More than 200 doctors across Europe are calling for a halt on the routine use of the HPV vaccination until its safety and effectiveness have been established. The vaccine, designed to prevent cervical cancer, is no longer recommended by health authorities in Japan, and lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer in Spain, France and India.
The European doctors, led by Dr Philippe de Chazournes, are calling for a moratorium on the vaccine's use in EU member states until a commission has investigated the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.
In a petition presented to Marisol Touraine, the EC's minister of social affairs, the doctors say they want a commission to explore the justification for the use of the HPV vaccine, the benefit/risk balance, the ethical dimension in using the vaccine, and whether the vaccine's introduction is pursuing a political agenda rather than a medical one.
Euro MEP Michele Rivasi, of the Ecology party, presented the petition to the European Parliament last month. She said that around two million teenage girls around Europe have had the HPV vaccine, while its effectiveness has yet to be proven. At the same time, there have been growing numbers of reports of girls suffering adverse reactions to the vaccine.