Hysteria takes hold as schoolgirls fear the needle

Sydney Morning Herald

Jim O’Rourke
March 27, 2011

SCHOOLGIRLS were so frightened and anxious about getting vaccinated against cervical cancer that their reaction ”bordered on hysteria”, a new research paper shows.

The fear was so extreme that girls began crying, screaming and fainting during school vaccination days.

Researchers from the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead found that when this intense fear was witnessed by classmates waiting to get the needle, anxiety levels jumped even more.¬†

The findings, published in the latest edition of The Medical Journal of Australia, suggested the girls’ fears could be reduced by distracting them with iPods, puzzles and stress balls while waiting for the needle.

All girls aged 11 to 13 are offered the free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – Gardasil – as part of a voluntary national immunisation program in schools. Gardasil protects young women from HPV strains that cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers. About 700 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in Australia, according to the Cancer Council Australia.

The research paper’s principal investigator, Rachel Skinner, said her team was surprised the vaccination caused significant distress to most girls.

Associate Professor Skinner, an associate professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney, said fear was linked to a lack of understanding of the vaccine, how it was administered and reports of its side effects.

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Marketing nonsense….BS – and no place to comment….nothing less than propaganda. Perhaps it was what the girls read on the Internet about Gardasil and having no choice in the matter. For shame….Why is it when women object to something it is called…’hysteria?’


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.