Former GP blames ‘scare stories’ and ‘wild conspiracy theories’ for drop
A retired Inishowen doctor says he is “alarmed” by a steep decline in the number of girls here signing up for the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer.
Former Carn GP Dr John Madden says “scare stories” and “wild conspiracy theories” without any basis have contributed to the decline, which has been particularly steep in County Donegal.
In the 2015/16 school year a total of 304 Donegal schoolgirls declined the free vaccine, which meant that just 71.9 per cent of girls eligible for the vaccine actually got it, down from 90.8 per cent the previous year.
Provisional figures for the 2016/17 school year have suggested that uptake levels have fallen even more sharply again.
Dr Madden says a campaign of misinformation coupled with morality concerns have led to the decline.