Healthy Home Economist 18 June 2013
On June 14, 2013, Japan’s health ministry raised eyebrows around the world by deciding to formally withdraw its recommendation for HPV vaccination (Gardasil, Cervarix) to protect girls against cervical cancer.
The reason? Hundreds of complaints from Japanese citizens about possible side effects such as long-term pain, numbness and even paralysis.
In an attempt to avoid completely alienating the World Health Organization, which recommends the HPV vaccine used by many developed nations, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare insisted that it is not suspending the use of the vaccine, but simply instructed local Japanese governments not to promote it until more study is conducted on its safety.
Mariko Momoi, vice president of the International University of Health and Welfare, who headed the task force on the matter said:
“The decision (not to recommend the vaccination) does not mean that the vaccine itself is problematic from the viewpoint of safety. By implementing investigations, we want to offer information that can make the people feel more at ease.”
Blah, blah, blah. The best government-speak in the world doesn’t drown out this message which is LOUD and clear. The Japanese health ministry doesn’t trust the HPV vaccines Gardasil or Cervarix.