What Every Parent Should Know About Gardasil

Tullius Chiropractic & Pilates Center

Gardasil, the new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that has been heavily advertised by its manufacturer, Merck, and possibly made mandatory for girls entering the sixth grade, has been criticized as being untested, unproven, and even unsafe by countless in the medical field.

Diane M. Harper, a lead researcher, scientist, physician, professor and former director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Medical School who spent 20 years
developing the vaccine for human papillomavirus says the HPV vaccine is not for younger girls, and that it is “silly” for states to be mandating it for them.  Internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field, Harper does not believe there has been adequate studies documenting the vaccine’s safety for young girls saying, “Giving it to 11-year-olds is a great big public health
experiment.” [1]

The following information has been gathered to help parents understand what the vaccine is said to protect against and why the controversy exists surrounding the Merck vaccine.

HPV Alone Insufficient to Cause Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a group of more than 100 viruses. Some types of HPV are associated with certain types of cancer.  These are called “high-risk” oncogenic or carcinogenic
HPVs.  Of the more than 100 types of HPV, over 30 types can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact.  About 6 million new genital HPV infections occur each year in the United States.  Most HPV infections occur without any symptoms and go away without any treatment. [2]

In the majority of women with cervical cancer, HPV is also present; however, it is unknown whether it is the HPV that actually caused the cancer or whether the cancerous cells supply the body with a breeding ground for certain HPV strains. During discussions at the FDA, however, it was admitted that HPV alone is insufficient to cause cancer, meaning that additional factors must be present for cancer to appear.

Dr. Elizabeth Unger of the Centers for Disease Control stated, “So it is believed that infection alone is insufficient to cause cancer, and additional factors are required for neoplasia. There are certainly lots of questions about HPV
infection…” [3].  The prominent medical text book, Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology whose editors include Dr. Vincent DeVita, Jr. who was President of the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute agrees. According to this text, “HPV infection is not sufficient for cervical carcinogenesis.” [4]

A study estimating the American population prevalence of HPV infection published in the Feb 28, 2007 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 3.4% of women aged 14—59 yrs were infected with one of the HPV types in Gardasil and only 2% were infected with one of the two types that are in the vaccine and are associated with cervical cancer. [5]



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.