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Anti-vaccine group sends misinformed letter to schools

An anti-vaccine group who sent a letter to schools stating their disapproval of the Gardasil vaccine has been called “misinformed” by experts.

Director of Research at the Immunisation Advisory Centre, Dr Helen Petousis-Harris has warned people to not pay attention to the letter.

Petousis-Harris said the letter was “fairly classic” anti-vaccination material. 

“There are no scientific reasons to be concerned about the vaccine, it’s all just misinformation,” she said.

“Anti-vaccine groups have done this sort of thing in the past, she said, comparing it to a “spam email”. 

“They’ve made up their minds about something and are pretty intent on disseminating claims that support their view,” she said.

“It’s really important to reflect on the importance the vaccination has had on the disease, she said. Already there had been a significant reduction in cervical cancer and genital warts.

“We are potentially seeing a decrease in a whole lot of other cancers that this little malicious virus can do as well.”


Gardasil is the name of the vaccine used to protect against the HPV virus which causes cervical cancer, some other cancers and genital warts. The vaccination is given through the school-based vaccination programme, with consent, to girls in Year 8.

  • Read the 15 February article on www.stuff.co.nz here
  • Read the responses by the Ministry of Health and the Immunisation Advisory Centre here
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