Finally, the American Medical Association (AMA) has spoken some truth about the controversial vaccine Gardasil, the mainstream media has picked up the story, and doctors are “just saying no,” to it for their patients.
An article in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, August 19, 2009) takes Gardasil manufacturer Merck to task for marketing Gardasil as a cervical cancer vaccine rather than an HPV vaccine; for ignoring those populations of girls and women most at risk for cervical cancer; and for what amounts to deceptive advertising by withholding troubling facts about the vaccine.
Here are some facts about Gardasil, in a nutshell:
- HPV infections are very common, and almost always go away on their own without doing harm. The vaccine does not appear to be effective for women who have an existing HPV infection.
- Cervical cancer, relatively rare in the U.S., is easily and inexpensively prevented and/or cured with regular pap smears.
- According to the JAMA article, “…populations in geographic areas with excess cervical cancer mortality, include African Americans in the South, Latinos along the Texas-Mexico border, and whites in Appalachia…” The vaccine has not been marketed to these girls and women, presumably because they can’t afford the $300 price tag.
- The Gardasil vaccine is expensive and poorly studied—only a few hundred women were given it in the testing phase, and they were only followed for 17 months. We do not know if this vaccine continues to prevent some forms of HPV for more than 17 months, yet millions of women have been strongly pressured to get it, making them, in effect, guinea pigs.
- Reporting of Gardasil side effects and follow-up on those reports has been sketchy at best.
- Few of those in charge of regulating this vaccine are admitting that any of the serious side effects and deaths are directly related to Gardasil. Less serious side effects have been trivialized. For example, fainting is one of the most common side effects reported. If the reports of fainting were due to shock from the pain of injection, as claimed by so many, fainting would be a reported side effect of, for example, flu shots, which is not the case. These are not Victorian-era women in corsets who are fainting. Fainting indicates a serious lack of oxygen in the brain. The same goes for the many reports of serious headaches following the Gardasil vaccine—this is not a trivial side effect.
There is no risk/benefit formula that can justify a poorly studied vaccine given to millions of women that is likely causing serious, permanent side effects and death. Tens of thousands of women have already been harmed and killed by drugs such as DES, estrogen-only HRT, and estrogen-progestin HRT. Enough already. Not one woman should have to die because of this vaccine—not one.
For more about Gardasil, please read, Truthiness in Advertising – Gardasil, and pass the article around to friends and family—the more people who have the truth about the Gardasil vaccine, the fewer girls and women who will be harmed by it.