Fears for the health of women as parents reject the HPV vaccine | Society – tech2.org

Fears for the health of women as parents reject the HPV vaccine | Society


Health officials have become increasingly alarmed in campaigns to block the use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects women against cervical cancer.

Three leading nations have seen significant reductions in vaccine intake and an increasing number of doctors fear that their use may be blocked elsewhere, despite their ability to provide protection against a disease that kills hundreds of people. thousands of women a year.

Last week, doctors and health officials gathered in Dublin – the center of one of the most vociferous campaigns against the vaccine – to discuss future tactics. Many believe that the use of social networks has given new impetus to the protests of anti-vaccine activists and that this factor has been closely related to the success of attacks against immunization programs.

"When a new vaccine is introduced, there is always a group of people who say it is unsafe," said Professor Margaret Stanley of the University of Cambridge. "But the HPV vaccine seems to increase extraordinary levels of hostility."

Japan, Ireland and Denmark have already witnessed sustained campaigns that have seen adoption rates plummet. (The acceptance rates in the United Kingdom are high). In each case, the vaccine, which scientists insist is safe, has been linked to suspected cases of seizures, walking and neurological problems. Photographs were exchanged and videos were uploaded to YouTube.

"The vaccine is administered at the age of 13 when young people are very emotional and react to events very strongly," said Stanley. "In addition, some parents feel that they could encourage promiscuity by allowing their daughters to get vaccinated against a virus that is spread through badual contact, add to this the use of social networks and have a fairly explosive mix."

Controversy over the HPV vaccine was also raised last week when Dr. Riko Muranaka – who has resisted the bullying of anti-vaccine groups in Japan – was awarded the John Maddox International Prize for promoting science in the public interest. In Japan, parents have posted videos of their children online, stating that the symptoms of seizures and walking problems were caused by the HPV jab. The Ministry of Health of Japan could not find evidence that the vaccine was the culprit, but absorption rates have plummeted from more than 70% to less than 1%.

"With this vaccine we could avoid many deaths from cervical cancer in Japan, but we are not taking the opportunity," Muranaka said.

Delegates in Dublin described a possible solution that was adopted in Austria, where doctors now administer the HPV vaccine to both girls and boys (who will get protection against a form of throat cancer in later life). Fundamentally, jab is also administered at a younger age: around nine. "The apparent link to the alleged promiscuity is not perceived as very strong at this age and the timing also occurs when children tend to be less emotional," Stanley said. "Give the vaccine a few years earlier than today could be very effective."

Responding quickly to claims of links between outbreaks of disease and vaccination is also extremely important, said Heidi Larson, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "England achieved 87% full dose coverage in 2014, avoiding a possible public crisis of public confidence in 2009 when a 14-year-old girl died after being vaccinated." Health officials expressed concern, quickly investigating the death of the child. girl and they discovered that it was not related to the vaccine. "

For their part, scientists insist that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective. It protects against the two strains of the human papilloma virus that are most commonly related to cervical cancer and that represent more than 80% of cases. "Worldwide there are about 528,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 266,000 deaths related to the human papillomavirus per year," said Larson. "The HPV vaccine has the potential to eradicate the vast majority of these."

This point was emphasized by Professor Helen Bedford of University College London, who said that although the HPV vaccine had only been in use for about a decade, benefits were already being observed: "Data is already accumulating impressive to show the impact of the vaccine in reducing HPV infections and precancerous cervical lesions. "

In 20 years, that reduction should be reflected in a corresponding decrease in deaths from cervical cancer, Stanley added. "Since cervical cancer often kills women who are relatively young, sometimes between 20 and 30 years old, the benefits of this vaccine are particularly acute."

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