We reveal our open letter to UK Secretary of State for Public Health, ask you to vote in our poll and ask three questions of your healthcare professional
On the back of last week’s piece on HPV vaccine, our executive director, Rob Verkerk PhD, wrote an open letter to the UK Secretary of State for Health, asking for answers to three questions about the HPV vaccine. We believe that the UK government, along with many other governments, has misrepresented the known facts about the safety and effectiveness of the HPV vaccine.
Open letter to UK Secretary of State for Health
We provide the letter as text below (excluding references) or in full as a download.
RE: POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT MISREPRESENTATION OF RISKS AND BENEFITS OF HPV VACCINE
You will be aware that there are wide ranging concerns about both the safety and anticipated benefits of the HPV vaccine which is particularly aimed at 12- to 13-year-old girls as part of the national immunisation programme.
The recent cases of Emily Ryalls and Katie Green publicised in The Independent and Daily Mail (31 May- and 1 June- respectively) have become beacons for many others who suspect they may be vaccine injured.
On behalf of the Alliance for Natural Health International, which I represent as its executive director and founder, we are deeply concerned that the UK government’s position on the HPV vaccine may be misrepresented. Should this be the case, neither parents nor children will be able to give informed consent, either to vaccinate, or not. For your information, we are a UK-based, alliance of public, healthcare professional and commercial interests with a strong interest in freedom of choice in healthcare, as well as being committed to using dietary and lifestyle based approaches to health management as the mainstay of health and wellbeing management.
We respectfully request your answers to the following important three questions:
The Department of Health claims repeatedly that the HPV vaccine programme will “eventually save 400 lives”. - Could you please point us to the research from which this calculation was derived, including the assumptions made?
Most of the available data on benefit and safety for HPV vaccines come from clinical trials undertaken for licensing purposes and from post-market pharmacovigilance. However, since the above estimate was published, a new, major epidemiological study of the Australian experience with HPV vaccines (Gardasil) has been published. The study was authored by Dr Elizabeth Crowe et al. and published in the British Medical Journal in March 2014. - The researchers found, in the real world, that the vaccine conferred just “46% protection against histologically confirmed high grade cervical abnormalities and 34% protection against other cervical abnormalities in women who had not started screening before vaccination.” We seek your view as to whether there should be an adjustment to the estimate of projected lives that could be saved by the HPV vaccine (point 1 above) given the new findings, as well as an estimate of the time frames involved for such anticipated benefits?
On 31 May 2015, The Independent published a table of adverse event reactions obtained from the MHRA following a freedom of information request, covering the period from 2005 to 2015, viz:
Source: Gallagher, P. “Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination,” The Independent, 31 May 2015
These findings are considerably at odds with a number of the MHRA’s statements in the Public Assessment Report,3 which include: “the nature of suspected ADRs received by the MHRA to date is very much in line with expectations” and “supports the previous conclusion that the benefit/risk balance of Cervarix remains clearly positive”.
Based on the data published by The Independent (based on Cervarix prior to September 2012, and Gardasil after this time), along with available data on Gardsasil’s safety profile, will the Department of Health adjust its position given that the present one appears misleading to the public?
We have outlined some of our other concerns about misrepresentation of benefits and risks of the HPV vaccine in an article we released on our website earlier this week.
I greatly look forward to your answers at your earliest convenience. We hope that they will help to fill an important information gap that we believe presently prevents the public from making an adequately informed choice about the HPV vaccine.
Robert Verkerk PhD Founder, executive and scientific director Alliance for Natural Health International
Answer our poll on HPV vaccine
Just before publishing this story, we’ve launched a poll on the HPV vaccine so that we can find out more about your views. It’s important that we make sure the politicians we’re dealing with understand what health-aware members of the public feel about such controversial issues.
It’ll take you just a few seconds to answer our HPV vaccine poll. All you have to do is give the most accurate answer from the 7 choices we’ve provided. Then please share the poll on social media from the links provided on the poll page. Let’s find out what the public really feels!
From the Minister to the Doctor
For those of you visiting a healthcare professional in the coming days and weeks, we urge you to ask three specific questions, make a record of the answers and return them to us by email ([email protected]) with subject line ‘HPV professionals.’ Please also include the type of health professional (e.g. medical doctor, general practitioner, naturopath, nutritional therapist, herbalist, osteopath, chiropractor, etc.)
The three questions are:
Is the HPV vaccine safe for young girls?
Is the level of adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine on par with other childhood vaccines like MMR?
Is the HPV vaccine effective at reducing cervical cancer rates among vaccinated populations?
All this information helps us to shape our campaign so that it best benefits you, or your children or grandchildren.