Senators and TDs in State of Shock after meeting REGRET Parents in Dáil Éireann.
On the 6th October, parents representing the Irish Support Group REGRET met with a group of 15 TDs and Senators at the Irish Parliament ('The Dáil') . Maureen O'Sullivan T.D. organized the cross-party meeting to bring attention to the serious adverse reactions suffered by Irish schoolgirls after taking the HPV vaccine 'Gardasil'. R.E.G.R.E.T stands for "Reactions and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma"
Kiva Murphy, Karen Smyth and Mairéad Hilliard were representing nearly 100 Irish families who believe their daughters' debilitating illnesses resulted from the vaccine. Many of these girls can no longer attend school, having not been able to regain their health since.
During the meeting, which lasted almost an hour and a half, the House members were given copies of a report produced by REGRET for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). REGRET representatives were invited to meet with investigators from the EMA in London last month as a part of a safety review of Gardasil being conducted by the agency. This report, based on first-hand accounts, revealed details on the kind of debilitating illnesses now crippling young teens across the country such as:
Recurring seizures, fainting
Persistent severe headaches, blurred vision
Chronic joint and/or muscle pains, stomach pains
Memory impairment, poor concentration, no ability to retain information
Due to the nature of these illnesses, many of which can be classed as auto-immune conditions, most of these girls are not receiving effective medical treatment. A letter presented at the meeting written by one of the parents outlined the unprofessional way she had been treated by the Health Service.
TDs and Senators were left in no doubt about the scale of the problem in Ireland and all agreed that this issue needs serious attention. Many were surprised that the vaccine program has not been suspended given that the same pattern of serious adverse reactions has been reported in other countries where the vaccine has been introduced.
After the meeting Clare Daly T.D told Regret.ie "We were shocked by the information that was presented and we resolved to pursue this matter with the Minister and the HSE. It is completely unacceptable to expect parents and young women to be exposed to potentially harmful side-effects, when clearly they did not have the proper information beforehand".
The following day in the Seanad, Senator Paschal Mooney declared "This is an appalling vista, I couldn't believe what I was listening to, and the more I've delved into this the more I believe it is a national disgrace". "The Medical profession are protecting the Pharmaceutical companies by denying there are any side effects", he added.
He was followed by an "absolutely shocked" Fidelma Healy Eames who demanded an urgent enquiry saying "we cannot sit idly by". Holding up a printout of the Regret.ie victims page, she said, "These testimonies are absolutely shocking, putting the life and the quality of life of our children and young woman at risk". "When we are advised as a nation of mothers, of parents, to vaccinate our children, we trust that the public health department has done it's homework. This vaccine, did it have testimonials like this in other countries?".
So far, REGRET have been unable to persuade the Minister for Health to meet with parents representing the Group. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has also declined a request for a meeting.
Last month the HSE published the content of the information leaflet that will be distributed to parents as part of the informed consent process for the Autumn 2015 schools HPV vaccination program. This excluded warnings on possible serious long term adverse effects. In particular, the HSE did not provide the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) to parents, which instructs parents to "inform your health care provider" if any of 21 known side effects are experienced.
Regret.ie has launched it's own information campaign which will refer parents to the vaccine maker's original product information, including results from the vaccine maker's own clinical trials. In these trials 2.5% (1 in 40) of participants reported a serious adverse event* after taking the vaccine. In addition, 3.3% (1 in 30) also reported a new auto-immune condition. Given the current rate of incidence of cervical cancer in Ireland is only 13/100,000 (or 0.013%), the benefits of this vaccine hardly appear to outweigh the risks.
A safe alternative method of cervical cancer prevention exists in the form of a free cervical pap smear screening service provided by the HSE.
*According to the FDA, a serious adverse event must fit one of the following criteria: Death, life-threatening, hospitalization, disability or permanent damage,
congenital abnormality/birth defect, or the requirement to intervene to prevent permanent impairment.
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Excerpt from HSE hvp vaccine leaflet
Caption: Senator Paschal Mooney blows whistle on Irish HPV vaccine serious reactions 08/10/2015
Caption: An "Absolutely shocked" Fidelma Healy Eames learns of HPV vaccine serious reactions. 08/10/2015