Áras hopeful Gemma O’Doherty declined the opportunity to clarify her vaccine doubts
Presidential hopeful Gemma O’Doherty told councillors she wants to educate Ireland about the risk to public health that she believes the fluoridation of the country’s drinking water supplies causes, Irish Medical Times reports.
O’Doherty, an investigative journalist, is seeking nomination for a place on the Áras ballot paper as an anti-corruption candidate.
During the course of her campaign, however, she has been forced to deny claims she supports so-called anti-vax views.
IMT had hoped to question the Áras hopeful about her opinions on vaccination, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in particular, after she reportedly admitted to news website broadsheet.ie to sending tweets that alluded “to the concerns of some mothers and fathers who say that their children have had unusual reactions to the HPV vaccine”.
Although she stated during a panel discussion on broadsheet.ie that she was not “anti-vax”, she added: “I think we should be questioning any chemical we put in to our bodies, especially our children’s bodies.
“What I have learned is the obsession with the media with this (HPV) vaccine is so extreme, that in the last two weeks I have actually learned more about that vaccination than I ever realised and I am starting to wonder about it.“
O’Doherty also said that she accepted the fact that because she was now putting herself forward for public office, she would have to answer questions put to her about her views.
But she declined to clarify her position about the vaccine — which the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) both recommend as the best way to prevent teenage girls from developing cervical cancer in later years — when asked to do so by IMT.
On Monday last week (September 10), this reporter approached O’Doherty outside the chamber of Kilkenny County Council as she prepared to make her pitch for the Council’s Áras nomination.
When asked if she would like to expand on the doubts she previously raised about the HPV vaccine, she responded: “I am not here to talk about vaccinations. You can ask me about corruption.”
However, in her presentation to councillors inside the chamber moments later, O’Doherty strayed off her anti-corruption script, speaking of her dismay that the drinking water supply in Ireland was still “medicated” years after she reported on the links between fluoridation and cancer.
She said that, if elected, she would “educate citizens” on the perils of fluoridation.
Nominations for the Áras close on September 26.
At the time of reporting, O’Doherty had yet to receive a nomination from a local authority.
*Original article online at https://www.imt.ie/news/presidential-candidate-educate-citizens-perils-irish-water-fluoridation-18-09-2018/