide protection against the two most common strains of the virus, which can cause cervical and anal cancer. The existing vaccine Cervarix was replaced with Gardasil in September 2012, which also protects against genital warts.
Speaking to the BBC, Prof John Ashton, the head of the Faculty of Public Health, said: “It seems oral sex has become a very common part of the repertoire in young people and it does seem a likely part of the story of increases in oral cancer.
“We really need to discuss oral sex as part of sex education in schools and to look closely at extending the vaccine to all men.”
There are currently more than 1,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed a year, double the number of cases seen annually during the 1990s.
He said having a reduced cancer risk because of the vaccine would be particularly beneficial for gay men.
In February the Throat Cancer Charity called for a universal HPV vaccination and urged the Government to extend the programme to all 12-year-olds, as HPV has been linked to oral sex.
The British Medical Association joined the debate in January by writing to Anna Soubry, minister for Health, urging her to introduce HPV vaccinations for young gay men attending sexual health clinics, warning that there is an “alarming increase in anal cancer in gay men”.
HPV vaccination with Gardasil, which also protects against genital warts, was introduced for girls in Australia in 2004 before being extended to boys in 2012. Australia is the only country to offer the vaccine to both girls and boys.
Despite numerous calls for a universal vaccine, the Department of Health has said it has no plans to extend the programme to boys, a decision they say is based on "an assessment of currently available scientific evidence".
“Vaccination of boys was not recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation because once 80 per cent coverage among girls has been achieved, there is little benefit in vaccinating boys to prevent cervical cancer in girls.”
||Posted - 06/07/2013 : 12:56:15
Mother’s concern over anti-cancer jab for girls
By Tom Ramage
30th May 2013
PARENTS in Badenock and Strathspey are being advised to request patient information leaflets on an anti-cancer vaccination before signing their children up to it.
The advice has come from health campaigners who have visited towns and villages throughout the strath in recent weeks including Kingussie, Grantown and Nethy Bridge to highlight their experiences with Cervarix.
It has been widely administered to 12 and 13-year-old girls as part of a UK immunisation programme. Their concerns for the treatment remains for the vaccine which recently superceded it, Gardasil.
The companies behind both insist their vaccines offer protection from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer, and the UK and Scottish governments as well as health chiefs have maintained they are perfectly safe.
However, Sherrell Halliday said that thousands of recipients reported a wide range of adverse reactions to Cervarix including her daughter, Deborah, and she had serious concerns over the possibility of side-effects of the new drug.
When the family’s poster-packed campaign vehicle spread its message in Kingussie’s High Street, Mrs Halliday’s 16-year-old daughter Deborah told the “Strathy”:
"My life was turned upside down after I took the first two jags of the three-jag course. There were so many problems and I was in such pain that I really thought I would end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
"I just don’t want any other girls to go through what I did. We need to help them help themselves."
Deborah continued: "I was in terrible pain and I still suffer, although I’m more stable now that doctors finally began to listen to me. But since I’ve been through hell I’m desperate to stop others going through it.
"I had no choice – we simply didn’t know any better and there was no one to warn us – but now we do know more and we simply have to offer other girls the choice.
"They must decide for themselves whether they want to take this drug or not."
The Halliday family, from Nairn, have been touring the country in their own research programme and have now extended it to Badenoch and Strathspey.
Mrs Halliday said: "We want to know if anyone in the strath has encountered similar problems. We would like them to contact us."
She has had to nurse her daughter for two years after, within hours of the initial injection, Deborah experienced muscle pains, swollen joints and stiff limbs. Severe fatigue set in over the next three months. She also suffered chest compression, low blood sugar, headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Mrs Halliday explained: "Even though they have switched from Cervarix to Gardasil, both vaccines contain alluminium which is a heavy metal and neurotoxin and can cause death of brain cells.
"Both carry mild to severe side effects leaving a devastating impact on some children while others do not seem to be affected.
"The side effects of Cervarix or Gardasil are similar with reports of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, lip swelling and general disorders including malaise, abnormal sensations, injection site reactions chest discomfort, immune system disorders.
"In some children there have been muscle and tissue disorders including arthritis and myalgia and some nervous system disorders such as paralysis and seizures. Our research has also noted certain psychiatric disorders including anxiety and panic attacks."
Mrs Halliday was also accompanied on her Badenoch visit by her younger daughter, Kathryn, who has refused the old and now the new vaccination.
She is convinced the problem for Deborah is alluminium poisoning. The antidote was water and food rich in silica, she said, along with physio and hydrotherapy.
"But we believe all the problems can be avoided if more is known about the way drugs can affect some girls. Many are unaffected, yes, but what of those that are vulnerable? We all need to know more about what's going on.
" Children have a right to patient information leaflets and they must start asking for them."
Anyone wanting to share any experiences with the Hallidays can contact the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can check other children's adverse reactions on sanevax.org.
No local problems
It is understood that local GPs have witnessed no problems like those reported by the Halliday family. One told The Strathy: "I think the vaccine now immunises against more strains of HPV, so was adopted as it offers even more protection.
"It's all good news, as both vaccines are effective. Cervical cancer is a major and avoidable disease which the vaccines should prevent from happening.
"The concern ought to be about avoiding the sort of negative publicity that MMR got some years back. The UK is now paying for that via a measles outbreak in Wales.
"Would a cervical cancer sufferer have wanted to get the vaccine as a teenager? It's a no-brainer, of course she would. It's an awful disease, often fatal, difficult to treat, yet could be prevented."
Abhayadevi Tissington, NHS Highlands Nurse Consultant (Health Protection), told The Strathy: "There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that the vaccines (both Cervarix and Gardasil) which protect against cervical cancer are safe and effective.
"In the first four years of the immunisation programme over 6 million doses of Cervarix were given across the UK and there were no more adverse reactions than expected.
"The majority of reactions are recognised side effects such as injection site reaction, fever, nausea, headache and dizziness.
"Other more unusual reported reactions were investigated by the MHRA. For example, a number of girls were reported to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (post-viral fatigue). However, investigation demonstrated that following the introduction of the HPV vaccine, the number of girls suffering from this condition has been no more than the usual background level.
"There is no evidence that such conditions were caused by the vaccine. Vaccine uptake amongst girls in NHS Highland has been high - over 80 per cent complete the three dose course each year, and we are confident that girls and their parents will continue to say yes to the vaccine which protects against the two types of HPV that causes 75 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer."
Cervarix was replaced in the vaccination programme with Gardasil in September 2012. It's safety experience during the vaccination programme "supports previous conclusions that the benefit/risk balance remained positive." said the Medicines Heathcare products Regulatory Agency.
A spokesman said: "Gardasil is a scientifically proven vaccine that has been extensively used in other european countries and the USA, with tens of millions of people vaccinated.
"The benefits associated with Gardasil far outweigh the risk of serious side effects, which are rare. We closely monitor all emerging evidence and we will take action when we need to and people should speak to their doctor if they have concerns."
||Posted - 04/13/2013 : 00:26:01
US court pays $6 million to Gardasil victims
10th April 2013
Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), may not be as safe as backers claim.
Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated.....................