India’s recent but already notorious Indian Parliamentary report on HPV vaccine trials is looking odder and odder.
According to FIGO (the global professional body for obstetricians and gynaecologists), “a large-scale study in Sweden and Denmark has established that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine does not carry a risk of serious adverse reactions.” The study from Karolinska followed a million girls born between 1998 and 2000. 300,000 were vaccinated against HPV. They had no more serious adverse events than girls who weren’t vaccinated.
This, however, is unlikely to dissuade the anti-vaccine crazies. After all, why wouldn’t a vast global conspiracy be able to corrupt those notoriously dodgy Scandinavian researchers? (Before I get quoted in an anti-vaccine blog, this was meant ironically — Denmark and Sweden are ranked first and fourth on the Transparency International corruption index)
The lunatics were out in force in Israel last week as the Jerusalem Post reported. Israel’s Health Ministry is re-considering its decision to introduce HPV vaccines because of “alarming side effects reported abroad”. That, presumably, would be a reference to the Indian report . In fairness, the Israeli professionals opposed did not give credence to the scare mongers who got so much space in the Rajya Sabha document: the Israeli doctors said that HPV vaccines were poor value for money in a country where there are only 180 new cases of cervical cancer a year. You may not agree but it’s at least an honest position: more than can be said for those arguing that Indian women should remain unprotected despite 72,000 deaths a year.