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Cervical cancer

MagazineApril 2009 (Vol. 20 Issue 1)Cervical cancer

Such is the clamour around the world for mass-immunization programmes to be adopted for adolescent girls against cervical cancer that a mass rally took place in Paris recently

Such is the clamour around the world for mass-immunization programmes to be adopted for adolescent girls against cervical cancer that a mass rally took place in Paris recently.

The demonstration was calling for the universal take-up of the cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil-the only one on the market-which is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.

But the rally and support campaign were funded entirely by Sanofi, which has, so far, dispensed more than lb1 million ($1.9 million) to get theirnew vaccine adopted by government agencies. The company paid for the travel expenses of most of those who attended the rally in Paris, which was heralded as "the first global summit against cervical cancer", and some also received a fee simply for attending.

While early trials have suggested that the vaccine provides protection against four common types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical and vulval precancers and genital warts, no one is sure of the vaccine's long-term health risks (Guardian, 26 March 2007).


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