Grace Filby’s Pigeon Post
A modern history lesson, approx.3000 words
The British government decided to introduce a new national vaccination programme. The purpose was to prevent deaths from cervical cancer in the future, of which, we were informed, the cause is mostly HPV virus infections. It was to be given in schools to 12 year old girls – also doctors’ surgeries for a catch-up programme to teenage girls.
The government had a choice of 2 brand names from 2 manufacturers.
The Department of Health, with newly printed publicity material entitled “Beating Cervical Cancer – the Facts”, circulated 50,000 copies via GPs and Primary Care Trusts and posted it online. Note: the facts and figures about side effects were false. It was soon posted online by numerous NHS Trusts nationwide! Other leaflets gave even less information about known side effects and described them as
Meanwhile, local authority education chiefs and PCT chiefs sent out letters to parents at the end of the summer term 2008, requesting parental consent. Note: under Gillick law, parental consent would not be required, even for 12 year old’s.
The government chose Cervarix manufactured by UK company, Glaxo Smith Kline.
The new school term began and immediately the vaccination programme began.
13 September 2008
A Surrey Primary Care Trust press release appeared in our local newspaper:
“The vaccine itself is safe, with no serious side effects reported either in clinical trials or among the hundreds of thousands of women who have received it worldwide.”
18 September 2008
I wrote to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency alerting them of conflicting reports about safety and side effects.
24 September 2008
National news: a school in Manchester refused the vaccinations on their premises. The letter sent out by the governing body (syndicated by local newspapers) pointed out that staff had noticed pupil absences immediately after the jabs were given in the pilot study there. It also cited its opinion that school was not an appropriate environment in which to vaccinate children.
The press changed the story to make it sound as if the decision was for religious or moral reasons.
30 September 2008
Dr Philip Bryan (Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines (VRMM), MHRA) replied to my email, with this bald statement:
“Cervarix is not known to be associated with any serious risks.”
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