Rebecca Hollidge from Annaduff.
Speaking today at the launch of the HSE's 2017/18 Schools HPV Vaccine Programme and Information Campaign, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, certainly didn't mince his words saying that scaremongers should butt out and leave medical advice on HPV to the medical professionals.
This is despite a number of girls, such as local teenager Rebbecca Hollidge from Annaduff, claiming they suffer huge side effects as a results of the vaccination.
Rebecca suffered chronic pain, muscle weakness and short term memory loss as well as severe exhaustion that meant she slept almost 20 hours each day and had to use a wheelchair to get around. Her parents Yvonne and Peter Hollidge have now taken their 17-years-old abroad for treatment.
Rebecca is one of the first girls from REGRET (Reactions and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma) support group to undergo treatment abroad, others are now following in Rebecca’s footsteps as they seek out help.
However, the Department of Health's HPV Vaccination Programme and Information Campaign aims to support parents in ensuring their daughters get the vaccine and get protected.
"The vaccine saves lives by preventing the most common strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer."
Minister Harris said, “I am delighted to help launch this new HPV Vaccine campaign. It is vital that we get the information out that this vaccine can save lives and prevent cancer. I know that parents want to do everything possible to make sure their children are healthy and protected from preventable diseases. Let's protect our future.”
According to the Minister for Health "Vaccination is regarded as one of the safest and most cost-effective of all health care interventions. It is also one of the most effective ways a parent can protect the health of their child and Ireland’s uptake rates for many vaccines in the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme are close to the WHO uptake target of 95%.
"Our childhood immunisation programmes have had a huge impact in improving the health of the Irish people. Diseases that used to be common in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, Meningococcal B and C and many other serious infectious diseases can now be prevented by vaccination.
"In recent years, due to the success of our immunisation programmes, many vaccine preventable diseases have become so infrequent that we have lost the collective memory of the impact they have had on children and their families.
Minister Harris concluded “one of the most important things we can do is to provide accurate and credible information to enable parents to take a fully informed decision concerning HPV vaccination. We know that the HPV vaccine works and saves lives.”
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