HPV Vaccine controversy

Mattie McGrath tries to calm matters following his call for HSE head to resign

Claire McGovern


Claire McGovern

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has issued a statement in a bid to achieve some calm after he called for the head of the HSE to be fired over his comments about parents opposing the HPV vaccine.

In a press statement today it was stated: 

"Minister McGrath assured Minister Harris that he supports the new campaign to encourage parents to avail of the HPV vaccine which saves lives and he welcomes the fact the whole purpose of the new campaign is to help inform parents and direct them to medical professionals to have any questions answered and facts provided.

"Ministers Harris and McGrath agree that the people qualified to give advice on vaccines are medical professionals and they would encourage parents to take advice from them.

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien this week accused groups opposing the vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer, of “emotional terrorism”.

A “well-orchestrated” campaign was targeting parents, teenagers and teachers with “disinformation” with no basis in science, he told the launch of the HSE’s information campaign on the vaccine.

Mr McGrath accused the HSE boss of a “vicious and unwarranted” attack on parents and said if he did not resign, he should be dismissed by the Minister for Health.

“This is a pathetic and brutalising assault on all those parents and children who, from Mr O’Brien’s perspective, have had the temerity to raise questions about the effectiveness and impact of the Gardasil vaccine.”