CORK County Council has declined to bring the concerns of one of its own councillors regarding the HPV vaccine to Health Minister Simon Harris.
Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla (IND) asked fellow members to support a motion putting a number of questions to the Minister regarding the use of the vaccine.
He queried why the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet is not distributed with the vaccine; what precautions are being taken to ensure children who already have the HPV infection are not being administered with the drugs; how many patients have suffered adverse impacts from as a result of receiving the vaccine; what the lifespan of the vaccine is and what is the annual cost to the State in buying and promoting it.
Mr Ó Cadhla said: “The fact is the HSE do not distribute [the patient information leaflet] with the HPV Vaccine in schools in advance of parents making possibly informed decisions with regard to whether they would like to take on board the vaccine or not. The leaflet would be provided if you get a pack of Anadin or Panadol or anything else with any medicine. It is obliged to be produced.
Gearoid Murphy (FF) said he strongly opposed writing to the Minister regarding the vaccine.
“Frankly, I believe, it would be irresponsible for the Council to do this. As a public institution, we need to be very careful about what we might possibly imply, even obliquely, by writing to the Minister on a matter like this.
“There are many, many groups out there misinformation about his vital vaccine. Many of these deliberately twist the facts and to prevent people from getting vaccines which have great benefits in terms of preventing cervical cancer. There is nothing to stop councillors writing to the Minister themselves in their own capacity,” Mr Murphy added.
With no seconder, Mr Ó Cadhla’s motion was not carried by the Council.