HPV vaccine safe: Ministry

THE government has defended its decision to roll out the Humana Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme targeting school-going teenage girls, saying the move was meant to safeguard adolescents against cervical cancer.

BY VANESSA GONYE

This came after some parents and members of society expressed concerns over the safety of the drug, with some saying they feared the vaccinations could trigger sexual activity or infertility among girls in the target group.

The director of epidemiology and disease control in the Health ministry, Portia Manangazira, told NewsDay the vaccination was safe and rubbished claims that it could lead to infertility.

“Seeing the severity of a cancer possibility, any woman stands to benefit from the primary prevention strategy of vaccination provided they test HPV negative despite having had sexual exposure,” she said.

Manangazira said HPV was responsible for causing the majority of, but not all cervical cancers and those vaccinated would be free of all cancers caused by HPV.

“The vaccine does not affect fertility, prevent HIV or pregnancy. It is a very safe and effective vaccine. As of September 2014, we vaccinated about

20 000 girls in Beitbridge, Marondera and Kwekwe districts. Less than 10% reported having experienced any side effects and most reported were mild and moderate (headache, nausea, dizziness and pain at the injection site,” she said.

Manangazira said the vaccine helps to break the cycle of transmission.

At least 80 000 vaccinations were targeted in the just-ended exercise.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, with 99% of cases associated with HPV infection.


Every year, 530 000 new cases are diagnosed, with 275 000 women succumbing to cervical cancer.

Annually, 2 270 new cases of cervical cancer are recorded in Zimbabwe with 1 541 associated deaths.

3 Comments

  1. The beautiful ones are not yet born

    The government is not telling the truth. There has been criticism levelled against this vaccine world over. Its safety and effectiveness, particulary in Africans is highly questionable and this has been proved by studies.

    If the reporter had any sense they would have done some research to enable them to write a good well balanced article.

  2. The vaccine is actually called Gardasil.

    U.S. court pays $6 million to Gardasil victims:
    STORY TOPICS
    HEALTH_MEDICAL_PHARMA
    MERCK PHARMACEUTICALS
    Print
    By Peter Lind – – Wednesday, December 31, 2014
    WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 – Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), may not be as safe as backers claim.

    Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated.

    “This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded. Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.Journalists should learn to write balanced articles and research.I’ve just written a rebuttal.Let’s hear what you have to say?Zimbabweans being used as guinea pigs and not doing the necessary fact finding.Come Mr Reporter a response is in order

  3. There has been so much criticism that it’s so reckless to just announce a drug as being safe without doing the necessary research.You just have to go on the net and see how controversial Gardasil(name of vaccine) is.Please do your research journalist not just spouting info verbatim

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