14 February 2011
“We, as consultants in sexual health, have been told to say nothing publicly that would damage the current (HPV) vaccine programme..”
This week, in a BBC website article co-authored with Dr Steve Taylor , consultant physician Dr Colm O’Mahony points out the superiority of the Merck HPV vaccine ‘Gardasil’ over it’s GSK competition ‘Cervarix’ (which is currently administered as part of the HPV mass vaccination program in the UK).
The NHS contract for the vaccine program comes up for renewal this year and Dr O’Mahony argues that the Merck product should be chosen instead as it also protects against genital warts while the GSK variant does not.
In this latest BBC article Dr O’Mahony admits to having to be ‘circumspect’ when speaking on the subject: ”We, as consultants in sexual health, have been told to say nothing publicly that would damage the current (HPV) vaccine programme..”. Apparently this explains the absense of any stated doubts among these ‘consultants’ regarding the safety of either HPV vaccine. There have been 1300 reported adverse reactions to Cervarix so far in the UK, many of them debilitating, as highlighted ina recent Daily Mail article on five such affected girls. The vaccination program was imposed on UK schools followed a government ’information’ campaign which exaggerated the benefits of the vaccinewithout communicating the known safety risks.
Dublin educated Dr O’Mahony, who works in the department of genito-urinary medicine at the Chester Foundation Trust Hospital in Liverpool, visited Ireland in Dec 2008 to advocate for the reintroduction of the planned HPV mass vaccination campaign (a few weeks after the government cancelled it). Appearing on the Pat Kenny radio show , he stated that ‘We’re the only European country that aren’t embracing this vaccine programme. The vaccines are terrific’.
Apparently, his enthusiasm for one of them has somewhat deflated since then though: “In our clinics we can only apologise to any young women we see who has had her full three doses of Cervarix and yet presents in great distress with genital warts”. Those girls suffering adverse reactions from the vaccine itself remain unacknowledged in the article however – presumably these ‘sexual health consultants’ will remain silent on this issue unless ‘told’ otherwise. [It is interesting to note that Dr O'Mahony admits to prescribing about 1/2 million pounds (Eur 600k) of GSK drugs a year].
Although the article ends with “Neither author has any financial interest in either Cervarix or Gardasil” it should be noted that from our research, Dr O’Mahony does indeed have ”competing interests” with respect to financial ties to both vaccine companies. He has been on advisory boards and received lecture fees from both GSK and SPMSD (Merck).
Unfortunately, the article presents us with a false choice - the competing Merck HPV vaccine is no safer than that of Cervarix. See victims memorial page here for those who did not survive Gardasil.
You can also find Testimonies here from US families of those disabled by Gardasil.
This article was posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 at 5:14 am