By Alicia Capilla, AAVP
AAVP meets Spanish Health Ministry representatives to ask for the withdrawal of HPV vaccines from the Official vaccination schedule of Spain and informs there are three cases of suspected death and numerous cases of suspected serious adverse reactions in our country and around the world.
Last Tuesday the 26th of August, Spanish Health Ministry representatives and Alicia Capilla, President of AAVP (Association of people affected by HPV vaccine) together with Francisco Almódovar (attorney from the firm Almódovar&Jara) held an important meeting with three representatives of the team of Mrs. Mercedes Vinuesa, General Director of Public Health in the quarters of the Spanish Health Ministry.
Alicia Capilla stated that Spanish Health Authorities have not been responsible because families did not receive information prior to vaccination about the risks their daughters have suffered after receiving the HPV vaccine, thus the right we have as citizens to have therapeutic informed consent has been violated.
Besides, the health care for the victims of papillomavirus vaccine damage has been inadequate since 2009 when the first serious reactions began to occur.
Mrs. Capilla stated that Spanish Health Authorities have not recognized the adverse reactions – most of them serious- that affected girls suffered after receiving the HPV vaccine, even though the reactions they suffered are registered in the product leaflet and in numerous similar reports to the Spanish and European databases. That is incomprehensible and a big contradiction.
Why don´t Health Authorities want to recognize these events when they are reported in the product information leaflet and corroborated by thousands of reports around the world?
In Spain, there are 737 reports of suspected adverse reactions (until January 2012) and three suspected cases of death. We have asked Health Authorities to give us an update on the number of adverse reactions reported since 2012 and they have not given us this information.
Why don´t they want to give us this information if that is a matter of transparency of Public Health and they support the idea that the vaccine is safe?
In Europe the number of reports of suspected adverse reactions is also huge. In a survey done by AAVP there are more than 150 reports that ended in death and 11,814 serious reports.
According to the French Committee of Pharmacovigilance, since its marketing in 2006, there are 2092 cases (representing 5850 adverse reactions) including 503 serious cases. The report of the French Committee presents also International data, with 160,538 adverse reactions, 26,675 are serious. In VAERS (American System of reports of side effects after vaccination) the data is also alarming, there are 35,270 reports altogether, more than 150 reports of suspected deaths and 4920 serious events, taking into account that less than 10% of adverse reactions are reported in the U.S., this figure must be much higher.
It is very important to note that most adverse reactions reported after HPV vaccinations around the world are neurological disorders. Taking into account all this data, we have requested the Health Ministry to investigate seriously the efficacy of this vaccine.
Alicia Capilla stated that so much nonsense cannot be justified by ignorance as our daughters have not been the unique girls, not even the first ones who have suffered side effects after the vaccination. We believe it is an insult to human intelligence to state they are all coincidental or psychological problems because most of these reactions are already listed in the leaflet of the vaccines.
It is obvious: when different people, in different parts of the world, at different times react to a drug/vaccine in the same way, as is the case with HPV vaccines – something has to be wrong with the product in question – particularly when the Ministry has recognized this vaccine, like any medicine, causes adverse effects.
AAVP believes that Health Authorities should change their strategy. Not acknowledging the existence of adverse reactions makes investigation impossible. For that reason, we believe the number of reactions will be higher and higher and the problem will be bigger and bigger. This is not acceptable.
For that reason we have asked the Spanish Health Ministry to follow a Protocol in which they:
- Recognize the adverse reactions (most of which are already registered in the leaflet of the product, the databases of European Countries, EEUU and scientific literature) and the status of victims of the HPV vaccine.
- Give adequate health care to affected people, who trusted in Public Health when they decided to vaccinate.
- Create a Compensation Fund for damage from vaccines as it exists in other countries like USA and France.
- Scientifically investigate all deaths and RAMs after HPV vaccine administration.
- Sponsor scientific debates in Spain similar to those in other countries such as France and Japan.
- Conduct an accurate and updated study of the reports of suspected adverse reactions in our country in which the most common RAMs should be studied and the incidence of suffering an adverse reaction estimated.
- Re-evaluate the benefit-risk of HPV vaccines and stop the inclusion of, and funding for, this vaccine in the National Health System of our country, since it seems –according to international and national scientific bibliography that:
- HPV vaccines are not safe – taking into account the huge numbers of suspected deaths and serious reports and the fact that the vaccines contain viral DNA which can be harmful for human beings-
- They are not effective – they only target two or four serotypes (depending if it is Gardasil® or Cervarix® the two vaccines in the market). We need at least 20 or 25 years to check if women who were vaccinated developed more or less cases of cervical cancer in relation to non- vaccinated women.
- HPV vaccines are not necessary – there are other harmless methods of prevention such as cytology that does not cause harm to women, and must be done even if they have been vaccinated because HPV vaccines do not target all carcinogenic serotypes.
Furthermore in this re-evaluation Health Authorities should take into account that:
- This vaccine is given to healthy young women.
- Spain is a country with a low incidence and mortality from cervical cancer.
- The vaccine is not effective against all carcinogenic serotypes.
- Nobody knows the duration of immunity of HPV vaccines or whether young women will need more boosters in the future.
- There is no justification for exposing healthy young women to unnecessary risks of serious health problems when there are other preventive methods available, such as the cytology, that do not cause any harm.
Officials who participated in the meeting, led by the Director General of Public Health, Mercedes Vinuesa recognize that they must strengthen information provided to citizens and health professionals about the benefits and risks of the HPV and improve the informed consent prior to administration of HPV vaccines.
If anything has become clear during this meeting, it is that in the case of HPV vaccinations the Spanish healthcare system failed to provide adequate information prior to HPV vaccinations and failed to provide adequate health care for those adversely affected by those vaccinations.
Therefore, the Health Ministry has agreed to study the cases of young affected girls, follow their paths, and hold another meeting with AAVP in two weeks’ time to provide answers to AAVP´s requests.