Cancer is the leading cause of death in Japan. But what if there was a vaccine that could prevent a certain type of cancer? And what if it was free?
Mika Matsufuji's daughter received a free vaccine to prevent cervical cancer from Suginami Ward when she entered junior high school in the fall of 2011. As a parent, she didn't think twice about accepting the offer — a decision she says she will regret for the rest of her life. Her daughter has suffered severe complications from the inoculation ever since.
Cervical cancer is mainly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and is sexually transmitted. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that about 8,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with 2,500 dying from it.