64 women to sue in 3 Japanese courts over health woes from cervical cancer vaccines
A group of lawyers for 64 women who are suffering health problems from cervical cancer vaccines said Tuesday the victims will file damages lawsuits against the government and two drug makers that produced the vaccines through four district courts on July 27.
Of the 64 women, 28 will lodge their suit with the Tokyo District Court, six with the Nagoya District Court, 16 with the Osaka District Court and 14 with the Fukuoka District Court, according to the lawyers.
Initially, the victims, mainly teenagers, will demand ¥15 million in damages each, for a total of ¥960 million, and increase the amount later depending on their symptoms. The victims’ health problems include pain all over the body.
The average age of the 28 planning to file their suit with the Tokyo court is 18. They received the vaccination when they were between 11 and 16 years old.
Noting that the cervical cancer vaccines have caused nerve disorders and other problems due to the excessive immune reactions they caused, the lawyers claimed that the government’s approval of the ineffective vaccines was illegal. The drug makers bear product liability, they added.
Masumi Minaguchi, one of the lawyers, said, “We aim to clarify the responsibilities of the government and the drug makers through the lawsuits so that the victims can live without anxiety:’
Cervical cancer vaccines were included in routine vaccination programs in April 2013. But the government stopped its recommendations for the use of the vaccines in June the same year after receiving reports on complaints of health damage.
Meanwhile, the Japan Pediatric Society and 16 other institutions in April recommended active use of the vaccines, saying it is clear they are effective in preventing cervical cancer.
The organization behind this action is MedWatcher Japan, who have been one of the most effective organizations in the world at holding Pharma to account. Two of their key players Masumi Minaguchi and Hiro Bepu are seen here. Masumi Minaguchi is the lawyer taking this case.
In this case MedWatcher have capitalized on the fact the HPV Vaccine is given primarily to girls and women who are old enough to be able to complain when things go wrong afterwards.
The science behind the MedWatcher case is presented in their refutation of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety position which can be accessed HERE.
The HPV vaccines look like being a problem for vaccine advocates in that they puncture the claim that vaccines are safe and the only risks stem from not giving them.
Earlier this year Merck admitted their Shingles vaccine could cause eye damage. Again the difference is that the people suffering the harm are old enough to make their voices heard.
The response from vaccine advocates in the case of HPV vaccines has been to push for giving these vaccines in infancy.
Vaccines are a conundrum. They can clearly be effective and most of us would want to avail of most of them. But where elsewhere in medicine, it is legitimate to be against over-medicalization, being against over-vaccination puts anyone who advocates it beyond the pale.