Posted on May 20, 2016 by Thinking Moms' Revolution
Dr Jacky Jones, in her column “Why are vaccines, like the HPV vaccination, getting bad press?” (17 May) makes a sweeping dismissal of the real-life experience of those represented by R.E.G.R.E.T — a parent-led organisation formed in response to the chronic degeneration of health experienced by our daughters in the aftermath of the HPV vaccination. Instead, in an article that claims “the science is overwhelmingly in favour of . . . the HPV vaccine”, she links the bad press to an unsubstantiated “hidden agenda” based, bizarrely, on backward sexual mores. We are a support group set up in May 2015 and now, sadly, represent 350 girls who have suffered severe, long term effects following the HPV vaccination, which is routinely administered now to girls at age 12.
This represents a statistic of 1 in 600 of those in Ireland who receive the vaccine. These 350 cases of previously healthy and vibrant adolescents are only those that have registered with R.E.G.R.E.T., we are aware that there may be many others. Considering our parents regretted consent to their daughters receiving the HPV vaccination, the claim that we should be opposed to it for religious reasons or other, is nothing but ridiculous.
The arbitrary attribution of a hidden agenda to our efforts to be recognised and helped, quite apart from not standing up, is deeply insulting to these girls and their families. Our agenda is clear, as presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health last December: for responsible action to be taken by government to investigate, and offer the appropriate treatment options, and to ensure that all parents are fully advised as to the the potential risks of the HPV vaccine, in order that they can make an informed decision for their children.
The vaccine manufacturer Merck, recognises 25 symptoms as possible side effects, and urges patients to seek help from their health care professional should they experience any of the listed side effects, or others, even several months after the vaccination. A fact blatantly ignored in Dr Jones’ commentary. This risk information is still not forthcoming by the HSE when parents consent to the vaccination.
We will continue our fight for appropriate recognition and healthcare provision to be put in place for our daughters, whose lives have been shattered by the fallout from the HPV vaccination. Our girls suffer daily with seizures, severe headaches, muscle fatigue, joint pain, and extreme exhaustion, to name a few symptoms, and many now find it impossible to even attend school. Their friendships have suffered, as have their interests. In short, their development to adulthood has been severely compromised, and we simply do not know what the future holds. No one who walked in our shoes for one day would deny the reality of our experience.
If there is any hidden agenda at work, it rests somewhere between the financial interests of an overly influential pharmaceutical industry, and a government healthcare service that does not wish to engage in addressing this unpalatable health issue, despite the growing international evidence of reported severe adverse events; events even outlined within the manufacturers own trials. Having been appointed by Minister O’Reilly to the “Healthy Ireland Council”, Dr Jones should be more responsible, as she is seen as one of our health ‘thought leaders’, in providing a balanced and well informed view to the readers.
The evidence shows that full disclosure of fact is necessary — anything less is unscientific at best, but is also grossly unfair. We suggest that Dr Jones looks at the evidence more closely when offering future commentary on the issue, and resists the easy path of the vilification of people who are victims, struggling every day, and with no official help to become survivors.
On behalf of REGRET
For more about Gardasil and HPV vaccines, click here.