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 - 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 - 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 - 06/04/2015 : 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 - 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."
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