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HPV Vaccines

23 January 2015

Salam, Peace & Blessings.

Some of you may have received an SMS blast from "anonymous" regarding the Adverse Effects of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in Columbia. This person urged parents not to give their consent for HPV vaccination offered by the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia which has been part of our National Immunisation Program (NIP) since 2010.

The Columbian news is old news published in August 2014 about alleged adverse events in some girls who received HPV vaccine, as part of Colombia’s NIP. There was much speculation in the media about the cause of the adverse effects.

Before we address the "safety allegations", it is useful to remind ourselves that:-

  • Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in Malaysia.
  • 8.7 million women over the age of 15 in Malaysia are at risk.
  • About 6 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every day.
  • Many present at an advanced stage of the disease when the outcome is poor
  • Half of them die from the disease
  • Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV

Worldwide Health Authorities Recommendations on EFFICACY & SAFETY of HPV Vaccine:-

  • HPV vaccine is the result of more than 10 years of research and development.
  • Its efficacy was established in clinical trials involving more than 25,000 females and males. 
  • Several real-world outcome studies have supported the efficacy data from the clinical trials. 
  • Outcome studies in several countries showed a significant reduction in the prevalence of HPV infection and cervical lesions which preceded cancer, following HPV vaccination, thus protecting girls from cervical cancer.
  • HPV vaccines have an excellent safety profile.
  • Safety has continued to be evaluated in several large post-licensure surveillance studies in more than 500,000 people following administration.
  • In March 2014, the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) stated that they have not found any safety issue that would alter any of the current recommendations for the use of HPV vaccines, and reaffirmed the favorable benefit-risk profile of HPV vaccines.
  • GACVS reiterated "allegations of harm from vaccination based on weak evidence can lead to real harm when, as a result, safe and effective vaccines cease to be used."

  • While no vaccine or medicine is completely without risk, leading international health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Australia Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), have continued to recommend the use of HPV vaccines.
  • You are also kindly referred to "Hukum Pengambilan Vaksin Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) - JAKIM, 2012:123-125" following the Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia which met in Melaka from 15 - 17 December 2010.
  • "Muzakarah bersetuju memutuskan bahawa pengambilan Vaksin Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) yang telah dipastikan tiada unsur meragukan dalam kandungannya dan tidak mendatangkan kemudharatan adalah diharuskan bagi mencegah penyakit kanser pangkal rahim (servik) di kalangan wanita."

Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
Board Member, Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) Immunise4life

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