Press Complaints Commission Halton House, 20-23 High Holborn, EC1N 7JD
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Complainant Name:
Professor Diane Harper

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Sunday Express

Complaint:

Professor Diane Harper of Montana, USA, complained that the newspapers had selectively quoted her comments in a misleading manner, such that it appeared that she opposed routine vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus as a means to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, when she actually supported it. They had also associated comments she had made regarding the Gardasil pharmaceutical product with the unrelated Cervarix product used in the UK.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the Daily Mail suspended the article from its website, and when the Sunday Express re-titled its existing correction to the article to include mention of the complainant, and agreed to publish the following letter from her:

Cervarix protects against the five most common cancer causing HPV types including those types that cause the cervical cancer that is not easily detected by Pap screening, called adenocarcinoma.

Cervarix is proven to last longer than Gardasil and has a better antibody response in the blood and in the mucous than Gardasil meaning that Cervarix is the wisest choice for vaccinating young girls, because a long lasting vaccine is necessary if any cervical cancer reduction is to occur.

Pap screening must continue in women whether or not they are vaccinated because if there is only vaccination, the rate of cervical cancer will increase above what Pap testing has accomplished. If women cease attending Pap screenings, the rate of cervical cancer will rapidly increase.

To prevent cervical cancer, women have a choice of actions. They may choose to continue Pap screening as they are currently doing, or choose to continue Pap screening and be vaccinated, thereby increasing their chances of a normal Pap screen.

Report: 80



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