New Report Raises Gardasil Concerns

Approved in 2006, <"">Gardasil prevents four strains of HPV. As of June 2009, 15 million girls had received Gardasil vaccines and some also reported suffering from adverse reactions that have included dizziness, numbness, and blood clots, among other dangerous, and sometimes even deadly, reactions.

Gardasil prevents four strains of HPV, two of which cause 70 percent of all cervical cancers. The other two HPV strains are responsible for about 90 percent of genital warts.

The Washington Post pointed out that reports of side effects following vaccinations are compiled by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is jointly managed by the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While reports remain unconfirmed and there is no direct tie to the Gardasil vaccination, data indicates that over 23 million Gardasil doses were administered between 2006 and 2008. Of these, said the Washington Post, 12,424 complaints were filed and included “pain and redness at the injection site, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and fainting.”

Of note, six percent of the reports were very serious and included “blood clots and Guillain-Barré syndrome,” as well as 32 reports of death. Guillain-Barré is a neurological disorder that causes weakness in the muscles, as well as tingling, which can lead to paralysis, said the Washington Post. Because of the differing symptoms involved, there is yet to be a confirmed link to the vaccine.

Meanwhile, late last year we wrote that advisors on flu and cervical cancer vaccines for the CDC were not being screened for financial conflicts as well as they could be, according to an article in The New York Times. Financial relationships between the medical industry and doctors have caused controversy in recent years. Critics have long held that such relationships create conflicts-of-interest, and could unduly influence everything from research findings to prescribing practices.

We also previously wrote that a medical researcher who played a role in the development of Gardasil asserted that neither Gardasil, nor the other HPV vaccine, Cervarix, would do much to reduce cervical cancer rates in the U.S. According to a report on, Dr. Diane Harper also said the HPV vaccines should not be administered to girls under 15.

Dr. Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, was the lead researcher in developing both vaccines, said. Dr. Harper asserted that the evidence shows that the vaccine does little to reduce cervical cancer, beyond current preventative measures and also warned that Merck & Co., the maker of Gardasil, had not tested Gardasil on girls younger than 15, said. “There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue,” warned Harper.

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