Cervical Cancer Vaccination Fact Sheet Because you can't consent if you're not informed. Starting September 2008, all year 8 girls (aged 12-13) are to be “offered” 3 shots of the Cervarix® HPV vaccination over 6 months. A course of 3 shots costs around £300. The taxpayer is picking up the tab. GlaxoSmithKline is supplying the vaccine. Analysts believe Cervarix® has the potential to generate £70m for GSK in 2008 and £214m by 20101. Once a vaccination programme is introduced, it would be political suicide for any government to withdraw it, so it is here to stay. Facts about Cervical Cancer Cervical cancer killed 949 women in the UK in 2006, only 6% of those were under 40 years old. It accounts for around 2% of all female cancers. Women of all ages have a 1 in 50000 chance of dying of the cancer (per year) and a one in 12500 chance of contracting it. About 60% of women diagnosed with the cancer survive longer than 10 years (20% die within one year). Thirty years ago, cervical cancer killed 2850 women. Mortality has decreased by 70 percent in that time. If this trend continues, in another 30 years when our twelve year olds are just starting to be exposed to the possibility of getting the cancer, there will be only 285 deaths. The government claims the jab will save 400 lives per year, but the natural progression of the disease will “save” 665 lives, even without the vaccination programme. Ref http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/cervix/mortality/?a=5441 HPV infections are usually transient and generally cause no symptoms2. The risk of contracting cancer if you have the virus increases 2-3 fold with cigarette smoking and oral contraceptive use3. What's in the Vaccine? CERVARIX® contains active ingredients for 2 of the 13 types of HPV that can cause cancer. These are viral protein fragments that have probably been cultured in eggs (information not available). The vaccine contains no live virus or DNA, so cannot cause infection. These two types are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. Cervarix® also contains : • 3-O-desacyl-4’- monophosphoryl lipidA (never been used in a vaccination before) • aluminium hydroxide, aluminium is cumulative and is associated with anemia, bone disease, and progressive dementia. The half-life of aluminium in the brain is 7 years4. • sodium chloride (salt) • sodium phosphate-monobasic – which carries the following warning - CAUTION! MAY CAUSE IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES, AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. MAY BE HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. - from Material Safety Data Sheet5 Like all medicines the vaccine will have been tested on animals. “Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug, editor of The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, wrote in an editorial in ...The New England Journal of Medicine. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.”6 Once the idea is sold that the vaccine “prevents the most common types of cervical cancer,” it becomes unethical not to vaccinate all children. This makes it impossible to detect any medium or long-term adverse or beneficial effects because there will be no control (unvaccinated) groups to compare with. Does the Vaccination work? The Cervarix® vaccination has not yet actually prevented a case of cancer. In the largest study done on Cervarix®, 9,319 women were given the vaccination while 9,325 were given the Hepatitis A vaccination which was designated as the placebo. After an average of 15 months follow-up, 2 cases of early pre- cancerous cells were found in the Cervarix® group, while 21 cases were found in the Hep A group7. The vaccine has been found to be active over a 6.5 year period although there is some data from the clinical trials which indicates the immune response may wane after 3-5 years, so it is not yet known whether girls receiving the vaccine at 12 will still be protected when they become sexually active, or when they are likely to get the disease 30-60 years later7. This vaccine provides no immunity to the 30% of other types of HPV infections that cause cervical cancer so women will still need extensive screening programmes and will still get the cancer. Refs 1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/glaxos-cancer-drug-cervarix-could-face-twoyear-delay-in-us-765731.html 2. Baseman JG, Koutsky LA.The epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections. J Clin Virol 2005; 32 Suppl 1: S16-S24 3. http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/cervix/mortality/?a=5441 4. http://www.emedicine.com/MED/topic113.htm 5. http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/S4750.htm 6. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/health/21vaccine.html? ex=1235016000&en=d9b39de2495d2fd5&ei=5087&excamp=GGHLcervicalcancervaccinenews&WT.srch=1&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_i d=HL-S-E-GG-NA-CT-cervical_cancer_vaccine_news 7. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607609465/abstract. 8. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/health/policy/20vaccine.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=slogin Prepared by Simon King, Naturality Wellness Centre, 42 Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted. E&OE This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease nor is it intended to advise for or against the administration of vaccines. It is simply a collection of facts to help parents and their children make an informed decision. The Author accepts no liability for the consequences of any decisions any individual makes based on these facts.