The Japanese rates of the HPV vaccine have dropped from 70 percent to 1percent, all because of the HPV vaccine controversy. This made healthcare professionals and parents feel confused about the efficiency of the vaccine, resulting in much lower rates of immunization.
Here is what things look like from a Japanese perspective. Ryo Konno from Jichi Medical University explains – the Japanese government changed its mind on the HPV vaccine in 2013. It withdrew guidelines for the vaccine, after high-profile cases of supposed severe side effects in girls who got the jab.
He points out that the side-effects may have been a psychosomatic reaction. The whole hysteria was probably fuelled by a conservative, anti-HPV vaccination group. Dr. Konno recalls the whole controversy occurred in 2013 when a major report found that some girls suffered from severe pain because of the HPV vaccine. However, there was no medical evidence to support their claims.
Dr. Konno believes the report was based on flawed information coming from an anti-HPV group, suggestively called Vaccine Victims. The victim girls were televised and seen by large audiences. The story was blown ut of proportion, and it became viral.
As a result, in June 2013, the Ministry of Health from Japan withdrew guidelines for the HPV vaccine, based on reports of serious side effects. However, the vaccines were not banned from the market.
The Minister of Health has stated that girls may be vaccinated if parents weigh the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine, but the vaccines would no longer be promoted.
Now, China has moved to approve the use of the GSK vaccine against cervical cancer. The Cervarix vaccine is going to boost the medical campaign against cervical cancer. It’s the first time this country gave a permit for the use of a human papillomavirus vaccine.
Cervarix from GSK is going to be released in early 2017. This type of cancer is the second most prevalent type among Chinese women. Yearly, approximately 130,000 new cases are reported.
China accounts for 28 percent of the cases of cervical cancer. Aside from this, the Government in China has decided to reduce the price of three drugs, earlier in May. Among them is Viread, a hepatitis B drug.
GSK and the Chinese officials will work together to make sure everyone gets proper access to vaccines. Do you believe the hpv vaccine controversy has a rational basis? Leave a comment below!
Image Source – Wikipedia