For many years, day in day out, people get vaccinated to prevent or decrease the chance of getting any diseases. Since 2008, girls in Europe from the age of thirteen years old have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV for short).
These girls get an invitation to get the HPV vaccine in the year they will turn 13. They can decline or choose to get the vaccination. This vaccine aims at decreasing the chance of getting HPV. This virus can cause cells growing abnormal of the skin and mucous membrane. “Mucous membrane: the thin skin that covers the inside surface of parts of the body such as the nose and mouth and produces mucus to protect them” ~ dictionary.cambridge.org
HPV can also increase the chance of developing different forms of cancer, such as cervical cancer. Some types, if not destroyed by the body, can turn into a sexually transmitted disease. Therefore, to decrease the chance of preteens getting infected with this virus, they get a vaccination against two forms of HPV (HPV16 and HVP18).
A few days ago there was a documentary about this vaccination, more specifically about the side effects of this vaccination. During this documentary, it became clear that there are several girls who, after they were vaccinated, showed symptoms of chronical illnesses. Many suffer from diseases like nausea, headaches, chronic fatigues and others.
In the Netherlands, there are also girls who suffer from these symptoms after the vaccination. The pamphlet that the girls receive when they have turned 13 only describes a few side effects. Such as a red dot forming at the place you have gotten the injection, dizziness and aching muscles. nothing has been stated about possible chronical illnesses.
Researches have been carried out to find out more about the side effects of the HPV-vaccine. One of those research reports found no relation or any proof that the vaccination has anything to do with those symptoms. The girls who suffer from those symptoms and side effects think otherwise. One of the girls, named Geertje Leestra, told in the documentary that immediately after she was vaccinated, she started to get tired very easily, being exhausted, etcetera. She is not the only one: Around the world, there are around seventy thousand cases, all registered in the Vigibase in Sweden. In several countries, mothers are trying to get all the information available to the public, so people can decide if they want to take this risk. They would rather see an improvement of the vaccine so that the side effects will vanish or at least become less severe.
In the Netherlands, there is a program named Rijksvaccinatieprogramma. The program informs the public about the HPV vaccine via a pamphlet. In the documentary, it was said that many people have the impression that the vaccine is against cervical cancer. However, as I stated before, it is only a vaccination against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV16 and HVP18) which can cause cancer. Some doctors and mothers from all over the world would like more people to know what this vaccine actually does and doesn’t do.
My opinion on this issue is that the pamphlet should be more detailed and should include more about the possible serious side effects. It can also have a positive influence on the trust people have in the pharmaceutical industry and doctors. Even though there is no direct proof about the more serious side effects of the HPV vaccine, I think it is important to mention that it is possible. If people are fully informed, they can make a better decision about wheter they want to be vaccinated or not.
Author: Daphne Mathijsen