Mass psychogenic response to human papillomavirus vaccination

Jim P Buttery, Simon Madin, Nigel W Crawford, Sonja Elia, Sophie La Vincente, Sarah Hanieh, Lindsay Smith and Bruce Bolam
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02018.x
Published online: 1 September 2008

Cervical cancer associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) affects approximately 1000 Australian women each year, causing about 300 deaths.1 The newly licensed HPV vaccines Gardasil (CSL Limited), a quadrivalent vaccine (4vHPV), and Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines), a bivalent vaccine (2vHPV), induce protection against the two most common strains of HPV, which cause 70% of all cervical cancers.2,3

  • 1 SAEFVIC, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Infectious Diseases Unit and Immunisation Service, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 Victorian Department of Human Services, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 5 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.
  • 6 Department of Paediatric Neurology, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

GlaxoSmithKline supported Jim Buttery’s travel to speak at an international meeting by payment to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

  • 1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer in Australia 2001. Canberra: AIHW, 2004. (AIHW Cat. No. CAN 23; Cancer series No. 28.)
  • 2. Harper DM, Franco EL, Wheeler CM, et al. Sustained efficacy up to 4.5 years of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine against human papillomavirus types 16 and 18: follow-up from a randomised control trial. Lancet 2006; 367: 1247-1255.
  • 3. Future II Study Group. Quadrivalent vaccine against human papillomavirus to prevent high-grade cervical lesions. N Engl J Med 2007; 356: 1915-1927.
  • 4. Joura EA, Leodolter S, Hernandez-Avila M, et al. Efficacy of a quadrivalent prophylactic human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 virus-like-particle vaccine against high-grade vulval and vaginal lesions: a combined analysis of three randomised clinical trials. Lancet 2007; 369: 1693-1702.
  • 5. Clements CJ. Mass psychogenic illness after vaccination. Drug Saf 2003; 26: 599-604.
  • 6. Tanne JH. Questions over human papillomavirus vaccine in the US and Australia. BMJ 2007; 334: 1182-1183.
  • 7. Clements CJ. Gardasil and mass psychogenic illness. Aust N Z J Public Health 2007; 31: 387.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.