HPV Vaccine Scare Spreads to Europe

Considering Europeans have been much wiser about some health issues -- namely the blight of genetically modified crops -- than many Americans, I was very surprised to learn health officials there are falling for the needless human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine scare, just as state legislatures are here.

Italy and Germany now provide free HPV vaccinations. Italy will offer them to some 280,000 12-year-old girls at an estimated cost of $97 million to the country. Fortunately, this vaccine isn't mandatory, and Italian patients outside this age group will have to pay for it.

Meanwhile, Germany's Standing Commission for Vaccination has recommended all girls between ages 12-17 be inoculated with the Merck vaccine Gardasil and, like Italy, it'll be free to this age group too. And, Austria has launched a vaccine program of its own that includes young boys.

There's so much fear-mongering going about eradicating cervical cancer with a vaccine, health officials here, and across the pond, fail to tell patients that a woman's immune system is usually strong enough to rid her body of HPV all on its own. Fact is, HPV is almost completely avoidable without a vaccine.

Times Online March 28, 2007

All Headline News March 28, 2007

Yahoo News March 28, 2007

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