News

HPV vaccines are effective and safe and work best in young women, review finds

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2059 (Published 09 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2059

Re: HPV vaccines are effective and safe and work best in young women, review finds

I do not know on what basis these vaccines are said to be safe [1]. I quote from the review [2]:

"The risk of serious adverse events is similar between control and HPV vaccines in women of all ages (669 versus 656/10,000, RR 0.98 (0.92 to 1.05), high certainty). Mortality was 11/10,000 in control groups compared with 14/10,000 (9 to 22) with HPV vaccine (RR 1.29 [0.85 to 1.98]; low certainty). The number of deaths was low overall but there is a higher number of deaths in older women. No pattern in the cause or timing of death has been established."

However, controls are not placebo but other vaccines, so we apparently have serious adverse events in 1 in 15 cases, 11 deaths per 10,000 among controls and excess of 3 deaths, 14 per 10,000 for those receiving HPV vaccines.

Is there any point to this intervention?

[1] Nigel Hawkes, 'HPV vaccines are effective and safe and work best in young women, review finds',
BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2059 (Published 09 May 2018)

[2] Marc Arbyn, Lan Xu, Cindy Simoens, Pierre PL Martin-Hirsch, 'Prophylactic vaccination against human papillomaviruses to prevent cervical cancer and its precursors',
http://cochranelibrary-wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009069.pub3/full

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 May 2018
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22