By: Norma Erickson
13 December 2010
What criteria do governments use to decide whether the benefits of a vaccine outweigh the risks? On what basis do they judge whether a vaccine should be ‘recommended’ or ‘mandated?” Does common sense enter the equation?
Friday, 10 December 2010, Dr. Roscoe Taylor, Director of Public Health, issued a press release urging “all teenage girls in Tasmania to be vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer.”
The SaneVax Team believes this strategy makes no common sense at all.
Let’s ignore the fact no one will know if HPV vaccines actually prevent cervical cancer for at least ten years.
Let’s ignore the fact no one knows when booster shots will be required.
Let’s ignore the fact cervical cancer is not a contagious disease.
Let’s ignore the fact almost 90%, of HPV infections clear on their own with no medical intervention and no symptoms.
Let’s ignore the fact good gynecological care has substantially reduced the risk of cervical cancer in developed countries, and continues to do so.
Let’s even ignore the fact HPV vaccination does not eliminate the need for good gynecological care.
Let’s ignore the fact that every vaccine carries some sort of risk to future health and possibly life.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are approximately 503,300 people residing in Tasmania. 6.5% of these are teenage girls, or approximately 32,700. The most recent Tasmanian Cancer Registry data show that there were only 21 cases of cervical cancers diagnosed and seven deaths in 2007.
Using a conservative estimate of $300 per series of HPV vaccinations, it will cost $9.8 million to inoculate 32,700 girls in an attempt to save 7 lives that could have been saved with regular visits to the gynecologist and proper follow-up when abnormal cells were detected.
The SaneVax Team wants to know how the Australian government can possibly justify the expenditure of such a vast amount of public money gambling on the fact HPV vaccinations will be effective ten or fifteen years down the road. Research states it will be 20 years before it is known whether the HPV vaccines will have impacted cervical cancer rates. Is it worth gamble when innocent lives may be affected from adverse reactions and/or death?