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Cervical vaccine: let’s have an honest debate first

WHEN I was serving as an MEP on the committee responsible for public health, I received a great deal of glossy, well-produced literature, invitations to free lunches and dinners and even an offer of an all-expenses-paid trip to America to convince me to support the so-called cervical cancer vaccine.

Though I did not accept the invitations, the lavish nature and sheer persistence of the drug company-funded lobbying caused me to do my own research on the vaccine they were promoting.

What I discovered made me very concerned.

The vaccine was too new to make the claims those who stood to profit by it were making.

Checking with VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, an official US government agency) further alarmed me because, even at that early stage, there had been an unacceptably large number of serious adverse effects, including deaths, reported. Finally, I looked at the ingredients. Some of them were things I would not want injected into anyone’s body. At that point I wrote with my concerns to the EU agency responsible for allowing the vaccine Gardasil into Europe. They responded that they had allowed it in, but because it was so new they intended to review this decision periodically.

I would appeal to Deirdre Clune TD to look at the facts about Gardasil/Cervarix. Since I studied these vaccines two years ago the number of girls damaged by this jab has greatly increased, manufacturers have had to modify the claims about benefits they made for the vaccine and the scientist who led the team in testing the vaccine is even warning of its dangers.

Ms Clune is reported as calling on Health Minister Mary Harney “to reassure parents of the benefits of the HSE HPV vaccine”.

As a parent I do not want politicians, especially the minister for health, to “reassure” me. Rather I want them to tell me the truth so that I and my daughters can make a fully informed decision on whether or not to risk the jab. After all, if things go wrong it is we who will have to pick up the pieces.

Last year we were all told by the Mary Harney to get the H1N1 flu vaccine as she reassured us it was safe. A few days ago the European Commission began a review of the vaccine because of a suspected link to neurodegenerative diseases, or naccolepsy.

Will we see the commission investigating the HPV jab next year? I think it is better to have an honest debate about this new vaccine before we start jabbing our girls and not wait until some have been harmed.

Kathy Sinnott

‘St Joseph’

Ballinabearna

Ballinhassig

Co Cork


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