The following is a letter from concerned Irish citizen, Paula Byrne, addressing her concerns about the current HPV vaccination programme being conducted in Ireland. It was sent to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health.
Cullenagh Portlaoise Co. Laois 20th January 2011
Dear Ms. McCann,
Thank you for forwarding a copy of Tony Holohan and thank you for taking the time to consider my argument on this important subject.
I would like to lay out my reply to Dr. Holohan quite simply in this letter and I would also like to backup my statements with relevant references and additional information below. I have included my own comments on these references typed in blue.
1. Vaccines are given, in general, to healthy people. It is doubly important, therefore, that they are safe and effective.
2. Vaccines are always associated with some risk of adverse reaction, as are all drugs.
3. This risk must be weighed up against the benefit.
4. Gardasil is a new vaccine and the risks and benefits are not fully understood yet.
5. The efficacy of Gardasil is modest and has been exaggerated.The vaccine has not been adequately tested on the age group to which it is given.
6. Many safety concerns have been emerging particularly in relation to auto-immune diseases and over 80 deaths have been reported in association with the vaccine to the USA VAERS system.
7. The National Immunisation Office has publically stated that the vaccine has been associated with no deaths or serious adverse reactions.
8. Parents are therefore being led to believe that the vaccine presents only benefit to their child.
9. This is misleading and does not allow the parent make an informed choice for their child.
I would strongly urge this committee to ensure that the correct information regarding this vaccine is disseminated. As Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health you are the peopleʼs representatives and areobligated to act in a way that ensures the safety of the people and that our human rights are upheld. These rights include the right to make informed decisions regarding our health. The NIO has acted, in my view, as an advertising agent for Merck with its unchallengedpromotion of this vaccine and its lack of critical thinking on the matter. It is up to you as legislators to balance this out. If, in the future, we have cases ( and statistically this is a matter of when rather than if) of vaccine damage from Gardasil then the HSE and NIO may be leaving themselves open to legal action. Any young girl damaged by this vaccine may have a very strong case having been told that this unique vaccine was free from any risk.Yours faithfully, Paula Byrne
(Access the complete documentation accompanying this letter here.)