Women And Girls Sue In Japan Over Bad HPV Vaccine That Sickened Them: Merck And Glaxosmithkline Named As Defendants
A group of 63 women and girls in Japan who claim to have been sickened after they received the human papilloma virus have filed suit there, naming the government of Japan as well as vaccine manufacturers Merck and GlaxSMithKline as defendants.
The plaintiffs, who range in age from 15 to 22 filed in district courts in Okyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, seeking compensation of 15 million yen each.
Their symptoms include a wide range of health issues, such as headaches, fatigue, mobility impairment and host of others symptoms that have been linked to the HPV vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil.
While Japan remains sharply divided over the dangers of the HPV vaccine, the government stopped recommending it just a few months after it was introduced in 2013. the suits seek not only compensatory damages, but also specialized health care for the affected women, as well as to serve as a warning sign for others considering the vaccine, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.
“This lawsuit aims to bring the victims back to health and ensure a secure life for them, by clarifying the legal responsibility of the defendants,” said Masumi Minaguchi, a lawyer representing the women. “We want to prevent any recurrence of drug-induced illness.”
The lawyers claim that in addition to the 63 plaintiffs they are currently representing, as many as 180 other families have already contacted them for consultations.
And while each woman’s story is different and unique, there are some common threads running throughout: they were not warned of the potential dangers, and accepted the recommendations of their government at face value–which turned out to be a grave mistake.
“I was not adequately informed of the benefits and hazards of the HPV vaccine when I received the shots,” said Nanami Sakai, a 21-year-old plaintiff.
Sakai came down with a high fever and fainted after receiving her second of three recommended doses of Cervarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Later her symptoms morphed to include muscle weakness, loss of memory and sensitivity to loud noises.
Another common thread the Japanese women and girls relate is that their government has not treated them well when they have sought assistance.
“Hospitals and government agencies have not set up a system to handle side effects properly, even though it is the government that recommended the immunization,” said Sakai.
Indeed, the health ministry in 2014 ruled that the symptoms were psychosomatic, but still decided to compensate some victims for their medical bills, as a causal link could not be ruled out.
Here’s hoping that millions of yen in damages will make not only the government of Japan but also other countries sit up and take notice and finally ban this dangerous vaccine.