The HPV Vaccination in Japan

Issues and Options

This background paper analyzes the events surrounding suspension of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendation by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in response to public anxieties about a suspected adverse event following immunization. The paper explores how the issues in Japan have been perceived across the globe and the similarities and differences with HPV vaccine concerns in Australia, France, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The paper also presents possible options that Japanese stakeholders could take in the hope of resolving current concerns and uncertainty surrounding the HPV vaccine. Given the recognized importance of the human papillomavirus in causing multiple cancers, it is critical not to lose public trust in a vaccine that will only become more important in the future.

Rose Wilson, Pauline Paterson, and Heidi J. Larson