Controversial Paper Claiming HPV Vaccine Causes Brain Damage Finally Retracted

Controversial Paper Claiming HPV Vaccine Causes Brain Damage Finally Retracted

May 15 2018

A year and a half after it was published, a controversial Japanese paper linking the HPV vaccine Gardasil with neurological damage has been retracted by the journal that published it.

But now critics are wondering why it took the editors of Scientific Reports so long to act – a contentious delay that lent credibility to ill-informed health fears that have seen HPV vaccinations plummet in Japan over the past several years.

"I'm pleased that finally they did manage to retract it, but it was a very long process," molecular biologist and HPV prevention expert Alex Vorsters from the University of Antwerp in Belgium told Science, although he acknowledges the research, due to anti-vaxxer momentum, "will probably reappear in another journal."

The paper in question, published in 2016, sought to examine the scientific basis for what it called HANS: HPV vaccination associated neuro-immunopathetic syndrome.

If there is such a syndrome, it's not something that's recognised by scientists at large, but media reports in Japan beginning in 2013 began citing anecdotal evidence of alleged side effects stemming from HPV vaccinations, mainly in young women.

Source: Science Alert Science Alert