Gardasil is a Bad Idea Part II

The Skeptics Health Journal Club

May 26, 2010

by Paul Paul D Maher, MD MPH

In Part one we looked at some reasons to suppose that Gardasil will likely have zero affect on cervical cancer rates and may make things worse.  These may be summarized as:

  • There is zero direct clinical evidence that Gardasil decreases cervical cancer rates.¬† The FDA approval was made based off an effect on immunity to human papilloma virus.
  • Western medicine does not have a great track record in treating cancer, let alone trying to prevent it decades down the line.
  • There has never been a preventive cancer vaccine that has been seen to work in the past.
  • HPV, against which the vaccine is directed, may simply be a “disease marker” in the same way that nicotine stained yellow fingers are a disease marker for lung cancer, while washing ones hands would have zero affect on lung cancer rates.
  • If one accepts that HPV is necessary for cancer development, it would seem highly reckless without massive safety data to suppose a-priori that inoculation with 4 strains of HPV viral epitope would be inherently safe and might not itself promote cervical cancer while any evidence for this would take decades to be seen.
  • Vaccine based immunity declines over time and there is no evidence that Gardasil induces a necessary long term immunity to HPV, while any decline in protection is magnified because the vaccine only protects against a portion of strains of HPV found to be associated with cervical cancer.
  • The regulatory process had been compromised by direct financial ties between the vaccine manufacturer and regulators, not to mention the political pressures brought to bear by a well-funded lobbying effort.
  • Even if the vaccine showed some degree of efficacy, a resulting decline in annual surveillance for early cervical cancer might still lead to a net increase in cervical cancer deaths.

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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.