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Parents need to know about vaccine potential risks

2nd May 2008

Parents need to know about vaccine's potential risks, too

Parents must be properly informed of both the potential risks and the benefits of vaccinating their daughters against cervical cancer so they can make a properly informed decision, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The Government announced today that it will fund the vaccination of girls aged 12 to 18 years old against cervical cancer.

"Adverse reactions have been linked to this vaccine in Australia and the United States, and parents should be properly informed about those reactions so they can weigh up the potential risks as well as benefits of the vaccine.

"This information is also crucial so that if parents decide to vaccinate their children, they know to watch out for any adverse reactions, such as fainting, seizures, numbness and other problems that have been reported overseas.

"It is imperative that any information programme is balanced and credible, directed at parents, not children, and is run independently of schools.

"It's important that any education campaign does not use the same scare-mongering tactics employed to roll out the Meningococcal vaccination that sent children home absolutely petrified about what they'd been told in school about the risks of not having the vaccine," Ms Kedgley says.

"School children should not be directly targeted by an information campaign and should not be asked to make the final decision on whether or not to receive the vaccine.

"I also believe it needs to be made clear to parents that this is a new vaccine and that we don't really know what the long term impact on our children's health will be."

ENDS

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