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DR DAVID GORSKI - SCIENCE BASED MEDICINE

When considering how to balance freedom of speech with attempts to manage the effects of misinformation, it’s reasonable to consider the fact that some types of misinformation cause direct demonstrable harm. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, are on the rise recently due partly to active campaigns of clear misinformation about vaccines (poverty and lack of access still remain a huge challenge as well).

A recent study out of Denmark quantifies the potential harm, this time regarding the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine provided protection from multiple strains of the Human Papilloma Virus, which is responsible for many cases of cervical cancer. As I noted when I discussed HPV vaccine previously, Dr. Heidi Larson points out that:

Every year brings 528,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 266,000 deaths, linked to human papillomavirus (HPV). We have a highly effective HPV vaccine, but suspicion stands in the way of its adoption in many countries.

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