Scientists in Germany call for a Re-assement of the HPV Vaccination and an end to Misleading Information

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Translated from German: 23.12. 2008 German version: 25.11. 2008

As of autumn 2006, adolescent girls and women in Germany can be vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV). Ever since then there have been intense discussions about possible side effects and the costs of the vaccines, as well as the partly misleading promotional information which is given out to the public. The question of how effective the vaccines really are is hardly ever asked. Yet this crucial issue of efficacy – i.e., to what degree the vaccine actually lowers the rate of new cervical cancer cases – has not been sufficiently  valuated, and is the object of misleading information.

STIKO made its recommendations before the relevant studies were published
In March 2007 the “Ständige Impfkommission” (STIKO) [Standing STIKO made its recommendations before the relevant studies were published
In March 2007 the “Ständige Impfkommission” (STIKO) [Standing Vaccination Committee] of the Robert Koch-Institute recommended the HPV vaccine for all girls aged 12-17 years to decrease the burden of disease due to cervical cancer. However, at the time the recommendation was made, the results of the decisive studies had not yet been published.

It was not until May 2007 that the most important studies on the Gardasil® vaccine, FUTUREI and FUTURE II, were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The central message of an editorial published in this journal more than one year later was: “The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown” (Haug
2008)1. The most important study on the second vaccine, Cervarix®, was published in June 2007. Cervarix® has not yet been approved in the USA.

What do studies and other documents say about the efficacy of the HPV vaccines?

Cervical cancer is closely associated with HPV infection. Of the approximately 100 known strains of HPV, at least 13 can trigger cervical cancer. Strains 16 and 18, which are the target of these two vaccines, are assumed to be responsible for 70% of all cervical cancer cases.
However, rather than assessing the effect of the vaccine against cervical cancer, the studies examined the incidence of high-gradeaccination Committee] of the Robert Koch-Institute recommended the HPV vaccine for all girls aged 12-17 years to decrease the burden of disease due to cervical cancer.

However, at the time the recommendation was made, the results of the decisive studies had not yet been published.

It was not until May 2007 that the most important studies on the Gardasil® vaccine, FUTURE I and FUTURE II, were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The central message of an editorial published in this journal more than one year later was: “The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown” (Haug
2008)1. The most important study on the second vaccine, Cervarix®, was published in June 2007. Cervarix® has not yet been approved in the USA.
What do studies and other documents say about the efficacy of the HPV vaccines?

Cervical cancer is closely associated with HPV infection. Of the approximately 100 known strains of HPV, at least 13 can trigger cervical cancer. Strains 16 and 18, which are the target of these two vaccines, are assumed to be responsible for 70% of all cervical cancer cases.
However, rather than assessing the effect of the vaccine against cervical cancer, the studies examined the incidence of high-grade cervical lesions (a potential precursor of cervical cancer) in 15-26 year-old women.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.