Doctors question Denmark’s decision to switch HPV vaccines

The drug Gardasil is being replaced by competitor Cervarix

Gardasil is no longer Denmark's go-to HPV vaccine (photo: iStock) Gardasil is no longer Denmark's go-to HPV vaccine (photo: iStock)
September 25th, 2015 1:14 pm| by Philip Tees
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Following months of misgivings about the safety of the Gardasil vaccine administered in Denmark against HPV (Human papillomavirus), it is being dropped in favour of a competitor called Cervarix, reports Metroxpress.

The development comes in the wake of numerous reports of side-effects from girls and young women who have been treated as part of a nationwide vaccination program.

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The Health Ministry’s health surveillance and infectious disease centre Statens Serum Institut told the newspaper the child vaccination program against HPV will no longer be using Gardasil, which is produced by Sanofi Pasteur MSD.

Critical of move
However, Iben Holten, a consultant doctor at the cancer charity Kræftens Bekæmpelse, is surprised and critical of the move.

“I don’t understand it at all. The consequences are very difficult to grasp,” she said.

“It could get very, very complex, because all our research will now have to switch direction. We can’t just continue.”

Jesper Mehlsen, a consultant doctor at Frederiksberg Hospital, also questioned the judiciousness of the change.

“It seems very strange, because Cervarix doesn’t protect against genital warts,” he said.

“It can’t be because of side-effects either, which are claimed not to exist in relation to Gardasil, because we have experienced exactly the same side-effects with Cervarix in the UK and Japan, where it is no longer recommended.”