Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid Response:

Re: The remarkable impact of bivalent HPV vaccine in Scotland

I agree with Julia Brotherton[1,2] that these findings are remarkable but despite wide media publicity this morning they do not seem to provide direct evidence that the vaccines prevent cancer, or that they are safe [3-9].

[1] Julia ML Brotherton, ' The remarkable impact of bivalent HPV vaccine in Scotland'
BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 03 April 2019)

[2] Tim Palmer, Lynn Wallace, Kevin G Pollock, Kate Cuschieri, Kim Kavanagh, Margaret Cruickshank, 'Prevalence of cervical disease at age 20 after immunisation with bivalent HPV vaccine at age 12-13 in Scotland: retrospective population study', BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 03 April 2019)
Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1161

[3] Jørgensen L, Gøtzsche PC, Jefferson T.'The Cochrane HPV vaccine review was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias', BMJ Evid Based Med. 2018 Oct;23(5):165-168. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111012. Epub 2018 Jul 27

[4] Nigel Hawkes, 'Cochrane director’s expulsion results in four board members resigning', BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 17 September 2018)

[5] Lars Jørgensen, Peter Doshi, Peter Gøtzsche, Tom Jefferson, 'Challenges of independent assessment of potential harms of HPV vaccines', BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 24 September 2018)

[6] Riva C, Tinari S, Spinosa JP. 'Lessons learnt on transparency, scientific process and publication ethics. The short story of a long journey to get into the public domain unpublished data, methodological flaws and bias of the Cochrane HPV vaccines review.'BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Published Online First: 06 December 2018. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111119

[7] Peter Doshi, Tom Jefferson, Mark Jones, Kyungwan Hong, Larissa Shamseer, Haeyoung Lee, O’Mareen Spence, Florence Bourgeois, 'Call to action: RIAT restoration of a previously unpublished methodology in Gardasil vaccine trials', 11 January 2019,

[8] Gayle Delong, 'A lowered probability of pregnancy in females in the USA aged 25–29 who received a human papillomavirus vaccine injection', Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health,

[9] Mary Holland, Kim Mack Rosenberg and Eileen Iorio, 'The HPV Vaccine On Trial: Seeking Justice for a Generation Betrayed' with an introduction by Luc Montagnier, Skyhorse, 2 October 2018

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 April 2019
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22