Dr. Diane Harper tested Gardasil through Phases II and III of the trials and was part of the media blitz behind it, publicly touting its ability to prevent HPV.
The rate of serious adverse events on par with the death rate of cervical cancer. Gardasil has been associated with at least as many serious adverse events as there are deaths from cervical cancer developing each year.
Indeed, she says the vaccine is only effective for 5 years, giving no reasons for the public to routinely vaccinate 11-year-olds. She says the benefits would only come in handy with a vaccination that would last 15 years or so.
Currently, routine Pap smears will detect precancerous cells. Paps (named for the human papillomavirus, or HPV) have played a huge part in lowering the rate of cervical cancer deaths. HPV remains a leading cancer death for women in developing countries.
The number of women who die from cervical cancer in the US every year is small but real. It is small because of the success of the Pap screening program.
Right now, the CDC continues to recommend the HPV vaccine for young girls, and as I posted earlier this week, some states, like Virginia, are requesting that all girls entering the 6th grade receive the Gardasil shot.
Gardasil protects against two types of HPV that are responsible for approximately 60% of cervical cancer cases, as well as two types that cause “lesions” (genital warts).
But to the families of the girls who have had serious side affects from the vaccine, the risk of getting the shot is very real. One parent commented,
Merck got it right when they used the slogan “One Less” for Gardasil. Because of Gardasil, my daughter was “One Less”. She was “One Less Student”, “One Less Active Child”, “One Less in every aspect of her life”.
Merck, the drugmaker that has aggressively promoted their HPV vaccine, continues to claim Gardasil is safe and effective. Earlier this year, the FDA had the company add the side effects, “fainting, tonic-clonic reactions, and seizures” in the package warnings.
Harper urges families to research before they decide whether girls should receive the shot.
If we vaccinate 11-year-olds and the protection doesn’t last… we’ve put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit. The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.
Image: yanivba on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Keeping your children is safe, which is why it is probably smart to invest in some baby monitors if you’re expecting some newborns. There are good deals on baby products such as these as well as baby potties and other baby products if you do your shopping online.