It’s a shame that you are probably very familiar with Andy Wakefield, Bob Sears, and Del Bigtree, but have never heard of Riko Muranaka.
Do you know any vaccine advocates?
Who is Riko Muranaka?
Riko Muranaka is a doctor and a journalist and was one of the few to push back against all of the negative articles in the Japanese media following the decision of Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to stop formally recommending that girls get vaccinated and protected with the HPV vaccine.
“We can’t afford to sit back and allow a similar situation to develop in which unscientific claims jeopardize lives around the world. The Japanese government should reinstate its proactive recommendation for the HPV vaccine and set a positive example before irrational fear of the vaccine gains further momentum in other countries.”Riko Muranaka on Stopping the Spread of Japan’s Antivaccine Panic
Not only that, it was her investigation that led to the discovery that the initial report that led to the HPV scare by neurologist Shuichi Ikeda was misleading and inappropriate.
“Evidence she used against Japanese neurologist Shuichi Ikeda revealed that only a single mouse had been vaccinated and the brain section showing damage did not belong to this mouse.”The EU battle strategy against fake news, fighting the 4Ds that lead to doubt: CORDIS attends the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists
So where does that leave Riko Muranaka?
In 2017, she received the John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science “for promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest, despite facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.”
What kind of difficulty and hostility has she faced?
“Because of her science-based reporting on this topic, Dr. Muranaka experienced massive hostility. Unlike before, she became unable to publish in Japanese media. Her family was threatened, and she was sued by an anti-vaccination doctor.”How Japan was taken by an anti-vax tsunami
Unbelievably, Ikeda sued Dr. Muranaka for defamation and won, even though the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare censured Ikeda for misrepresenting his research. The case is currently on appeal.
And tragically, although HPV vaccines are still available in Japan, after all, they were never banned, they still don’t have a proactive recommendation.
Riko Muranaka still has work to do to get HPV vaccination rates back up in Japan, but she did help to make sure that “Japan’s antivaccine panic” didn’t spread anywhere else.
More on Riko Muranaka
- Are Cervical Cancer Rates Rising?
- Does Japan have the Lowest Infant Mortality Rate Following a Ban on Mandatory Vaccinations?
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the HPV Vaccine
- Is the HPV Vaccine a Savior or the Most Dangerous Vaccine Ever Made?
- Have Over 75,000 Adverse Reactions to the HPV Vaccine Been Reported?
- Stopping the Spread of Japan’s Antivaccine Panic
- Doctor wins 2017 John Maddox prize for countering HPV vaccine misinformation
- How Japan was taken by an anti-vax tsunami
- Japanese HPV vaccine lawsuit – no science, no evidence
- Q&A: Japanese physician snares prize for battling antivaccine campaigners
- Japanese doctor wins global prize for standing up to anti-vaccine activists
- Riko Muranaka libel appeal: please contribute!
- Study – Newspaper coverage before and after the HPV vaccination crisis began in Japan: a text mining analysis
- Study – Impact of HPV vaccine hesitancy on cervical cancer in Japan: a modelling study
- Why Japan’s HPV vaccine rates dropped from 70% to near zero
- Why Japan has withdrawn HPV vaccine recommendation
- Japanese court rules against journalist in HPV vaccine defamation case
- Court ruling highlights the threat of vaccine misinformation
- After Japan Embraces ‘Sensational’ Anti-Vaxxer Report, HPV Vaccination Rates Collapse
- The EU battle strategy against fake news, fighting the 4Ds that lead to doubt: CORDIS attends the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists