Following several recent media reportslinking the use of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to neurological diseases in two children, the South African Paediatric Association (Sapa) says it reviewed the media reports, and concluded they do not suggest the vaccine is likely to have contributed to the two children’s illness.
Each year, 7,735 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer is South Africa, which is the number one ranked cancer in women aged 15 to 44 in Southern Africa and one of the leading female cancer death causes in South Africa. HPV is directly linked with causing cervical cancer.
Sapa and its umbrella body, the South African Medical Association (Sama), has endorsed the use of the HPV vaccine, including its routine provision, to nine- and ten-year-old schoolgirls in South Africa.
“However, we have not examined these children, nor do we have access to their medical records, and our impression needs to be interpreted in this context,” says Dr Gary Reubenson of Sapa.”
Vaccine highly effective
We support all reasonable evidence-based efforts to prevent these diseases. Vaccines are one such option. For this reason, Sapa fully endorses the use of the HPV vaccine, and its routine provision to eligible learners,” he says.
The HPV vaccine has been administered to hundreds of thousands of children and adults globally, and is highly effective and well tolerated. As with any other medical intervention, adverse consequences are possible and important to recognise. The most common side effects of the HPV vaccine are usually mild, such as a sore arm. Like all vaccines, the HPV vaccine is monitored on an ongoing basis to make sure it remains safe and effective, the organisation says.
“To date, there is no reason to be concerned about any particular serious or longstanding untoward effects following administration of the HPV vaccine. Accordingly we continue to support the widespread use of HPV vaccines, and encourage its administration as its benefits substantially outweigh any potential adverse effects,” Reubenson says.
He says Sapa also encourages vaccine recipients, and their caregivers, to report any possible adverse consequences following administration of the vaccine to their healthcare workers, so that these can be appropriately reported and investigated. Healthcare workers encountering such cases should report them to their local EPI Coordinator.
Article by bizcommunity