Catholic Activists Launch Petition against HPV Vaccine in Nigeria

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Credit: Shutterstuck

The African branch of the International Catholic activist organization, CitizenGo Africa, is calling on the Nigerian government to suspend the ongoing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination campaign in Nigeria, citing safety concerns.

Nigeria launched the HPV vaccine campaign targeting girls aged nine to 14 years on October 24.

In a petition launched Wednesday November 29, the activists ask for signatures to stop Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa, from going on with the campaign.

According to the activists, the HPV vaccine has potential repercussions including infertility. They say that there is lack of transparency around the vaccine and that those behind it did not seek informed parental consent.

“The safety concerns surrounding the HPV vaccine are multifaceted and deeply troubling. At best, the effects of the HPV vaccines remain unclear; at worst, they are profoundly unsettling. Among the potential repercussions, infertility has been whispered as a possible outcome. These concerns demand rigorous scrutiny and transparency,” they say.


They add that while girls aged between nine and fourteen years are the intended recipients of this vaccine, their parents are excluded from the decision-making process. 

“Parental consent is not just important; it's an essential pillar of ethical healthcare. To push forward without it is inherently unfair and unjust,” the activists say, adding that the lack of parental consent in administering the jab “transcends mere health concerns; it's a matter of fundamental human rights.”

They call on people of God to append their signatures on the online petition saying, “The power of the people is a potent force for change.”

“Together, we can expose the injustice of a campaign that could subject teenagers to mandatory vaccination with a vaccine of questionable safety,” the activists say. 

They add, “Our actions today can restore the rightful authority of parents in decisions about their children's health.”

More in Africa

In October, Catholic Bishops in Nigeria cautioned the government against dismissing fears and doubts that people are expressing about the vaccine. 

Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) said the government must ensure that the vaccine is “diligently scrutinized."

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.