The health ministry has issued a nationwide notice that cervical cancer vaccinations should no longer be recommended for girls aged 12 to 16 because several adverse reactions to the medicines have been reported.
"It is necessary to gather information immediately to accurately grasp how often (the side effects) are occurring," said Mariko Momoi, who chairs the panel at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry that decided to suspend the recommendation. Momoi is vice president of the International University of Health and Welfare.
Cervical cancer vaccines are a recent addition to the regular vaccination list and were added after a revision to the Preventive Vaccination Law took effect in April. In Japan, cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer among those aged 20 to 39 and is estimated to strike nearly 9,000 women each year.