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A journalist and lecturer at Kyoto University, Dr Muranaka is recognised for her work championing the use of evidence in public discussions of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.The HPV vaccine is recognised by the scientific and medical community, and endorsed by the World Health Organisation2 as key to preventing cervical and other cancers. In Japan the vaccine has been subject to a misinformation campaign to discredit its benefits, resulting in vaccination rates falling from 70% to less than 1%.
Dr Katsuyuki Kinoshita, chairman of the Japanese Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and nominator of Dr Muranaka for the 2017 John Maddox Prize: "I heartily congratulate Dr Muranaka on her winning of the 2017 John Maddox Prize. Her courageous challenge in demonstrating the safety of the HPV vaccine, despite insult, litigation and attempts to undermine her professional status, epitomises the core spirit of the Maddox Prize. I believe this Prize will have a strong impact on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, in promoting the use of HPV vaccine in the Japanese society. Furthermore, I hope this award will help convince sceptical medical professionals and journalists of the great public benefit of this vaccine."