FEDERAL GOVERNMENT POSTPONES HPV VACCINE

Date:

The Federal Government has announced a delay in the introduction of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine, originally slated for September 25, 2023. Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, confirmed this decision, citing the need for increased awareness and demand for the vaccine.

Initially, September 25 was earmarked for the commencement of the HPV vaccination campaign, targeting girls aged nine to fifteen. The rollout was planned in sixteen states: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, and Taraba.

Cervical cancer, a form of cancer affecting the cervix, is primarily caused by various strains of the Human Papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection. The HPV vaccine boasts a potential to prevent over 90% of HPV-associated cancers, offering significant promise in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer. Although there is no statistics to prove the assertion, neither was any report or peer review given.

In Nigeria, it is claimed that an estimated 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, leading to approximately 7,968 deaths from the disease each year. The decision to postpone the vaccine’s introduction to October 24, 2023, is motivated by the necessity to bolster public awareness and demand for this critical preventative measure; rather than a thorough research on the safety of the vaccine.

The postponement is also attributed to a readiness gap in the launch states, where additional efforts are required to disseminate information and generate interest in the vaccine. The Lagos State Government, in response to this development, will announce a revised date for the HPV vaccine campaign; factoring in logistical considerations provided by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Getting the response of the people to the moratorium, Ireport247 reporters gathered that Nigerians prefer a total cancellation of the vaccination process; they prefer that the energy, as well as the resources earmarked for the exercise be redirected to something more productive. The claim is that reports have shown that the vaccines contain substances that could sterilise the girl child.

Revealing that the HPV immunisation exercise has been on for several years, a medical practitioner, who chose anonymity status told Ireport247 that the initial launch of the vaccination exercise was focused on girls only, then a little or no success recorded due to the cost of the vaccine. The low turnover made the health body propose that boys be included in the process;  however, not much change was recorded.

Then, what could be called a resuscitation happened this year, alongside what could be termed a strange development: the once expensive vaccine has gained the government’s attention, and suddenly becomes free, and one more time, targeted at children between ages nine and thirteen!

A medical expert said this move is a rather suspicious one, and should be closely monitored; especially in the age that depopulation agenda is being perpetuated through sterilisation of the girl child using different means in different locations.

Dr. Bunmi advised that parents are to cautioned their children never to give themselves up for any immunisation exercise in school, regardless of the pressure. She urged school owners, government officials, health practitioners, to discourage the push for the immunisation programme altogether.

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