Victims in Japan Sue for Damages Due to Gardasil and Cervarix HPV Vaccines

Victims in Japan Sue for Damages Due to Gardasil and Cervarix HPV Vaccines
In December 2010, the HPV vaccine (both Merck’s Gardasil and Cervarix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) was provided at no cost to Japanese girls between the ages of 12-16 years old. In April 2013, the vaccine was officially included in Japan’s national immunization program. However, two months later, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare publically announced that it had decided to withdraw its HPV vaccine recommendation. [3] The decision was in response to numerous reports that formerly healthy vaccine recipients were experiencing alarming side effects ranging from short-term memory loss to paralysis. [4] In October 2013, a special taskforce was formed to investigate the side effects of the HPV vaccine. [5]
Interestingly, HPV vaccines were not withdrawn from the market in Japan and continued to be available, but local governments, as advised by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, did not actively promote its use. Girls can still receive the vaccine if they chose to do so but doctors and other vaccine providers must inform them that the health ministry does not recommend it. [6]
The Nationwide Liaison Association of Cervical Cancer Vaccine Victims and Parents in Japan and Dr. Sotaro Sato, director of the Sato Cardiovascular Internal Medicine Hospital in Osaki speculate that the motive behind this decision is more than likely due to:
fear of potential lawsuits being filed by the association on behalf of numerous desperate families whose beloved, previously healthy daughters have been seriously impaired, paralyzed or horribly devastated by HPV vaccinations. Japanese courts would be likely to find health bureaucrats responsible for the serious adverse effects inflicted on the girls if they did not take precautionary measures beforehand and leave some evidence that could later be used to prove they had at least tried to do something to block the further spread of health impairments to upcoming generations of teenage girls.
This would be a particular problem if the government moves to reinstate their recommendation of these vaccines during the current fiscal year ending on 31 March 2014, due to pressure from politicians and academics with financial ties or other links to the vaccine manufacturers, lobbying activities, and consulting ‘experts’ hired by the manufacturers. [7]
Almost three years later, The Japan Times recently reported that a class action lawsuit will be filed after June 2016 against the Japanese government, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline by victims who have suffered severe side effects as a result of receiving the former government recommended vaccine. Twelve plaintiffs will file the lawsuit at four district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

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