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Practice 10 Minute Consultation

Discussing human papilloma virus vaccination

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2730 (Published 22 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2730

Rapid Response:

Re: Discussing human papilloma virus vaccination

Sub Title: Should Japan’s ‘active promotion’ of HPV vaccination be resumed?

In fact, since promotion ended there have been continuing reports of serious side effects.

In its June to August 2017 editions, BMJ published a debate entitled ‘Discussing human papilloma virus vaccination’ concerning the safety of HPV vaccination. In that discussion, Dr Noel Thomas wrote, ‘Japan stopped using the HPV vaccine five years ago, because of safety concerns.’ In fact, stated correctly, ‘On 14 June 2013 the Japanese Government took measures to end “the active promotion of regular inoculation”.’ Since then, those who wish to be inoculated have continued to be so.

We checked the number of reports of negative side effects since around the time these measures were taken by investigating reports by doctors to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (case outlines are published on the Ministry’s web site). We found that in the over four years since vaccination promotion was stopped, there were a total of 84 reported cases of suspected side-effects to the two agents Cervarix and Gardasil. Of these, in 45 cases (54%) the symptoms were ‘serious’. Of the 84, 39 (46%) were assessed by the administering doctor as ‘having a causal relationship to the vaccination’ and 18 (46%) of those were ‘serious’. (One case was in an 11 year-old girl who had 33 symptoms including ‘generalized aching’ and ‘involuntary movements’. Another case was in a 14 year-old girl for whom 11 symptoms were listed, including CRPS and orthostatic intolerance.)

The above results do not contradict the theory that there is a causal relationship between HPV vaccine injection and various symptoms that occurred after injection.

Kiyohiko Katahira, PhD
Researcher
Institute of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kenwa-kai, Takano 4-510-1, Misato, Saitama, Japan
katahirakiyohiko@gmail.com

Hiroaki Enoki, PhD
Researcher
Institute of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kenwa-kai, Takano 4-510-1, Misato, Saitama, Japan

Kiyoshi Uchide, MD
Professor (Special appointment) of Komatsu Junior College

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 March 2018
Katahira Kiyohiko
Researcher
Hiroaki Enoki, PhD, Researcher, Institute of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kenwa-kai; Kiyoshi Uchide, MD Professor (Special appointment) of Komatsu Junior College
Institute of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kenwa-kai
Takano 4-510-1, Misato, Saitama, Japan