Health Minister Simon Harris has once again reiterated his request for people to be wary of vaccination advice they read on social media.
This follows the launch of the 2017/18 Schools HPV Vaccine Programme and Information Campaign this morning, which will see 40,000 information packs delivered to schools across the country ahead of the HSE Vaccination Teams starting their scheduled post primary school visits in September where first-year girls will get the first of two doses of the vaccine.
Speaking at the launch of the HPV vaccination in Dublin this morning, Minister Harris has asked amateurs to “butt out”, according to Newstalk.
“If you want to be a clinician, if you want to be a pharmacist, if you want to be a scientist – go ahead and study one of those disciplines, and then come back and give us medical or scientific advice.
“Until then, please butt out because this is too important,” said the Minister.
The amount of young women availing of the vaccine has dropped from 87% to 50% since its induction in 2010 due to opposition from anti-vaccination groups; however no scientific research has been able to back up arguments from these groups.
This is not the first time Minister Harris has warned people of pseudoscientific advice on social media.
Speaking at the Irish Medical Organisation’s annual meeting in April, he slammed “scaremongers” who share “uninformed nonsense” on the HPV vaccine.
“Let’s come out fighting. Let’s take on the scaremongers. Let’s tell people – in no uncertain terms – that it is you, the doctors, who are the experts and the people who are most trusted, to know what is best for our people’s health and well-being, young and old.”
He also slammed those who get their medical information from “random social media accounts”, and said that if you want to dispense advice on vaccinations, become a doctor – if not, “stay away from our public health policy.”
“I take my advice on vaccinations from the Chief Medical Officer, from the European Medicines Agency, from the World Health Organisation and the medical community – not from random social media accounts.
“If you want to give medical advice on vaccinations, become a doctor. If not, get out of the way and stay away from our public health policy.
He went on to say that those spreading “uninformed nonsense” should feel ashamed.
“We have vaccines in this country that can prevent death. We have a vaccine that can prevent girls from dying of cancer. And yet we have uninformed nonsense interfering with medical efforts to save lives. Shame on them.”
Every year over 90 women die from cervical cancer. Over 280 women – many young – need treatment for invasive cervical cancer. Over 6,500 women will need hospital treatment for a precancerous form of cervical cancer.Tags: