Cervical cancer inoculation campaign fails
Insufficient promotional efforts attributed to the failure of the vaccination campaign for teenage girls, says the Public Health institute.THE NETHERLANDS – The failure of the vaccination campaign against cervical cancer for teenage girls has failed because of lack of efforts to combat the negativity publicity surrounding the programme, says the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM).
The campaign, launched in early March, had called on girls between the ages of 13 and 16 to take part in the large-scale inoculation programme.
However, very few girls signed up for the programme due to the negative publicity linked to the vaccine. Some scientists express concern on long-term safety issues while negative effects of being vaccinated were circulated on the internet.
Many parents had also expressed their worries about the inoculation and asked whether it would provide protection against cervical cancer.
The director of the RIVM's Centre for Infectious Disease Control attributes the failure of the campaign to their promotion efforts.
According to Roel Coutinho, the institute had provided mainly scientific facts on the advantages of vaccination campaign in its promotional folder and on the website, but failed to reassure the public of any emotional fears they have.
Coutinho added they had underestimated the emotional aspect of vaccination and should have dealt quickly with questions that were being raised by the public.
The RIVM maintains that research shows the vaccine is safe and guards against two viruses responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases.
Another vaccination programme for 12-year-old girls will be launched in September.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica