Thursday, August 21, 2008

Open letter to Minister Harney

Here is the text of an open letter sent by European Life Network to Irish Health Minister Mary Harney following an announcement that a cervical cancer vaccine is to be made available to girls in Ireland aged 12 and over. Please consider sending similar letters to Minister Harney (contact details at the end of the letter)

Dear Minister Harney
In light of your recent announcement that the new HPV vaccines will shortly be made
available in Ireland for young girls from 12 years of age I wish to draw your attention to recent controversies that have arisen with regard to these vaccines and to appeal to you to urgently reconsider your decision to approve them for use in Ireland.

A report based on freedom of information obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Judicial Watch, details many adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. This report may be accessed on the following website.
Briefly the adverse reactions since last September (2007) include 10 deaths. The FDA also produced 140 "serious" reports (27 of which were categorized as "life threatening"), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome - all since January 2008. The watchdog group says the number of deaths associated with the vaccine is at least 18 and possibly as many as 20 in the US alone. The serious adverse events include anaphylactic shock, grand mal convulsion, foaming at mouth, coma, paralysis, and death.

Judicial Watch also found 8,864 Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) records associated with Gardasil. Eleven deaths occurred less than a week after receiving the vaccine. Seven women died in less than two days. The most common diagnosed cause was blood clotting. One woman died from a clot within 3 hours of the vaccine. One 20-year-old woman, with no medical history reported, died April 4, 2008 just four days after receiving Gardasil.

The human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are a group of approximately 100 sexually transmitted viruses, a small number of which can increase the risk of a woman developing cervical cancer in later life. Use of this vaccine in this way is unacceptable given the risks to the life and health of young girls directly from the vaccine.

Apart from the serious threat to the life and health of young girls, use of this vaccine raises major moral questions, such as, the apparent condoning of pre-marital sex rather than teaching children the value of chastity. There is also the question of the morality of allowing this vaccine to be marketed and used in Ireland, in the knowledge of the history of adverse reactions associated with it. Moral issues aside, very few properly informed parents would be willing to risk their daughters'lives or health, when the safety of the vaccine is in question.

I would also suggest Minister that unless this decision is reversed as a matter of urgency it has the potential to become another major national scandal and could open the Irish exchequer to future claims of a substantial nature, given that the information in regard to these adverse reactions is already in the public domain.

Contact details for Minister Harney 'minister''