MHLW, Admit the Adverse Reactions!

MHLW, Admit the Adverse Reactions!

In order for the cervical cancer vaccinations to be halted, it is necessary to have the symptoms suffered by young girls recognized as adverse reactions to the vaccine.

However, according to Toshie Ikeda, secretary-general of the National Liaison Council for Victims of Cervical Cancer Vaccine, “The proponents of the vaccination ignore the dangers, claiming that all vaccines have some side effects, and then when victims turn up, they say that there is no causal relationship with the vaccine. Just how many young girls are going to have to suffer while we wait for them to admit that there is a causal relationship?”

To medically clarify the causal relationship between the vaccine and the symptoms, on June 13 representatives of the National Liaison Council for Victims of Cervical Cancer Vaccine, including nine girls experiencing symptoms, visited the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP). Gekkan Nippon spoke with Dr. Masayuki Sasaki, the physician who examined the girls.

The MHLW Is Writing Off the Victims!

Masayuki Sasaki

Director, Pediatric Neurology Department

NCNP Hospital

GN: You examined the nine vaccine victims who came here on June 13.

Masayuki Sasaki: All of the girls were complaining of the same symptoms. They were experiencing pain not just where they received the injections but throughout their bodies. They had headaches, joint pains, walking difficulties, impaired mobility, a sense of fatigue, and so forth. I believe the possibility is quite high that these symptoms are adverse reactions to the cervical cancer vaccine.

GN: Many of the physicians who have examined the girls have denied a causal relationship with the vaccine, though.

Sasaki: Normally, if there is an adverse reaction, it shows up soon after the injection, within a month after the date at most. What’s more, in the majority of cases the symptoms are passing. In the case of this vaccine, however, the pains and other symptoms have been lasting for long periods of a year or more and appear after an interval of several months following the injection. These are new cases that are outside the bounds of the medical conventional wisdom prevailing to date. For that reason, physicians who have not had the opportunity to examine multiple patients probably wind up not seeing this as an adverse reaction and dismissing it as a special case.

Multiple cases involving adverse reactions will have to be checked in order to clarify the causal relationship between the vaccine and the symptoms. Having actually examined the nine patients and checked over the lists of cases released by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) and the national network of victims, I can see that while there are a variety of patterns, there are certain commonalities to the symptoms. There are numerous similarities between the symptoms that appear soon after vaccination and those that emerge some time thereafter. The symptoms have too many points in common to dismiss them as coincidence. Suspecting a causal relationship with the vaccine is only natural.

As a matter of fact, numerous cases involving patients who, after receiving intramuscular injections of hepatitis A or hepatitis B vaccines, present symptoms like those of these Japanese victims have been reported in articles written by a team from the University Paris-Est Cretéil that appeared in the medical journals The Lancet and Brain. These articles note that a substance in these vaccines called an adjuvant is the likely trigger. Adjuvants of the same sort found in these hepatitis vaccines are used in cervical cancer vaccine.

To unravel the causal relationships, the MHLW should set up a national system for pulling together the cases involving adverse reactions and at the same time increase the number of physicians and have each examine multiple sufferers.

GN: Changing the subject, it would seem that those members of the MHLW’s panel of experts who receive financing from pharmaceutical companies are not trying to confirm adverse reactions. Members like Tomoyoshi Sonobe, who is getting anywhere from 500,000 to 5 million yen from Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp., have said they cannot imagine halting the vaccinations so long as the cases involving adverse reactions are neither intensive nor repetitive.

Sasaki: I don’t understand on what grounds something would be regarded as intensive or repetitive, but anyway their opinion lacks logic. Maybe they mean many reports of the same sort of cases being made around the same time after being vaccinated? It would not be premature to say that if you’ve looked over close to 2,000 cases.

GN: The members of the panel of experts do not seem to have had experience of examining any victims. And Sonobe and others haven’t even administered the vaccination to patients.

Sasaki: I have doubts about whether someone who has not actually examined a sufferer can properly evaluate the adverse reactions. I would have to call that idle speculation.

GN: The MHLW argues that, among the many cases they have at hand, they cannot deny that in cases involving complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and other kinds of chronic pain, there is a causal relationship connected to the vaccine.

Sasaki: Given the possibility, as I said before, that the adverse reactions to the cervical cancer vaccine are exceptions to the conventional wisdom that has prevailed to date, debate starting from this basis is required. However, the MHLW’s argument is not that they are going to consider the numerous cases reported collectively but that they will address only the cases of CRPS and turn a blind eye to the others. This extremely partial approach involves ignoring cases distinctive to the vaccine and deliberately narrowing the scope of adverse reactions. Their purpose seems to be to reduce the actual number of adverse reactions. I have to say that an argument that writes off all of the victims from the start other than those with CRPS is insincere.

GN: Should the cervical cancer vaccinations be halted?

Sasaki: The MHLW says that, in order to measure the effects of this program, it will go on making measurements for a period of 20 years in those regions where it has been implemented, and that in 2031 it will examine the reduction in the mortality rates among those individuals who participated in the program (according to documents released in 2010 by the MHLW’s Health Service Bureau). In short, they are saying the government will take the lead in using large amounts of tax money to vaccinate girls for 20 years to see whether the cervical cancer vaccine is effective or not. I doubt whether Japan needs to conduct such a test.

Local Assembly Members, Stand Up and Stop the Vaccinations!

Now that the voices of victims are being heard in the media, it can be said that cervical cancer vaccines have become a social issue. In response, people around the country are beginning to call for the vaccinations to be halted, and many local governments have raised objections to the vaccines.

The vaccinations can be stopped with a decision by the mayor!

Special note should be made of the response by Noda City in Chiba Prefecture. On June 18 the city announced that it would temporarily postpone cervical cancer vaccinations. Gekkan Nippon interviewed Noda Mayor Takashi Nemoto, who pushed ahead with this unprecedented measure.

“Just as the MHLW was announcing that it would not actively recommend the cervical cancer vaccine,” he said, “it was also saying that it planned to issue a fresh conclusion in the near future about whether it should recommend these vaccines or not. In short, the MHLW at this point in time cannot decide whether or not to recommend them. Accordingly, putting the health of this city’s residents first, I decided that we would postpone the vaccinations until a conclusion is reached.

“Personally, I was in favor of stopping them completely. But because these vaccinations are stipulated under the Preventive Vaccination Act, we have to provide those who want them with the opportunity to get them. Accordingly, although we are postponing the vaccinations in principle, if someone wants the injection at all costs, then they will get one after they have to come to the city hall beforehand for a briefing.

“The role of local governments is to look at matters from the viewpoint of their constituents and, when the central or prefectural government has done something foolish, to complain and tell them so. There might be some fierce confrontation with the central government, but we need to take the initiative and make our voices heard in order to fulfill our obligation to protect our constituents. Above all else, the fact is that we have local autonomy.”

General inquiries, petitions, and proposals have also been cropping up in local assemblies, and many assembly members have been deeply moved by letters from sufferers read aloud in assembly halls. For example, the city of Yamato in Kanagawa Prefecture on June 25 approved a petition and proposal calling for a temporary halt to and urgent investigation of the vaccination program. At the center of this move was assembly member Mitsugu Inoue, who made the following declaration in his general inquiry: “At the point when I realized that this program is bankrupt of logic, whatever the World Health Organization might say, and whatever the central government might say, I won’t let any children of mine get this injection, and we shouldn’t let the people of Yamato get the injection either.”

What role should local assembly members play? Hino City Assembly member Toshie Ikeda, who probed that question from the outset and launched the National Liaison Council for Victims of Cervical Cancer Vaccine, has the following to say.

General Inquiries
More than 50 cases, including in the prefectures of Hokkaido, Fukushima, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kagoshima
Deliberations over Petitions Deliberations over Proposals
1. Ota Ward, Tokyo => debate carried over 1. Tama City, Tokyo => approved
2. Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo => debate carried over 2. Higashi Yamato City, Tokyo => approved
3. Setagaya Ward, Tokyo => debate carried over 3. Machida City, Tokyo => rejected
4. Sumida Ward, Tokyo => not adopted 4. Ebina City, Kanagawa Prefecture => approved
5. Machida City, Tokyo => not adopted 5. Yamato City, Kanagawa Prefecture => approved
6. Yamato City, Kanagawa Prefecture => adopted 6. Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture => rejected
7. Fushimi City, Saitama Prefecture => adopted 7. Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture => rejected
8. Ranzan Town, Saitama Prefecture => approved
Note: A petition entails citizens proposing in writing their desires regarding political matters to the central or local government bodies. Note: A proposal entails a local assembly proposing in writing its desires regarding political matters to the central government.

Efforts of Local Assemblies Seeking to Halt the Cervical Cancer Vaccination Program

Protect Our Girls from the Vaccine Woes

Toshie Ikeda

Hino City Assembly Member

Secretary-General, National Liaison Council for Victims of Cervical Cancer Vaccine

The victims are all saying things like “If it hadn’t been free, I wouldn’t have gotten the shot” and “If the government hadn’t pushed it so much, I wouldn’t have gotten the shot.” The government betrayed its people. I have to say that the Diet members who funneled large amounts of tax money, went so far as to revise the Preventive Vaccination Act, and promoted vaccination bear a heavy responsibility, as do the local assembly members and politicians who raised no objections to these initiatives.

But it’s not too late. There are things that politicians can start doing even now toward stopping the vaccinations. Local assembly members in particular still have a major role to play.

The regular injections of the cervical cancer vaccine are a local government responsibility, not a legally prescribed transaction entrusted to a local municipality. Local governments are not handling this program passively like a government subcontractor. Rather, they are being asked to take on operation of the law on their own responsibility.

That is to say, the regular vaccinations are being carried out on the responsibility of the local governments. Accordingly, if local assembly members speak up through general inquiries and local assemblies and mayors decide it, a stop to the regular injections can be imposed at the water’s edge. Furthermore, local assemblies can also demand a vaccination halt of the central government in the form of petitions and proposals.

To date, local assembly members have contented themselves with being on the third tier in the hierarchy of politicians. Diet members sit higher up, and local assembly members are subordinates. So they have passively accepted the laws that the central government throws out to the regions like orders. Thanks to the tidal current of local autonomy, however, the members of local assemblies have been entrusted with overseeing the activities of their local government, and their place today is to fully look over the Diet members’ laws and handle their operation. When the results of those checks produce serious doubts, as in the case of these regular vaccinations, then they should fearlessly stand up to voice their objections. I do not exaggerate when I say that this issue is bringing into question the raison d’etre of local assembly members, who are the link between local residents and the National Diet. Now is the time for local assembly members around the nation to rouse themselves to protect our girls!

New Komeito —a roadblock to a vaccination halt

Right now, the dangers of the cervical cancer vaccines are clear. Even so, why is it that the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not take steps toward halting the vaccinations? One source in the media points to the background presence of the New Komeito, the ruling coalition partner of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party: “It seems that the Komeito barely managed to put the brakes on the LDP when the latter said it would stop the vaccinations. The Komeito bulldozed the vaccine program through the Diet, and it wants to avoid getting any stains on its record ahead of the House of Councillors election. In the local assemblies, too, there are many instances in which the Komeito turns the other way and drags its feet when decisions are made on petitions and proposals that would ring the warning bell on the vaccinations.”

If the two parties prioritize party interests over the lives of the people and neglect this problem, then they absolutely lack the qualifications to be ruling parties.

Listen to the Sufferers and Halt the Vaccinations at Once!

Prime Minister Abe, can’t you hear the cries of the victims? Can’t you hear them pleading for the vaccinations to be stopped so that others do not become victims?

For you, Prime Minister Abe, not stopping the vaccinations is tantamount to letting these young girls die right before your eyes and declaring that you want there to be more victims in the future.

Due to the love that mothers feel for their daughters, the harm caused by this vaccine is spreading. This tragedy must no longer be permitted!

“I don’t know how best to comfort my daughter, who twists her face in pain and groans. I keep telling her, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to get cancer in the future.’ The tradeoff for that has been incredibly cruel. My daughter fights with so much pain every day, and I wonder if some day she will say, ‘Mom, I’ve had enough’ and give up on living. That weighs heavily on me. Somehow, somehow, I want to get my daughter back to what she was. And I don’t want the number of children like my daughter to increase before we know it. . . . Do not let the number of teenaged girls like my daughter rise!!” (Extract from “Mikarin no sasayaki,” a blog kept by National Liaison Council for Victims of Cervical Cancer Vaccinerepresentative Mika Matsufuji)

We would like to make the point one more time—one more time. Prime Minister Abe, these vaccinations are destroying the lives of the Japanese people. Please halt them at once!