Jamaica the latest country to implement HPV vaccine

The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine otherwise called HPV

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Christopher Tufton, the JLP Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton introduced the measures to be initiated in schools across the nation as of Monday October 2nd 2017

The HPV vaccine has been rolled out in the Jamaican schools under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government. The JLP Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton introduced the measures to be initiated in schools across the nation as of Monday October 2nd 2017. Despite a number of concerns from parents and the general public the health minister reassured it is safe, free of cost and optional. The initiative falls under a 100 million dollar school-based programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The vaccine become available since 2006, and all are currently licensed in the United States. The first vaccine to be introduced was the quadrivalent (four-valent) vaccine Gardasil® (Merck), known in Europe as Silgard, which protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. HPV 16 and 18, the two most common “high-risk” genotypes, cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. HPV 6 and 11, two “low-risk” genotypes, cause 90% of anogenital warts (condylomata). First approved in 2006 for girls and women 9 to 26 years of age, Gardasil approval was extended to boys of the same age in 2010.[6] A bivalent (two-valent) vaccine, Cervarix® (GlaxoSmithKline), which protects against HPV types 16 and 18, was approved in 2010 for use in girls and women 9 to 25 years of age, but not in boys.[7]~ http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866591

The official Gardasil website https://www.gardasil9.com/about-gardasil9/?MTD, explains that “[i]f you haven’t heard about the risks of HPV-related cancers and disease yet, it’s time you did. HPV (short for human papillomavirus) is a virus that can infect both males and females and cause potentially serious diseases. There are approximately 14 million new HPV infections in the United States every year — about 50% of them in 15- to 24-year-olds. For most, HPV clears on its own. But, for others who don’t clear the virus, HPV could cause potentially serious diseases. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus. Understanding HPV and its possible consequences is the first step in helping your child be one less at risk for certain HPV-related cancers and diseases. With the HPV vaccine, your child could be one less at risk for future HPV-related cancers and diseases. GARDASIL 9 is the only vaccine that helps protect against 9 types of HPV (Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). These 9 types are responsible for the majority of HPV-related cancers and diseases. The side effects listed on the Gardasil website are. Pain, Swelling, Redness, Itching, Bruising, Bleeding, A lump where your child got the shot, Headache, Fever, Nausea, Dizziness and Fainting. Please see website for further details

Despite the promising effects of the vaccine, there are numerous opposition.   Former Merck scientist made a bold claim where he said, “I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time”.

The Japantimes reported that a Class Action Lawsuit was filed due to adverse side effect of the vaccine. According to the website, Twenty-eight girls and women suffering what they say are side effects from cervical cancer vaccines that were recommended by the government demanded compensation from the state and drugmakers Monday as their trial opened at the Tokyo District Court.  The plaintiffs, ranging in age from 15 to 22, said they have experienced a wide range of health problems, including pain all over their bodies and impaired mobility, after receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines between 2010 and 2013. Read more: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/13/national/crime-legal/suit-opens-tokyo-court-cervical-cancer-vaccine-side-effects

At the beginning of 2013, the Australian Government began to roll-out the Gardasil vaccination program for all boys aged 13-15. In this interview, BMJ-published Australian GP Dr Deirdre Little tells the story of how a 16-year-old female patient who received the Gardasil vaccine suffered premature menopause. She subsequently discovered that according to the TGA, the Gardasil manufacturer did not conduct studies on ovarian effects of the vaccine or any studies regarding ongoing fertility effects.

Truth and Gardasil: Interview with Dr Deirdre Little

The Metro UK reported that a dancer has been left paralysed after taking the controversial HPV vaccine which helps prevents cervical cancer. Read more:http://metro.co.uk/2017/03/03/teenager-paralysed-after-having-the-hpv-cervical-cancer-vaccine-6485548/

Similarly, the Telegraph also reported that Shazel Zaman, 13, received a cervical cancer jab five days earlier after which she started vomiting and suffering from dizziness and a severe headache. As her symptoms got worse she was taken to Bury’s Fairfield Hospital. She later died. Shazel’s family believe her death is linked directly to her having the vaccine. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/10/teenage-girl-dies-five-days-after-receiving-hpv-vaccine-jab/

In April, the government of India called a halt to trials of the Hu­man Papilloma Virus (HPV) vac­cine.  This came about because of a civil society-led investigation which highlighted serious ethical violations in at least one trial. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/29/why-india-has-stopped-giving-hpv-vaccines.aspx

As the numerous worldwide controversy loom over the vaccine, the Jamaican government become the latest country to introduce the vaccine. According to reports, the Opposition Shadow Minister of Health, Dr Dayton Campbell is calling for the urgent implementation of a public education programme ahead of administering of the HPV vaccine to the at-risk population. The opposition minister is mainly concerned with reported side effects such as fainting spells and other side effects and believe a school environment may not be a suitable place for such measures as it lacks the facility to monitor the students. In addition, the minister argued that even though the vaccine may be beneficial as there will likely be less adverse findings on pap smears and fewer cases of cancers, the lack of proper public health education would leave many Jamaicans confused and give cause to heightened anxiety. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/PNP_wants_public_education_on_HPV_vaccines,_questions_exclusion_of_boys

The Social Media sphere has been lit up with comments and concerns. There have been outrage to concerns.

VM~It should be mandatory that all politicians should take it.

NT~ Tell everyone you know and have contact with to be vigilant about their families health.

PG~Please speak to your personal doctor about it. It was introduced to me 10yrs ago for my daughter but couldn’t afford it, it was very expensive.

SLK. D It should continue.
As long as persons can refuse it I’m not bothered. Think many people are only complaining because they don’t know how serious cervical cancer can be. If it can be prevented by this vaccine, I’m all for it.

As the Gardasil official website stated that for most, HPV clears on its own. One could argue, why risk the lives of a whole nation if most cases will clear on its own? Others may argue that the percentage of known severe side effects are far less of a risk and is worthy of saving the lives of those who may develop cancer. Many argue that the vaccine should not be mandatory and more education across Jamaica is absolutely necessary. Lastly, the vaccine should not be implemented in schools and it should be left to the parents to speak to their doctor and make a decision if the vaccine is right for their child

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