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Japan Will No Longer Support HPV Vaccines

Because of related severe side effects to medications like Merck’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix, government officials in Japan have decided to withdraw support for HPV vaccines. Almost 2,000 reports of complications from the vaccine have been brought to the attention of Japanese officials citing pain and numbness, infertility and paralysis. An estimated 3.2 million people have received the vaccine in Japan alone.

While the drugs haven’t been fully banned in Japan, doctors and medical professionals are still providing the vaccination for free, but have been advised to inform young women that the drugs are no longer recommended or promoted by the Japanese government health ministry. The vice president of the Health Ministry, Mariko Momoi, stated that the vaccine poses a safety problem, and by discontinuing the support of the drug the government can fully investigate the safety of the drug in order to make the public more comfortable.

U.S. Support of HPV Vaccines Continues

Meanwhile the World Health Organization still continues its support of HPV vaccinations and their uses for preventing cervical cancer. And Gardasil’s manufacturer Merck says that they will aid the health ministry in their investigations, but promote the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The U.S. highly promotes the vaccine through the Vaccines for Children program, and 20 states have allocated funds for HPV education and implementation. However some adverse effects are apparent in the U.S. as well, with a total of almost 30,000 adverse effects including abnormal pap smears and death.

Merck has previously been accused of creating false test results on a former mumps vaccination. Aside from the major Vioxx medication scandal in the early 2000s, Merck has also been accused of selling ineffective vaccinations to the U.S. government.