The HPV vaccine has come under scrutiny over the last number of days as experts believe the benefits outweigh the risk.
According to The Irish Times, The Health Products Regulatory Authority has received over 1,000 reports about reactions to the vaccine but experts believe the vaccine is crucial and benefits outweigh the risks as it saves 90 lives in Ireland a year. 648 girls needed medical intervention from their GP or treatment for symptoms after receiving the drug Gardasil.
The HSE states that 80% of women will contract HPV in their late teens or early 20s and many cases will clear by itself. The HPV vaccine eliminates 7 out of 10 cancers associated with the virus. Introduced in 2006, the vaccine has been administered to over 650,000 women in Ireland and 230,000 girls have received the full course.
A number of parents are concerned as they're associating the Gardasil vaccine drug to side-effects their teenagers are experiencing. Side-effects young women have experienced include: dizziness, headache and skin rashes, chronic fatigue, nausea, swollen joints, and menstrual problems.Speaking to The Independent, Professor Karina Butler from UCD says teenage girls have continued to show these symptoms regardless of whether or not they have received the vaccine:
Although we don't have an explanation as to why this age group presents with these symptoms, the phenomenon has been recognised for many years...Around the mid-teenage years, something triggers the onset of these disabilities...It is, of course, understandable that parents are concerned when they see a query over the safety of a medicine. These concerns have been taken very seriously...But results have shown that there is no difference in symptoms in those who had the vaccine and those who didn't.
In 2015, the European Medicines Agency reviewed the vaccine and concluded it could be continued to be marketed and it will be continually monitored:
The safety of these vaccines, as with all medicines, continues to be carefully monitored, and [the monitoring] will take into account any future new evidence of side effects that becomes available.