The news reports were sparked by a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 20 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Daron Ferris, a professor in the departments of family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia, was one of the three reviewers of the report.
“The media didn’t properly interpret the findings of the CDC,” Ferris said in a telephone interview Aug. 28, adding the media “stirred up a hornet’s nest.”
Gardasil, manufactured by Merck, shown to reduce the risk of herpes and cervical cancer, is a three-dose vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus.
“[The CDC] is strongly supportive of the vaccine,” Ferris said.
The report, he said, was not so much a formal study as it was a collection of Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System reports. VAERS reports, he said, have neither control group nor placebo, and can be submitted by a range of sources including the manufacturer, the patient or a state health clinic.