Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

‘Cervical cancer vaccine side-effects’ in Daily Mail

Posted by hannahflynn on March 9, 2009

The Daily Mail reported 1,300 girls had experienced adverse side-effects after receiving the cervical cancer vaccine “with 2,891 different adverse effects noted”.

The Mail does mention these figures have been obtained from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), from reports by doctors and has noted the responses from three separate parties: Government ‘health experts’, Jab (a vaccine support group) and Jo Trust (a cervical cancer awareness and support charity). All have stated the risks are minimal and are to be expected when 700,000 women have been vaccinated.

While some of the adverse affects noted are to be expected from a vaccination programme, pain and swelling at injection site and in some cases anaphalyxis, The Mail’s reporting elsewhere in the article is a classic example of the issues raised when correlation is used to imply causation.

It would be hard to find a link between a long-term mental illness, anorexia, and a vaccine but that is what is implied by The Mail.

Similarly, Bell’s Palsey, Guillain-Barré syndrome and an epileptic fit are all serious conditions, but when one person out of 700,000 has reported this occurring after receiving the jab, the levels of significance are pretty much incalculable.

No variables in the individual’s concerned are noted, and nor is the recent change in the way adverse reactions to drugs are recorded.

The NHS recently reported a high uptake in its Yellow Card scheme, which improved to make it easier for patients to report any concerns they have with their medications, over the past couple of years. It is recommended: “Even if you are not sure whether a medicine that you are taking is causing other symptoms, it is best to report it”. These are recorded by the MHRA.

The effects of reporting claims of this seriousness without providing context are evident in the comments section. Not available during the last vaccine scare (MMR) caused by bad reporting in the media, the general public’s response to these stories is now indisputable.

Stephanie, UK states:

“”Ministers say it will ultimately save 700 lives a year.”

That would be 0.1% of the 700,000 girls vaccinated so far, in percentage terms lives saved will decrease as more are vaccinated.

“But Government health experts insisted the Cervarix vaccine was safe and that the total of 1,340 reports was to be expected, given that more than 700,000 girls were vaccinated last year.”

0.19% of the 700,000 girls vaccinated experienced adverse side effects, almost twice the percentage of the ‘obvious benefit’.”

She then asks, “Why is it necessary to vaccinate all young girls to save 700 lives per year?”

When will the media bother to answer this question?

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2 Responses to “‘Cervical cancer vaccine side-effects’ in Daily Mail”

  1. After reading through this article, I just feel that I need more info. Can you share some resources ?

  2. gina said

    Gerade beim herumstoebern im Netz bin ich auf einmal auf deinem Blog gelandert. Und jetzt komme ich nicht mehr wirklich weg weil mir die Artikel welche du geschrieben hast richtig zu sagen. Sind schoen interessant geschrieben so das man sie gerne liet.

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