25 October 2017

Anti-vaxxers ramp up HPV scare campaign

Fake News

Anti-vaxxers have stepped up a fresh scare campaign, publishing a three-part series called Sacrificial Virgins, masquerading as a documentary, propagating myths around HPV vaccine safety.

The third video in the series, titled A Penny for your Pain, appears on YouTube and describes legal action being taken against Merck and GlaxoSmithKline by patients who claim the HPV vaccine caused adverse reactions.

It was produced by the anti-HPV vaccine group, SaneVax, in partnership with a British group called the UK Association of HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters.

“They want to scare parents and girls away from the vaccine, even though it is safe and effective,” Dr David Gorski, a US-based surgical oncologist specialising in breast cancer surgery, wrote in a blog post.

“[The series] will likely perpetuate many of the myths SaneVax and other anti-vaccine groups have promulgated about HPV vaccination,” he said.

In the series, SaneVax likens the HPV vaccine to thalidomide and suggests the campaign is a bid to avoid a repeat of a similar global tragedy.

The latest video reports how, earlier this year, a Spanish high court purportedly established a causal link between the HPV vaccine and the 2012 death of a young girl after her second dose of the vaccine, and how a class action is now being prepared in Colombia on behalf of 400 HPV vaccine patients.

The first video in the trilogy has been viewed more than 29,000 times since its release in September.