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Kelly supports HPV Vaccine campaign

31 August 2017

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has outlined his support for the HSE’s Protect our Future HPV vaccine campaign and has condemned the comments of his constituency colleague Deputy Mattie McGrath.

Deputy Kelly commented:

“This week, more than 30,000 young girls started secondary school and are due to receive the HPV vaccine in the coming weeks. Due to a large misinformation campaign, medical groups are rightly worried that we will see another dramatic fall in the uptake of the vaccination.

“I support this life-saving vaccine and the HSE’s information campaign encouraging parents to allow their children to receive the vaccine.

“As a father of two young children, the fact that 40 women will die because of non-uptake of the HPV vaccine last year is startling.

“The facts cannot be ignored – the HPV vaccine protects against two types of HPV, which cause 73% of all cervical cancers.

“The comments from my constituency colleague, Deputy Mattie McGrath, are deeply unhelpful. Deputy’s McGrath’s attack on the HSE’s information campaign is unwarranted.  For Deputy McGrath to call this life-saving campaign “pathetic” is completely irresponsible.

“Calling on the Head of the HSE, Tony O’Brien to resign because he doesn’t like the HPV vaccine campaign, is a new low for Deputy McGrath.

“Ireland has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in Europe, if young girls take the preventative measures available to them now, it will stand to them later in life. A higher uptake of the vaccine, combined with regular CervicalCheck screenings from the age of 25, are important measures in the prevention of certain types of cervical cancer.

“Understandably because of unnecessary scare tactics, parents are wary of this vaccine. I would urge parents who may be worried to go get medical advice from their local GP.”