Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cervical Cancer Jab - where to get accurate information

I think everyone is full of sympathy for the family of Natalie Morton, the 14 year old who died very suddenly the other day, just a few hours after being given the HPV vaccination. Today we've had the news that, unknown to everybody, she had a large malignant tumour in her chest which led to her death. I can only imagine the torment and trauma they are going through.

Unfortunately, Natalie's death has led to a flurry of sensationalist and inaccurate reporting about the safety of the jab. A hat tip to The Lovely Chocaholic for drawing our attention to this post by Malcolm Coles. Coles shows how the most inaccurate stories find their way to the top of the Google search results, which is no help to you if you're an anxious parent trying to decide whether your daughter should have the jab.

He's actually had a comment on his blog from someone from NHS Choices promoting this site which has a video and lots of information about how the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer.

He suggests that we should share this information so that "maybe with a bit of SEO we can get the NHS site in the top 10 results." I did wonder what on earth sort of geek-speak SEO is. A bit of googling suggests that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation" which sounds about right.

It's important that anxious parents like me get balanced, evidence based information rather than a whole host of sensationalist tripe when we are making crucial decisions about our children's future.

1 comment:

malcolm coles said...

Hi, Caron. Thanks for taking part in my campaign. I've published some fuller instructions here: if you wouldn't mind publicising them! Thanks.


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