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The cervical cancer vaccination for young Dutch girls in 2009 incited public debate. A mother’s quest for the truth turns into an examination of fear and trust.
In March 2009, all twelve-year-old girls in the Netherlands were summoned to have themselves vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. Vaccinating girls before they become sexually active reduces the chance of cancer from 0.1 to 0.05 percent. Vaccination was voluntary. A discussion erupted about usefulness, necessity and side effects of the vaccine.
In all the commotion, filmmaker Maartje Nevejan wonders whether vaccination is really necessary. Is her daughter a plaything of the pharmaceutical industry and political interests? She launches a search and talks to supporters and opponents, which raises more questions than it answers. She speaks among others with opponent Anneke Bleeker of the site verontrustemoeders.nl and Marijke, a cancer survivor.Gradually, Nevejan’s question turns out to have a deeper philosophical basis: it’s all about fear and trust.