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'Finally we can protect women': Japan's HPV vaccine battle

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By Natsuko FUKUE

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That is completely false that nobody was vaccinated afterwards. People still received this vax.

People with common sense would understand this is not a literal "nobody" but referencing the huge drop, the same way as saying "nobody eats bugs here" or "nobody likes this guy music" There is nothing false in saying that the lack of support from the goverment made people wary of vaccinating and lots of preventable deaths will happen because of that.

This is completely wrong and flies in the face of expert medical opinions

Which expert medical opinions? those that only you can see and never bring to the comments? because those can be safely disregarded as non-existant until you actually produce them. If you fail to find any expert medical opinion saying the HPV vaccine have important side effects that should indicate to you that it is because the experts are not saying such a thing.

We are discussing the HPV vaccine, where the cost/benefit is hugely in favor of the vaccine. But this applies by definition to every single drug, vaccine or treatment approved for use on certain populations. Because if that was not the case it would not have approval on the first place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hi Japan, isn't this vaccine supposed to protect men too?

virusrexApr. 1  09:11 am JST

That is false, as explained in the article the government completely stopped promoting the vaccine which is the actual reason why nobody was vaccinated afterwards.

That is completely false that nobody was vaccinated afterwards. People still received this vax.

As the article explicitly states:

take-up soon dropped to less than one percent.

virusrexApr. 1  02:55 pm JST

Sorry but this is only baseless antivaxxer propaganda. If a vaccine demonstrate to reduce the risk for a disease (specially for a new disease, for which long term studies are not available) then it is perfectly justified to use those vaccines.

This is completely wrong and flies in the face of expert medical opinions. A vaccine might reduce the risk for a disease, but the reduction rate might not be high enough to outweigh adverse effects.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Made a quick search on average age people lose virginity.

Maybe they could push the age limit to around this age for those recommended to be vaccinated with HPV vax.

Also include males.

LONDON:People in Asian countries、including India、lose their virginity at a much older age than those in the West、according to a worldwide study of sexual behaviour and contraceptive use published today。 Malaysians were the oldest to lost their virginity at 23.0 years old、followed by Indians(22.9)Singaporeans(22.8)、Chinese(22.1)、Thais(20.5)、Hong Kongers(20.2)、Nigerians(19.7)and Japanese(19.4)。 On average、age for first having sex was 19.25.

https://m.economictimes.com/tdp-leader-thota-sita-ramalaxmi-pitches-for-bhimavaram-as-export-excellence-town/articleshow/39745082.cms

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You are talking about actual deaths that could have been prevented by the vaccine.

I am talking about actual deaths that could have been prevented if the government acted as is the norm in the first world, where women's health is a real priority and not something mostly neglected as is happens in Japan, this includes the HPV vaccine, but also promotion of screenings, testing etc. I mentioned that explicitly.

And for those women, screening is the key even if it is not perfect.

And since that is hugely deficient in Japan you are offering no solution. "what if..." is nice, but will not prevent deaths because the authorities appear to be negligent about the whole topic. How many TV commercials have you seen about screening? or mentioning pink ribbon activities? now compare it with how coronavirus vaccines are promoted and supported. Precisely because it is a slow development (changing a social component of public health inevitably is) is why HPV vaccination should have been supported fully and immediately, so deaths that will occur because much more expensive and complicated strategies will still take a few decades to have an effect, if after 10 years deaths begin to plummet as in Britain that are lives saved.

Those "few" that get oncogenic changes are over 10,000 women every year, not exactly something to disregard as rare. Specially because of the close to nil promotion of screening by the authorities.

The vaccine can prevent cancer that happens when it happens, obviously the full effect is only going to be known at the end of the natural lives of the people being vaccinated (because incidence will keep increasing every year on that population) but there is no reason for someone that unusually would have developed cancer after 5-10 years to benefit from the vaccine and remain healthy even that early. This is all mentioned in the Lancet article mentioned in the article.

Seeing many thousands less neoplasia cases on aperiod of 10-15 years from the initiation of vaccination is something that could be also observed in Japan right now, but obviously is not.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02178-4/fulltext

Also, one very important thing is that gynecologist can be extremely efficient and will promote preventive measures at every chance they have, the problem is that they receive close to zero support from the government on those efforts so their value is greatly diminished. The renewed support for the vaccine may be changing this, but not many are as optimistic and see this as a limited victory for public health with probably nothing else coming for a while.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@viruseex

I know a very close person who has that issue now and I researched a lot on it, talking also with doctors.

You are talking about actual deaths that could have been prevented by the vaccine.

Well, the vaccine was only introduced 15 years ago and vaccination must be done at a young age, before being sexually active.

That means that most women, who have that cancer when they are over 30, were not the ones who could have received the vaccine because they were already too old for that.

And for those women, screening is the key even if it is not perfect. When detected in time, it is nearly curable at 100% with a surgery. But many do not do a regular screening, and therefore, when they do it , it might already have passed the turning point. As I said, regular screening is only done by 43% here.

It is a slow development and once infected by hpv, for most it goes away, but for a few, it affects the cells 10- 15 years later, due to different immunity or hormonal changes. Once the cell changes occur, it takes in average 7 years to develop into a cancer. Precancerous state can be seen by screening that is why screening is also important. And I believe that in UK, that is why we now see improvement rather than the vaccine itself.

Now, I never deny the positivity of this vaccine , as it prevents something that could occur 20 or 30 years later.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To add to my previous comment, it takes generally 10-25 years for abnormal cells to develop after being infected with the HPVSo this recent vaccine could not have prevented anything for the actual cases. We are talking about future cases

The vaccine is considered effective from ages 11 to 14. The article has ages 12 to 16.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Uterine cervical cancer is a slow developing cancer and regular screening can avoid the developing of cancer, or cure the cancer by a surgery.

And in spite of all that literally thousands of women die every single year in Japan, most of those deaths can be prevented by a vaccine with no detectable important risks. According to you those deaths are all on the people that suffered the disease and offer no solution that can replace the vaccination. Guess what, lack of support for lives saving measures ALSO include screening and opportune diagnostics, the deaths are still on the government that not only fails to support vaccines but also everything else that other countries do to promote proper women's health.

The best thing? vaccinating in no way interferes with screening or tests, it just prevents deaths until social change catches up and women get tested more frequently.

And many did not get the vaccine simply because 20-30 years ago, it wasn’t any here. It was approved in the US only in 2006.

Read the article, rates of deaths have already proved to be reduced in Britain, and this situation could have been happening also in Japan if not for the terrible ineptitude of the authorities. That refused to support a safe and effective health measure as soon as it was available.

To add to my previous comment, it takes generally 10-25 years for abnormal cells to develop after being infected with the HPVSo this recent vaccine could not have prevented anything for the actual cases. 

The benefits from the vaccine can be delayed, that does not mean that women that were not vaccinated can magically acquire immunity and be protected before being infected. For most of those women it is already too late and those thousands of preventable deaths will happen in the years to come. It may not be that women have died because of lack of vaccine (which some would just because not all cancers progress with the same speed) but that many will do because they did not receive the vaccine.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

To add to my previous comment, it takes generally 10-25 years for abnormal cells to develop after being infected with the HPVSo this recent vaccine could not have prevented anything for the actual cases. We are talking about future cases

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

virusrexToday  07:12 am JST

The thousands of preventable deaths that happened every year are a direct consequence of antivaxxer propaganda that made people unnecessarily anxious about a safe vaccine. And the complicity of the government that choose to let women die instead of supporting something scientifically proved just for cheap political funds.

Hilarious comment.

Uterine cervical cancer is a slow developing cancer and regular screening can avoid the developing of cancer, or cure the cancer by a surgery.

Most of women who die from that cancer is because they do not undergo the screening and it is already too late when they do it or it is discovered. And many did not get the vaccine simply because 20-30 years ago, it wasn’t any here. It was approved in the US only in 2006.

Do you know that in Japan, only 43% of women between 20-65 do the screening recommended every two years ?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

4000 women die a year in Japan because of this virus. But men also need to the vaccine, as we are the ones spreading it to women. I know a guy in Japan who got this in his urethra and it destroyed it. Many Japanese doctors missed it, one hospital doctor thought it was herpes and mistakenly sliced off the urethra epidermis while probing with a scalpel, permanently injuring him. Surgery to remove the tumors now makes him take 30 minutes to urinate. It's hard for him to have a normal work and social life. But he's lucky to be alive.

Good news that more people will be getting vaccinated. Terrible virus for some and everyone is spreading it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

While the HPV vaccines likely provide a good level of protection, to claim they are free of harmful side-effects is just downright dishonest. I have personally witnessed medical reports showing this to be the case.

So the doctors and scientists of the world say one thing and can prove it with data, but somehow we are supposed to believe some random person "have seen" the opposite? sorry but that is deeply irrational, show proof (as in properly curated scientific data) or accept you have no argument.

Making up risks that people "need" to consider is not valid, first you need to prove those risks.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

It’s the question of whether benefits outweigh risks.

Yes, that's always the question. And in the case of the HPV vaccines the answer is unequivocally that the benefits outweigh the risks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

to claim they are free of harmful side-effects is just downright dishonest. I have personally witnessed medical reports showing this to be the case.

Don't know who said that or what context but probably it meant side effects uniquely attributed to the hpv vaccine.

It does have side effects that are typical to all vaccines.

Not intended as comment on the part regarding dishonesty, just want to add pertinent info

1 ( +3 / -2 )

While the HPV vaccines likely provide a good level of protection, to claim they are free of harmful side-effects is just downright dishonest. I have personally witnessed medical reports showing this to be the case.

Like with any other pharmaceutical product, it must be up to the individual to decide whether they want to take these shots or not, but it's also imperative that the doctors administering them give full informed consent, including both the benefits and risks involved.

Failure to do so is nothing less than malpractice.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

every year thousands of preventable deaths happen recently because of drug company, government-backed experimental, emergency vaccines, which have never underdone long-term clinical trials. Just for profit

Sorry but this is only baseless antivaxxer propaganda. If a vaccine demonstrate to reduce the risk for a disease (specially for a new disease, for which long term studies are not available) then it is perfectly justified to use those vaccines. If professionals from every single institution of science and medicine in the whole world agree on this and recommend the vaccines the criticism has absolutely no merit. The HPV vaccines were recommended world wide immediately after they were demonstrated safe, without long term studies either, and they have saved countless lives thanks to that.

Also, not vaccinating is much more profitable, treatment of even the mildest of symptoms for COVID (to put an example) already means more profits than the vaccine, if you count people that are hospitalized or even worse need to ingress in the ICU the vaccines are a huge loss of money for drugs producers.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I have two friends who died of cervical cancer. If only they had tests. Then they could of had the vaccine.

I don't think tests are needed before taking the vaccine, unless it's a pregnancy test.

Anyway they missed it somehow, that is why a constant promotion and information dissemination by the govt is needed

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The thousands of preventable deaths that happened every year are a direct consequence of antivaxxer propaganda

every year thousands of preventable deaths happen recently because of drug company, government-backed experimental, emergency vaccines, which have never underdone long-term clinical trials. Just for profit.

in contrast, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been peer reviewed, long-term tested, and is highly successful. No side effects. I respect the researchers of this vaccine. I have two friends who died of cervical cancer. If only they had tests. Then they could of had the vaccine.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I have never heard of any media negative about any vaccine

You're not being realistic

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As a father of a daughter myself I have never heard of any media negative about any vaccine so I'm wondering where and how this kind of misinformation is spreading. I wonder if people actually go out of their way to find it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

HPV vaccine has been freely available to girls and women for decades in most developed nations. I suspect the male-dominated leadership is at the heart of slow adoption in Japan.

Let's not forget that it took decades for the pill to be accepted in Japan, and even today women believe it is dangerous due to old men in power.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The death toll for men has been high also - throat cancer, colon cancer, etc... It's a damn shame they aren't promoting this more widely. Vaccines should be subsizied by insurance, regardless of age / sex.

And if it prevents infection then vaccination for men also enhances protection for women because it's sexually transmitted

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The death toll for men has been high also - throat cancer, colon cancer, etc... It's a damn shame they aren't promoting this more widely. Vaccines should be subsizied by insurance, regardless of age / sex.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My understanding is that more than half of adults who've been sexually active at any time in their lives carry some form of HPV. It's only a couple of strains that lead to cervical cancer. Perhaps this is where the 10,000 number came from?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Another case of govt incompetence re the health of it's citizens.

This time alarmist action saw the program come to an almost halt due to not actively supporting and promoting it - while conveniently espousing "We didn't stop it".

A succession of ldp govts over the decades have covered up or bowed to vested interests health issues.

The disgusting HIV tainted blood scandal & the disgusting treatment of Hansen disease sufferers come readily to mind.

When you have a bloated hierarchical bureaucratic ministry of health, then it's guaranteed that the common folk will suffer.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

obviously, JAPAN cares about keeping alive tax payer....

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

o which line of the article above you are referring?

*Thousands of lives could be saved as Japan begins to actively promote the HPV vaccine*

It should be obvious that if the government is beginning to do something, it was not done previously, which is the whole topic of the article.

Precisely the "scaling down" (which in reality means completely stopping to promote it in any way) is the problem and why the government shares responsibility on this. Doctors have endlessly asked for the promotion to be resumed even from the very beginning, but apparently it still takes 10 years for the ministry of health to correct their mistakes.

The government position has been solid and consistent in favor of the vaccination

No it has not, even according to the article, one thing is to make it available and another very different is to promote or make it part of the vaccination schedule as done in other countries.

Do you know what a solid and consistent position in favor of vaccination looks like? You only have to see how it was done for COVID-19 vaccines.

or as the article explicitly says

"The government should have also taken a firm stance on the HPV vaccine, by providing evidence," like they did with the COVID vaccine, the doctor said.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

That is false, as explained in the article the government completely stopped promoting the vaccine which is the actual reason why nobody was vaccinated afterwards.

To which line of the article above you are referring? The J-government has NEVER stopped its promotion altogether at any moment although its scope of the regular vax programs was once largely scaled down due to rather unreasonable (science-illiterate) criticism. Even after the setback in 2013, the vaccination still continued to go underway, but at a very low rate and pace.

子宮頸がんワクチン、積極推奨の再開を決定 厚生労働省の専門部会が有効性と安全性を認める

https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/142444

HPVワクチンは13年4月に定期接種となったが、接種後に慢性疲労や歩行困難などの報告が相次ぎ、2カ月で勧奨が停止した。その後接種率は1%前後で推移しており、海外と比べて低い。

The government position has been solid and consistent in favor of the vaccination. What was lacking is science-literacy on the side of (part of) public and media.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Lots of people are HPV,in the mouth

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Want to read up on the status of HPV vaccine mandates in the US?

https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/hpv-vaccine-state-legislation-and-statutes.aspx

The world?

https://www.who.int/news/item/31-10-2019-major-milestone-reached-as-100-countries-have-introduced-hpv-vaccine-into-national-schedule

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only 10,000 people get HPV but everyone should get it? Seems off

What is the point of writing something false? most women get infected, 10,000 get cancer because of the infection every year and 3000 of those women die from it.

If you can prevent the vast majority of those yearly deaths for no important risk thanks to the vaccine there is no logical reason to oppose it.

Or what? do you also breast examination are unjustified because only few thousand patients die from breast cancer every year?

That's a bit unfair and misleading. For the Japanese government and health ministry have been encouraging the vaccination from the very beginning, and their position has remained consistent throughout.

That is false, as explained in the article the government completely stopped promoting the vaccine which is the actual reason why nobody was vaccinated afterwards. One thing is to have antivaxxers lying trying to make people reject the vaccine, another completely different is for the government to completely stopping their support for it, which is what made people believe the antivaxxers (because if the vaccine was safe it would still be supported...)

Japan is not an autocrat regime which could forcibly suppress public fear and outcry driven by anti vaxx campaigns

And that has absolutely no importance because the solution is not to "forcibly suppress" anything, but instead just support the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. For example there was also some antivaxxer propaganda against the COVID vaccines, but the government never stopped supporting it and promoting it as safe and effective, so vaccination rates remain high.

If the same support was given to the HPV vaccines literally thousands of deaths would have been prevented every year. The whole article is about this and how the situation is finally being rectified after one decade of unnecessary deaths. It is even on the first lines, where "weak policy" is mentioned.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Only 10,000 people get HPV

Only 10,000 preventable illnesses and posible deaths

6 ( +11 / -5 )

And the complicity of the government that choose to let women die instead of supporting something scientifically proved just for cheap political funds.

That's a bit unfair and misleading. For the Japanese government and health ministry have been encouraging the vaccination from the very beginning, and their position has remained consistent throughout. Some sensationalist media outlets alongside radical anti-vaxx activists are responsible for unnecessary life loss.

Japan is not an autocrat regime which could forcibly suppress public fear and outcry driven by anti vaxx campaigns.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Only 10,000 people get HPV but everyone should get it? Seems off

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

There are no such things as safe vaccines and there are still people suffering from HPV vaccine side effects. It’s the question of whether benefits outweigh risks.

More anti-vaxxer misinformation.

I will back the medical profession and WHO over an internet "experts" claims.

Vaccines save lives. Most of those 3000 annual cervical cancer deaths in Japan are preventable.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

There are no such things as safe vaccines and there are still people suffering from HPV vaccine side effects.

Sorry but a nameless person saying all the doctors and scientist of the world are lying is not an argument, there are no specific elevation of risk associated with the HPV vaccine, or to say it in a more simple way vaccinated people will have the same rates of problems as non vaccinated people, demonstrated scientifically.

There are such a thing as safe vaccines, the same as safe drugs and safe foods, misrepresenting what it means for something to be safe is one of the most common ways for antivaxxers to mislead people.

A vaccine that prevents most of the cases of one of the most common cancer in women is a HUGE benefit. Even frequent and important side effects would be still justified, but fortunately this is not the case.

6 ( +20 / -14 )

There are no such things as safe vaccines and there are still people suffering from HPV vaccine side effects. It’s the question of whether benefits outweigh risks.

-20 ( +11 / -31 )

The percentage of teenage girls getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been close to zero since the country's 2013 decision not to promote the jab as panic erupted over alleged side effects.

My three daughters have been vaccinated with HPV.

Two in Japan and one in Australia.

We received an official notice from the Ministry of Health that they took along to the Ward office and got the jab.

No hasssle. That was over ten years ago , so there was a working system in place.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

The thousands of preventable deaths that happened every year are a direct consequence of antivaxxer propaganda that made people unnecessarily anxious about a safe vaccine. And the complicity of the government that choose to let women die instead of supporting something scientifically proved just for cheap political funds.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

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