Apology for Bishop’s misinformed comments welcome

02 October 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Health Promotion, Councillor Martina Genockey has welcomed an apology by Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan for his comments on the HPV vaccine.

Councillor Genockey commented:

“I welcome the apology by Bishop Cullinan for his misinformed comments on the HPV vaccine. Comments like those made by Bishop Cullinan are dangerous and feed into fears that parents may have surrounding the vaccine. 

“With parents of first year girls receiving letters that their daughters are now due to receive the vaccine factual information must be provided to parents. Parents who have fears should get medical advice from trusted medical sources such as their local GP.

“We cannot have another situation like last year, where the uptake dropped by 35%. The Irish Cancer Society estimate that 40 women will die because of the non-uptake of the vaccine last year.

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

“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.”

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