SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer is safe, the public health institute RIVM has concluded following a study of 70,000 girls. The research was carried out after the take-up rate for the jab fell to 46%, considerably lower than for most other vaccines.
Ten years ago, the figure was 61% The injection immunises against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and is given to girls at around the age of 12. Around 20% of teenage girls reported experiencing severe fatigue and headaches around the time they were given the jab.
However, the RIVM’s study found that girls were just as likely to see their doctor with these symptoms before the injection. The RIVM concluded there was no causal link between the vaccine and the symptoms after studying the medical records of 70,000 girls in the Rotterdam area.
A smaller study of 49 girls who experienced them for six months or longer found that 37 of them were no more likely to visit their doctor after receiving the jab. Around 80% of women contract an HPV infection in their lifetime.
The virus is sexually transmitted and responsible for 70% of cervical cancers or pre-cancerous lesions. Cervical cancer is diagnosed in around 700 women in the Netherlands each year, 200 of whom die as a result. (DutchNews)