Having just succeeded in foisting Gardasil 9 on to boys in the UK the operation is on the move again - the idea now, as spotted by Christina England in Health Impact News, is that everyone including the elderly should have it.
This is how it goes: 12 September an article is published on-line in International Journal of Infectious Diseases but not yet in hard copy 'HPV vaccination: are we overlooking opportunities to control HPV infection and transmission?' (Vorsters, Van Damme & Bosch). it states in conclusion:
Based on the discussion above, we would like to call for further investigation and documentation of the potential public health benefits of vaccination of HPV-positive women. For modellers, these data would provide an additional effect that should be considered when designing HPV vaccination impact models exploring and quantifying the herd protection observed in population programmes. Finally, these additional modes of protection may also reduce the existing reluctance to vaccinate (young) women post-sexual debut or known high-risk groups such as sex workers.
The article is couched in speculative terms, yet two weeks later Xavier Bosch is in the Mail on Sunday with cheer-leader Margaret Stanley of the University of Cambridge demanding that the vaccine be given to everybody: 'Now give every Adult the cancer-fighting HPV vaccination and 'save thousands of lives', experts demand as evidence shows the jab can slash cancer risk for grown ups too'.
If this seems like jumping the gun it is actually how it has always been: the benefits were always entirely speculative, the vastly documented harms relentlessly denied. Once again, we are seeing a piece of theater: the evidence of benefit is conjectural, the experts in the study conflicted up to their eye-balls:
AV University of Antwerp obtained unrestricted educational grants from GSK, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur; speakers fees from Merck were paid directly to an educational fund held by the University of Antwerp. AV is co-founder of Novosanis, a spin-off company of the University of Antwerp. FXB received research funding via his institution from GSK, Merck, Qiagen, Roche, and SPMSD, and reimbursement of travel expenses for attending symposia, meetings and/or speaking at conferences from GSK, Merck, Qiagen, Roche, and SPMSD. PVD acts as principal investigator for HPV vaccine trials conducted on behalf of the University of Antwerp, for which the University obtained research grants from vaccine manufacturers; speaker’s fees for presentations were paid directly to an educational fund held by the University of Antwerp. PVD is co-founder of Novosanis, a spin-off company of the University of Antwerp.
She is a consultant for the 3 companies that market HPV vaccines, MSD, SPMSD and GSK and for small biotech companies developing therapeutic vaccines. She acts as the invited HPV expert for the HPV subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation in the UK.
The newspaper mentions none of this and pretends to be acting in the public interest. There is, however, no spontaneous rising of the public demanding these products - there probably never will be, but the Mail on Sunday inserts itself into the space. Most likely, in due course, we will see the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation
which recommends vaccines to the schedule (the British equivalent of the ACIP) bow reluctantly to synthetic popular demand and advise the British government that the British people must pay for this.
We have already recently watched such a piece of public theater played out in which a small Scottish charity, run by a convicted fraudster (Jamie Rae) and advised by Stanley, has beaten the JCVI into submission over endorsing the vaccine for boys while voices in the media applaud, and Stanley as ever on hand to advise. When will anything ever be done?