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HPV vaccine

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Tributes have been pouring in for HPV vaccine advocate Laura Brennan, who sadly passed away at the mere age of 26 yesterday.

The people of Ireland have been honouring Laura and the mammoth efforts she went to to raise awareness about the HPV vaccine.

The campaigner will be remembered as passionate, dedicated and determined young woman whose life was taken from her far too soon.

Ryan Tubridy honoured Laura in a touching tribute on his personal Instagram account. He wrote: “I met her a number of times and walked away utterly taken aback by her verve and commitment to help people throughout her campaigning. The world will be quieter and sadder without her.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ryan Tubridy (@instatubridy) on

DJ Louise McSharry also shared: “Really so sad to hear of the death of Laura Brennan. I can’t think of many I respect as much. Her tireless work to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of the HPV vaccine undoubtedly saved many lives. RIP.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the 26-year-old’s tireless campaigning helped increase the uptake of HPV vaccine in Ireland.

"The State owes her a debt of gratitude," he stated.

The HSE confirmed that the uptake of women taking the HPV vaccine increased from 51 percent in 2017 to 70 percent today.

Laura passed away from cervical cancer at University Hospital Limerick. The young woman was surrounded by her loving family who described her as “a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend.”

The family added: “We are lost without her."

Our thoughts are with Laura’s family and friends during this devastating time.

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Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan has apologised for comments he made last week about the safety of the HPV vaccine.

Previously the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore had claimed the vaccine “could” encourage young girls to partake in more promiscuous behaviour because it “changes the mentality.”

“The vaccine gets people to think they are fully protected against cervical cancer when they are not,” he said.

Adding: “We have to do better than to give our boys condoms and our girls injections at the age of 12 years.”

The comments sparked outrage among the public and medical professionals alike, with Minister for Health, Simon Coveny, even describing the claims as “ignorant” and “pathetic.”

Yesterday, the Association of Catholic Priests asked to bishop to retract his statement, and called on all the country's bishops to disassociate themselves from the comments.

In a statement released today, Bishop Cullinan said:  "I wish to apologise for contributing to any misinformation, or indeed for causing upset to anyone, concerning use of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines.

"My intervention was in response to concerns which I had received about HPV vaccines from parents wishing to make the best health decision on behalf of their children, and from young people alike.

"My intention was solely motivated to protect people from the HPV.

"I was not fully informed about the vaccination programme and I can see now how HPV vaccines can contribute greatly to lowering the rate of cervical cancer. As I have learnt, possession of full information is paramount on this vital health issue."

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Earlier this week, Bishop Alphonas Cullinan made comments regarding the safety of the human papillona virus (HPV) vaccine, claiming that it “could” encourage young girls to partake in more promiscuous behaviour because it “changes the mentality.”

“The vaccine gets people to think they are fully protected against cervical cancer when they are not,” he said.

Adding: “We have to do better than to give our boys condoms and our girls injections at the age of 12 years.”

The comments, made on WLR local radio on Thursday, sparked outrage among the public and medical professionals alike, with Minister for Health, Simon Coveny, even describing the claims as “ignorant” and “pathetic.”

Following the controversy, the Association of Catholic Priests has now asked the Bishop to withdraw his comments, calling them both ill-informed and dangerous.

In a statement, the association asked the country's bishops to disassociate themselves from Bishop Cullinan's comments and to instead support “the medical and scientific evidence that makes the vaccine a vital protection against cervical cancer.”

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