HPV Vaccines and Informed Consent: Letter to the Editor of Scottish Newspaper

[SaneVax: The following letter to the Editor of The Nairnshire Telegraph regarding concerns about the local HPV vaccination programme was published on March 12, 2013. It is re-printed below in its entirety with the kind permission of the author, Sherrel Halliday.]

Vaccine information

Dear Sir,

Today the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, will again be rolled out through our education system.

Since its introduction in September 2012 till the end of January 2013 there have been 362 reports made to the Medicines Health Regulatory Agency.

There have been 969 adverse reactions in this very short period relating to muscle and tissue disorders, eye disorders, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal and anaphylactic reactions.

If parents suspect their child has had an adverse reaction to the HPV jab they can complete a report through the Yellow Card System at the NHRA’s website, www/mhra.gov.uk/hpv/yellowcard.

Gardasil carries the Black Triangle which means this medicine is being monitored intensively by the UK’s safety regulators, the MHRA, so it is very important for parents, nurses and GP’s to record side effects.

It is disappointing that the Immunisation Scotland Leaflet only cites mild, common or most likely side effects and that it is left to the parent to investigate this further through the links.

I believe the side effects listed do not reflect the data being collected by the MHRA.

It is really not acceptable that the Gardasil Patient Product Information Leaflet is not made available to parents prior to vaccination but instead handed out to a 13 year old child who has no medical experience or understanding of the medical terms used. If parents read this information would they still consent to having their child vaccinated? Parents should really be asking these questions:  Why is the Gardasil Patient Product Information Leaflet only given out to their 13 year old child just prior to vaccination? Why are the parents not given a copy of this information and why is it not included in the Immunisation Scotland leaflet?

In September 2012, I along with some other families from Scotland, who have been affected by the side effects of the HPV jab, presented our cases to MSPs at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and this is still on going.

More parents are now contacting their MPs for help and support all over the UK.

Yours etc
Sherrel Halliday

The Nairnshire Telegraph,  March 12, 2013


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