HPV Vaccine: To Be or Not to Be

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The distribution of the HPV cancer vaccine has garnered significant interest from the Nigerian government. The drive is so strong that not only has the government chosen to make it free, but an awareness campaign has also been staged to encourage Nigerian girls between the ages of nine and thirteen to go for it. Although this vaccine has been around for a while, the government, not satisfied with the dispensaries records, decided to rebrand and relaunch it. The launch date which was initially set for September 25 has been moved.

Questions have arisen regarding the rationale behind this delay; as the populace expected an outright abolition of the vaccine. Some argue that the vaccine offers little to no positive health effects based on an observation of those who have received it.

The scepticism of the people has been directed towards global health organisations, particularly the World Health Organisation; with doubts emerging about its credibility following the COVID-19 vaccination saga.

Scientists, independent researchers, even clerics all around the world have underscored the departure from standard vaccine testing procedures by the WHO during the pandemic; an act that has brought a lot of damage to people’s lives as many adverse effects of the vaccine have been recorded.

These people pointed out that traditionally, vaccines undergo rigorous animal testing for no less than 10 years before wide-scale distribution. They all suggested a moratorium on the usage of the vaccines; some medical professionals like Dr. Stella Emmanuel and her team, at the risk of loosing their certificate of practice, not only recommended, but also administered other therapeutic drugs which proved effective against the virus.

Sadly, the WHO discredited the move and encouraged Centres for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Food, and Drug Administration(FDA) of nations, to distance themselves from the usage of the drugs. Following that decision, it became evident that the manufacturers of these untested vaccines might have ulterior motives; potentially affecting people’s return to normalcy.

Amid this ongoing dialogue on vaccination efforts, it is essential to reflect on past experiences with vaccines; particularly the COVID-19 and polio vaccines. Instances have been documented in which individuals, previously free from COVID-19, contracted the virus after vaccination, and tragically, in some cases, it led to death. These occurrences were expected to have taught the health organisations the necessity for stringent scrutiny of the research and production standards underpinning vaccines.

Although the records of adverse effects of the HPV vaccines, there are speculations that there is more than meets the eye in the sudden interest of the government in the project. The first being the introduction of the awareness campaigns, next is aggressive publicity, and finally the removal of cost.

While being ‘current’ with medical interventions is important, the safety and efficacy of every drug ought to be  paramount in any vaccination campaign. It is equally crucial to approach decisions with discernment. This entails a thorough examination of the motivations behind these medical interventions.

It is incumbent upon individuals to engage in informed deliberations, and considerations before making choices about vaccination. This approach does not condemn vaccination but rather advocates for a thoughtful, evidence-based evaluation of medical interventions with profound implications for public health.

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