My role


US controversy over HPV vaccine grows

Controversy continues to surround vaccination against HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer.

The British government plans a core programme to vaccinate all 12-13 year old girls and a catch up programme, which was widened this summer, for 14-18 year-old girls to begin next year. They'll be using GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine Cervarix.

Meanwhile, in the US, the concern about Merck's Gardasil vaccine, the first vaccine on the market, continues to grow. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2006 since when, according to documents obtained from the FDA under US freedom of information legislation by Judicial Watch, there have been 18-20 deaths and 140 'serious' reactions. There have been 7,800 complaints in total according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, 8 million woman have been vaccinated.

The vaccine made the headlines in the USA in July when a mother told CBS News that her now paralysed daughter was healthy until she received the third installment of the vaccine. As well as concerns about safety, there are concerns among religious Americans that vaccination will encourage promiscuity

Cervarix is licensed in 67 countries including the EU but not yet the USA where the FDA are still considering it.

Why is the Men's Health Forum interested? There is talk of vaccinating boys too since although they can't get cervical cancer, they can pass the virus on through unprotected sex. Genital warts are also caused by HPV.

Page created on August 4th, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009