(SANEVAX) –Much the same as in US, UK, Australia and other countries, Japanese obstetricians and gynecologists advocated HPV vaccines as a highly effective method of preventing uterine cervical cancer. In 2008, they formed an organization named “the Congress of Professionals for Suppressing Uterine Cervical Cancer” to further promote this recommendation. By Sotaro Sato MD, internist & cardiologist
HPV vaccination programs began in 2010 under a recommendation made by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (JMHLW) to administer HPV vaccines to girls from 11 to 14 years old. The Japanese government allocated 15 billion yen (187.5 million dollars) for urgent HPV Vaccination programs. As HPV vaccination was voluntary and not yet mandatory, local governments eagerly recommended the vaccination. Officials visited junior high schools to advocate the effectiveness of the vaccine and persuade students to be vaccinated. They also stressed that the expensive vaccination (48,000 yen, $600, for three shots) would be free within the 2 year limit. Municipal offices sent letters to families which had girls of the targeted age group to urge vaccination.
Japan Medical Association and Japan Pediatrics Association supported HPV vaccination program. From the end of 2012 to Feb. 15 2013, JMA conducted a signature-collecting campaign for a petition to urge the addition of seven vaccinations (HB, PCV7, PCV23, Hib, HPV, chicken pox, mumps) to the list of mandatory ones. After discussions in the Japanese parliaments, it was decided to add three vaccinations (HPV, Hib and PCV7) to the mandatory ones on Mar 28 2013. There was no political party which stated an opinion opposing the addition of HPV vaccines.
March 11 2011, huge earthquakes and tsunami attacked the north-eastern area of Honshu island of Japan, and atomic power plant in Fukushima lost external power supply and lost the means to cool reactor cores. Aftershocks hit repeatedly. The biggest one was during the night of April 7. Nuclear power plants in Fukushima blew up by hydrogen explosion on Mar 12 and 14.
In the midst of this turmoil, a non-commercial video made by Advertising Council Japan was broadcasted on TV repeatedly and repeatedly. In that video, an actress known to have recovered from uterine cervical cancer and her daughter stressed the importance of cervical cancer checkups. Two or three months later, this video program was replaced with HPV vaccine promotion video programs of Cervarix (GSK K.K.) and Gardasil (MSD K.K.).
Up to today, 3.28 million girls, including adult women, were vaccinated with HPV vaccine. Total dose is estimated as 8.64 million. The figure below shows the transition of vaccination count reported to JMLHW from local governments. The population of Japanese girls age 11 is, for example, 580,000. March is the last month of the academic year.
Joint meetings of the Vaccine Adverse Reactions Review Committee (JVARRC) are held three times a year. 1968 cases of adverse events have been reported to JMLHW and JVARRC. 358 cases which were evaluated as serious by the committee and JMLHW are included. The presence of girls suffering from adverse effects of cervical cancer vaccine was revealed gradually from the beginning of 2013. The Nationwide Liaison Association of Cervical Cancer Vaccine Victims and Parents was organized by efforts of Toshie Ikeda, Mika Matsufuji and members of municipal assembly on Mar 25, 2013.
Parents of vaccine victims called our health minister on April 8. During the press conference after that, videos in which girls are suffering from walking disturbances, tic of the body, absence seizure and choreic movement was presented.
June 14 2013, JVRRC decided to suspend the recommendation for HPV vaccination. The same day, JMLHW sent a notification to local governments that HPV vaccination should not be recommended actively until the time when MHLW and JVRRC made a report as to the safety concerns of HPV vaccines and that vaccination should be done for those who want vaccination. In the meantime, HPV vaccination should be available for those who wished it.
The Congress of Professionals for Suppressing Uterine Cervical Cancer and Japan Pediatrics Association made a statement that JMHLW should
“withdraw the suspension of recommendation” for HPV vaccination and should “restore the recommendation” for the vaccination.
For complete report go to SANEVAX.org.
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Tags: Cervarix, Gadasil, HVRRC, Japan Pediatrics Association, Japanese Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, JMHLW, Nationwide Liasion Association of Cervical Cancer Vaccine Victims, The Congress of Professionals for Suppressing Uterine Cervical Cancer, tonic-clonic seizure, Vaccine Adverse Reactions Review Committee, Vaso-vegal reflex