Health Impact News Editor Comments:

Earlier this year we published a report from Christina England on a 43 page document produced by the Indian Parliament accusing the U.S. group PATH, funded in part by Bill Gates’ foundation, of committing illegal and improper activities in support of commercial interests in the development of the HPV vaccine in India, which reportedly led to the deaths of several young Indian girls. (See: Bill Gates Funded Group Accused of Breaking Law in HPV Vaccine Trials in India Resulting in Fatalities)

The U.S. mainstream media completely ignored this story.

A couple weeks later, Anita Jain, the India Editor of the British Medical Journal, published her own comments on the ethical violations conducted in India in the development of Gardasil, and questioned the wisdom of rolling out the Gardasil vaccine to the entire country, citing safety and efficacy concerns. India has more deaths related to cervical cancer than any other country in the world, so if a vaccine could truly help, they would be eager to implement it. But they are not convinced, based on the science, that the vaccine is safe or that it works. Again, this information is not readily available in the U.S. mainstream media, which only presents the HPV vaccine in a positive light.

HPV vaccination as a national health priority: no easy answers

by Anita Jain, India editor
British Medical Journal


The path (no pun intended) to adoption of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is mired in controversy again. Back in 2010, an HPV vaccine study conducted in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat by the international non-profit Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) was stalled amid allegations of ethical violations. More than 23 000 girls aged 10-14 years were given the HPV vaccine under this project, which health activists assert was “tantamount to using Indians as guinea pigs” (doi:10.1136/bmj.c1775).

A parliamentary panel investigating the matter confirms serious shortcomings in the protocol and execution of this study. In a report submitted earlier this month, they document misleading information given to parents about the benefits of the vaccine, and perpetuation of a false impression that the vaccination program was a government initiative. Further, the study targeted a vulnerable population of rural and tribal adolescent girls, and lacked necessary surveillance systems to monitor adverse events (doi:10.1136/bmj.f5492).

Moving beyond the regulatory gaps exposed by this particular study, we do need hard evidence on the protective efficacy and cost effectiveness of HPV vaccination in preventing cervical cancer, to consider its roll out as a national programme. With more deaths from cervical cancer annually than any other country in the world (doi:10.1136/bmj.f3108), the debate is central to India.

Allyson Pollock, author of a review on HPV vaccination in India, contends that a roll out of the vaccine is completely irrational from a public health perspective (doi:10.1136/bmj.e4390), and poses three vital questions for the government to consider: “whether it [HPV vaccine] works, whether it is needed, and whether it is a health priority.”

Read the Full Article Here:

See Also:

Study: HPV Vaccine Linked to Premature Menopause in Young Girls


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