Judge dismisses legal challenge over cervical cancer vaccine

Fiona Kirby’s case aimed at withdrawal of medicine, given to schoolgirls since May 2010

The Health Products Regulatory Authority sought orders dismissing the case aimed at securing the withdrawal of a HPV vaccine, known by its trade name Gardasil. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The Health Products Regulatory Authority sought orders dismissing the case aimed at securing the withdrawal of a HPV vaccine, known by its trade name Gardasil. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

The High Court has dismissed a case in which a mother sought the withdrawal of a vaccine given to schoolgirls with a view to protecting them against cervical cancer.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority sought orders dismissing Fiona Kirby’s case aimed at securing the withdrawal of a HPV vaccine, known by its trade name Gardasil and administered to schoolgirls since May 2010.

Ms Kirby, a nurse from Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, claimed her daughter suffered “horrendous” adverse consequences after being given the vaccine

Full hearing

Ms Kirby previously lost her application for an injunction requiring immediate withdrawal of the vaccine pending a full hearing of her case.

The regulatory authority then asked the court to dismiss her entire case on grounds including only the European Commission can make a decision to withdraw the vaccine.

Any legal challenge to the vaccine must be brought before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg as only it can determine the invalidity of the regulations under which the commission operates, it was also argued.

Ms Kirby opposed the strike out application.

In his decision, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor accepted that only the commission could make the decision to withdraw and dismissed Ms Kirby’s action.