The Society today launched a political education campaign to address the “misinformation surrounding the national HPV vaccination programme”.
The Society is seeking meetings with all Oireachtas members to ensure they have the facts about the safety and importance of the HPV vaccine.
“The Irish Cancer Society is launching an advocacy campaign to support politicians so that they can have the facts to hand when targeted by anti-vaccine campaigners and can offer an informed response to any queries from constituents,” said Mr Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society.
“The Society is so concerned that much of the information being circulated about the vaccine is incorrect, our Advocacy staff will be running a political-education campaign for the rest of the year.
“We cannot allow unsubstantiated claims to drown out the real facts on the safety and inappropriately influence parents’ decisions to have their children vaccinated.
“The vaccine is safe and protects girls and women from developing fatal cancers associated with HPV,” continued Mr. Buggy.
“The World Health Organisation Global Advisory Committee for Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has reviewed, and continues to monitor, the evidence on the safety of the Gardasil vaccine. It concluded in December 2015 that Gardasil continues to have an excellent safety profile.”
HPV causes large numbers of cancers and premalignant conditions. According to the Society this year in Ireland estimates indicate that over 90 women will die from cervical cancer, while 280 will be diagnosed with the disease. A further 6,500 women will need hospital treatment to deal with pre-malignant forms of this disease to prevent later development of cervical cancer.