These are the worldwide cases of "adverse effects" according to the World Health Oganisation. Graphic by: Rowan Abrahams/ANA Pictures

Cape Town – Amid global medical studies that both the registered Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines are safe, a network of 12 000 multinational families say they are “being denied the truth” about their daughters’ serious illnesses, which they link to the vaccines.

Steven Hinks, of the UK Association of HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters, said: “In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products regulatory body publicly states ‘no serious risks have been identified with HPV vaccine in the UK’.

“When the same regulatory body replies to a Freedom of Information Act request, they report 22 318 adverse reactions in 8 810 yellow card reports, including six fatals,” Hinks said.

“They acknowledge only 1% to 2% of adverse events and 10% of serious adverse events get reported.

“In another Freedom of Information Act request, they report 2 280 serious adverse events in 227 pages of report. If only 10% gets reported, there should be 22 800 seriously affected girls in the UK.”

Hinks pointed out that even the World Health Organisation had a database of adverse drug reactions, which listed for “HPV vaccine, 167 900 adverse reactions in 72 880 reports, including 280 with fatal outcomes”.

Meanwhile, Nelspruit pupil Zanri Nieuwoudt is being treated at a city hospital for motor neuron illness, which her family links to two doses of a vaccine, she received last year.

Her father, Abri Nieuwoudt said the information the family had been given by the school was vague and that until she began treatment in Cape Town, they believed the information they received from her school that she had been vaccinated with a different vaccine.

Nieuwoudt called for better information to be provided, so that parents could make informed choices.

Professor Lynette Denny from the University of Cape Town’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said the vaccines were completely safe and recent media reports were completely incorrect.

Denny said controlled clinical tests of the vaccines showed no adverse effects and that the vaccines had been “ratified by the World Health Organisation recently”.

“There have been these scares, but it has been very thoroughly investigated in reputable clinical trials that the vaccine is safe,” she said.

“This is really denying a lot of women the opportunity to prevent infection with this really horrible virus.”

Professor Hennie Botha from Stellenbosch University’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, said: “I think it is very difficult to respond to specific instances where children become ill.”

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