By Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk, SPLA Blog Editor
“VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) data suggests that HPV4 (Gardasil) is the most frequently reported vaccine.” (www.sanevax.org)
It’s back to school time again. Parents of any generation, current or past, have fond memories of attachment to their children when it comes to this time of year, long after they lose their innocence or their relationship with each other becomes strained. There are the school supply lists, the new clothes, decisions about sports, and something new for the modern family, yet another letter from the local health region complaining, or rather, reminding you that your daughter has not been immunized against HPV.
Caution among parents leads to HPV Vaccine “Re-offer”
The pressure tactic is tactfully cushioned in reminders of the benefits: “it’s free!” Health benefits of the vaccine considered or not, the public health nurse here in Wadena tried that on me a few years ago. Even doctors have suggested it, as a high profile adverse reaction case in Australia illustrates: Chescia Kimberley Tunley of Sidney, Australia, began the first of her doses, he father states, because the family doctor suggested it since “the free vaccinations were due to cease as of 30 June 2009.” http://sanevax.org/chescia-from-sydney/
My letter of reminder came from the health region but was endorsed by Dr. Ross Findlater, Deputy Medical Health Officer and Sarah Sundquist, Immunization Program Manager. They state that currently there is “a 58% coverage rate for HPV vaccine” in Saskatchewan, and present this warning: “With a low HPV immunization coverage rate in Canada, fewer women will be protected from cancer in our community.” Their mission, short of making the shot mandatory, is to “re-offer this safe and effective vaccine to girls in Saskatchewan.” Mercifully, even if viewed by health professionals with skepticism, parental authorization still means something legally speaking on the topic of vaccinations, unlike its scandalous absence on parental consent for underage abortion.
Regarding the continued “re-offer” to immunize your daughter with Gardasil, parents need to take the active step of writing “refuse immunization” on the consent form, according to Dr. Findlater, and the “refusal will be documented in the Saskatchewan Immunization Management System.” On the back of the consent form, the public health staff are asked to register the refusal as a “Philosophical Objection”, although “Objection on Scientific Grounds” would be more appropriate. Even then, like a constant cloud of worry over your head that some disease might relapse out of remission, if “your daughter chooses to be immunized later on, contact public health for an appointment.”
Life-threatening reactions admitted by Saskatchewan Ministry of Health
One reason for the “low HPV immunization coverage” is the way people feel after their first dose, and they do not go back for their second or third doses. On the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health HPV fact sheet, under the category, “Who should not get the vaccine?” they admit that people “who have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, or to any of the vaccine components” should not get the shot.
According to Leslie Carol Botha, Health Educator and Vice-President Public Relations, SANE VAX Inc, (safe, affordable, necessary, and effective vaccines)
No one will know for 20 years or more whether the vaccine will have any impact on cervical cancer. But we do know two things; a high proportion of women do not have their 2nd or 3rd dose. Is this because their experience with the first or second dose may well have influenced this decision? As well and potentially far worse is that as Gardasil has been misleadingly promoted as a cancer vaccine – no one knows how many women will no longer continue with pap smears which could lead to a rapid increase in cervical cancer in the years ahead. http://sanevax.org/wp content/uploads/2011/09/HPV-Timeline.pdf
Kelsey Trail Health Region, for one, promotes the HPV vaccine as a cancer vaccine. In a “Did You Know?” section of KTHR Pulse, from September 2008, for example, they announce, “Saskatchewan is spending $2.9 million this year for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. These vaccines protect women from cervical cancer.” (View document here.)
As Leslie Carol Botha writes, a “vaccine for cancer has been created and distributed to millions of people around the world – yet vaccines don’t cure cancer.” Since 2010, the government of France has refused to allow HPV vaccines to be marketed as cancer preventatives. France becomes the first Western government to recognize that HPV vaccines are NOT a cancer cure!”
Anecdotally, my experience has been that the HPV vaccine is promoted because the pap test is underutilized. At a trade show in Melfort one year, I asked our MLA and a local doctor who were together at the MLA’s booth, why provincial and federal funds were being used to get Gardasil into Saskatchewan girls. While the MLA, Rod Gantefoer, replied that it must be done because “no one can impose their morality on anyone else,” Dr. Lavoie informed me in no uncertain terms that because colleagues of his have found that “the Haitian immigrant population in Montreal underutilizes the pap test system, we need the HPV vaccine in Saskatchewan.”