In a release yesterday, the board said that the RC Churches are strongly against the use of Gardasil, which is the vaccine being used to prevents girls from developing cervical cancer.
CEBM, further stated in its release, that it was not consulted by the Ministry of Health on its vaccination drive, which started last Wednesday.
On that day, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan went to the Sacred Heart Girls’ RC Primary School to launch the vaccination at which several students were vaccinated. Dr Khan spoke about the advantages of being vaccinated early in life against the cancer causing HPV.
“The CEBM cited serious dangers from the use of the vaccine, including death, which has been associated with Gardasil,” the release said.
President of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA) Zena Ramatali yesterday said it “was most unfortunate” that the Catholic Education Board of Management was not consulted about the vaccination drive.
However, she also said that the NPTA is fully supportive of the ministry’s drive to have young girls vaccinated against cervical cancer. As such, Ramatali believes that despite the possible oversight of the CEBM not being involved in the consultation process, the board and Ministry of Health should come together and work out a resolution since this would benefit the children.
“At our last central executive meeting, the ministry did a presentation giving full details about the vaccine. Representatives from all of the school districts were present and carried the ministry’s information to all the schools,” Ramatali said.
Contrary to concerns raised by the public about the use of the vaccine, Ramatali noted that the NPTA has not received any complaint from parents about the vaccine and its potential negative side effects, if any.
Ramatali said that as a responsible person and head of the NPTA, she not only took the information received from the ministry, but also did her own research, gathering information which further supported that provided by ministry officials.
“I hope that parents will would do proper research about the vaccine and allow their daughters to be vaccinated,” Ramatali said.
Last week at the launch of the vaccination drive, Dr Khan described internet information on the HPV vaccine as being by and large “anecdotal” while the ministry carried out an exhaustive review of this vaccine before consulting with school officials.