YP Letters: Why case for HPV cancer vaccine is clear

From: Professor Carl Smythe, Sheffield.

I AM glad Laura Drysdale’s article with Emily Ryalls (The Yorkshire Post, August 30) on potential reactions to HPV vaccines has brought an important topic to greater attention.

The piece is nicely balanced in my view, and I commend you for establishing the relevant background to the decision to make this vaccine available to young people.

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I believe it is important that the general public understand the basis on which statements regarding vaccine safety are made.

The HPV vaccine has been under discussion.

I am sure you will appreciate that there is considerable misinformation regarding the risks associated with vaccination.

As a cancer biologist, one of my responsibilities is to ensure that the public is fully aware of the benefits and hazards associated with any course of action.

Around 3,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and approximately 90 per cent of these will have been caused by HPV.

Only 60 per cent of people with cervical cancer are still alive after 10 years.

Although it is still too early to determine the impact of vaccination on the incidence of cervical cancer, the infection rate of HPV has been lowered dramatically - up to 10-fold - in countries with comprehensive vaccination programmes, and the requirement for frequent invasive screening has been reduced.

On this basis, the case for vaccinating our young people to prevent HPV-related cancer is clear.

Inflation blow for young

From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds.

I HAVE just seen a very good example of the crazy inflation of house prices. My wife and I bought a house in 1971 for £3,200.

We moved out 38 years ago, yet that same property is now for sale at £169,000. This is an increase of around 5,200 per cent! Fair enough the house has been enormously improved with UPVC double glazing, central heating, a new kitchen, plus new plumbing and wiring.

But how on earth are young people supposed to afford a house?

Crackdown on crime

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

Daily we either hear or read about violent crime on our streets, people being stabbed and police officers being assaulted. Parts of London have become ‘no go’ areas for law-abiding citizens and I suspect some police officers.

What does the current government do about this appalling situation? Nothing. Instead it spends money on foreign aid and building a railway costing countless billions no one really wants. It is also quite happy forking out millions to managers in the NHS who spend their time managing other managers who also fail to correct discrepancies in the service. The only problem is that the alternative is unthinkable.

Bus screens too costly

From: Councillor Kim Groves, chair, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee

While installing electronic screens displaying real-time departure information at all 14,000 bus stops and shelters across West Yorkshire, as The Yorkshire Post reports (Comment, August 27), might be desirable it would not be a cost-effective way for us to spend council taxpayers’ money.

With each screen now costing £2,500 to buy and install once they have been made vandal-proof, we have installed them at West Yorkshire’s 500 most-used stops rather than aiming for blanket coverage. That includes stops that are only used by a handful of people each day.

Even in the capital, where government spending on transport is approaching three times the level it is in Yorkshire, Transport for London has real-time countdown boards at just 2,600 of its 19,500 stops.

As you report we are soon to begin a renewal scheme for the existing displays as well as working with Leeds City Council, which plans to use some of its Connecting Leeds funding to install an additional 500 screens across the city.

And, since we first introduced yournextbus in 2005, we have invested in significant upgrades to the service. Our system, which originally supplied passengers with text message answers, has been upgraded to a live, online service that people use over 4.6 million times per month via their smartphone, tablet or PC.

Also, people have now used the QR Codes and NFC tags we installed at each of the county’s 14,000 stops, which when scanned provide a link to that stop’s unique real-time information, over 1.5 million times. Additionally each month, people who prefer a more traditional form of information download over 600,000 bus timetables from the Metro website, which delivers around 30 million pages of information to users per year.

And we provide travel updates and advice to the almost 22,000 people who follow @MetroTravelNews on Twitter and the 14,400 people who follow West Yorkshire Metro on Facebook. We agree with The Yorkshire Post that passengers need confidence when planning their journey and have developed these services, which are under regular review, to provide them with the up-to-the-minute information they require.

Give examples

From: Granville Stockdale, Hardwick Street, Hull.

Paul Bigland writes (The Yorkshire Post, Feedback, August 28) in favour of HS2 that “capacity frees up space at Leeds’s existing station for new services”. Such as? To where? And when? Examples please.