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Open letter on the Discussion Meeting on Cervical Cancer Prevention Vaccines submitted to MHLW

2016-11-02

Today, Medwatcher Japan submitted an open letter to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on the Discussion Meeting on Cervical Cancer Prevention Vaccines, a public hearing on adverse events following HPV vaccination, held on February 26th, 2014.

An unhealthy consultation between the chair of WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) and an MHLW official in preparation of the Discussion Meeting on Cervical Cancer Prevention Vaccines (February 26, 2014) organized by MHLW was uncovered by a series of email correspondence which was disclosed under the New Zealand Freedom of Information Act. According to the correspondence, the aim of the consultation was to have someone who could advocate the safety of HPV vaccines at the hearing to refute safety concerns to be raised by Dr. Sin Hang Lee of Milford Hospital.

On this point, Dr. Robert Pless, the chair of GACVS wrote in his email to Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris of the University of Auckland as follows (dated on Feb 18th, 2014):
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We are seeking your advice on someone who may be able to address the more detailed questions around HPV DNA - specifically the hypotheses you have address in your statement regarding the alleged role of aluminum binding to DNA fragments and subsequent effects. While the issue of whether the fragments constitute °»contamination°… has been dealt with, your statement was the only one to address the more obscure alleged consequences of the presence of those fragments. The GACVS has not yet had a chance to delve into the DNA question.
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Dr. Petousis-Harris who was eventually invited to speak as an °»expert°… at the hearing admitted herself as a non-expert with a paucity of experience in HPV vaccine research in her reply as below (dated on Feb 18th, 2014):
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I do not know if I am expert on this but certainly have some experience in considering aluminium in vaccines and its role in inflammatory responses and local AEFI as part of my PhD some years ago.
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These facts show the unscientific attitude of WHO GACVS because it only focuses on promoting HPV vaccines. The attitude of MHLW is inappropriate as well.

Therefore, Medwatcher Japan submitted an open letter to MHLW for more information and explanation on this matter.