Gardasil Investigation In New Zealand Following Death

In New Zealand, more than 170,000 doses of the controversial HPV vaccine, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/gardasil_side_effects">Gardasil, have been administered, said the New Zealand Herald. The doses were administered from January through August of this year and, to date, 173 alleged adverse reactions have been reported.

Now, says the New Zealand Herald, a probe is in progress to determine if there is a link between a girl’s death and the vaccine. According to Health Minister Tony Ryall’s office, it has confirmed that the Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring (CARM) located at Otago University in New Zealand, was asked to see if there is a connection, said the New Zealand Herald.

The death is still being handled by the coroner’s office and is believed to have taken place in the past “couple of months,” said the New Zealand Herald. The girl apparently died within six months of receiving a Gardasil injection; however, it remains unclear if she received the full three-injection course of the drug, which generally takes about six weeks to complete, noted the Herald.

In the United States, Dr. Dianae Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, and a researcher in the development of Gardasil and Cervarix, recently asserted that the evidence shows that the vaccine does little to reduce cervical cancer.

Dr. Harper said that beyond current preventative measures, because the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is already so low, that “even if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the U.S.”

Also, according to Dr. Harper, Merck & Co., the maker of Gardasil, had not tested Gardasil on girls younger than 15, chattahbox.com said, previously. “It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11 to 12 year old girls. There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue,” warned Harper.

In New Zealand, the vaccine is offered to 12-year-old girls for free and girls from 13 to 18 years of age are also able to receive immunization.

In the U.S. as of late this year, according to Dr. Harper, 15,037 girls officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These reactions include Guilliane-Barre syndrome, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots and brain inflammation. Dr. Harper also said that the Centers for Disease Control acknowledged 44 reported deaths following Gardasil administration.

The New Zealand Herald said that most adverse reactions reported there included “soreness, swelling, or redness at the injection site; raised temperatures; headaches; nausea; skin reactions—mostly rashes—and fainting” with more serious anaphylaxis occurring in three out of every one million doses, said the Herald.

Approved in 2006, Gardasil prevents four strains of HPV. As of June 2009, 15 million girls had received Gardasil, with complaints including reports of dizziness, numbness, and blood clots.

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