How safe is HPV vaccine?

Bhutan Observer

May 14, 2010

It is too early to assess the after effects of human papillomavi­rus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil in Bhutan, but the vaccine has reportedly killed a number of people around the world.

An inclusive look at the side effects of the vaccine ap­proved in 2006 raises ques­tions about its safety.

As of January 31, 2010, there were 49 reports of death among those who have re­ceived Gardasil in the USA alone (28 reports have been confirmed and 21 remain un­confirmed due to lack of infor­mation such as a name or con­tact information). Today, the death toll lies at 68 worldwide (New Zealand, United King­dom, Australia, Spain and the USA). The Gardasil study has also allegedly led to the death of six girls in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Guja­rat.

Last year, the Centre for Disease Control and Preven­tion (CDC) reported more than 12,000 side effects after 23 million doses had been dis­tributed. Ninety-four percent of the problems were not se­rious. Six percent of the cases included patients who were hospitalized, permanently disabled or dead.

Side effects

Several side effects of HPV vaccine have been identified:

• Very high fever, weakness, tingling, or paralysis

• Signs of an allergic reac­tion, including difficulty breathing, wheezing, an unusual skin rash, itching, hives, chronic fatigue, di­gestive problems, dizzi­ness and nausea, enceph­alitis, facial paralysis, hair loss, headaches, joint and muscle pain, loss of vision, menstrual problems, re­spiratory and heart prob­lems, and seizures.

• A few girls in the coun­try visited hospitals com­plaining of giddiness, headache and numbness after receiving the vaccine on May 5 but were dis­charged.

• Problems that occur more frequently than expected are fainting (about once every 12,000 doses) and blood clots (once every 500,000 doses).

Risks involved

In India, the Gardisal study conducted in children before evaluating its safety in adults, which was against the clinical trial guidelines, had led to the death of six girls. The deaths were, however, later attrib­uted to viral fever, drowning, suicide, severe anaemia with malaria and suspected snake bite.

The Indian government suspended the vaccine in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, where it was to be tested for its acceptability and service delivery issues in about 32,000 girls, aged 10 to14, following reports of deaths and several complica­tions.

Despite knowing the risks, why is Bhutan still going ahead with the vaccination programme?

Director of the public health department, Dr Ugen Dophu, said that Bhutan was not taking any risk. “We are intentionally introducing this vaccine after a thorough study,” he said, adding that the vaccine may have some side effects like any other vac­cines.

The vaccine will be offered to 51,862 girls all over the country. Until last Wednesday, 41,000 girls were vaccinated.

Dr Ugen Dophu said the vaccine had caused no death according to scientific re­search and WHO reports. The vaccination done in the two states of India was a pro­gramme trail, like the one conducted in Paro last year, and not a vaccine trail as many seem to perceive.

He ruled out the general misconception that such vac­cination studies are carried out in the developing and least developed countries. There are four stages in­volved – lab experimentation, advanced lab experimenta­tion, experimentation on live animals, and partnership with developing and devel­oped countries.

In case of HPV vaccine, all four stages have been com­pleted, he said. Today, the vaccine is available in 108 countries worldwide. Twen­ty-one countries have started routine immunization. Bhu­tan is the 22nd country to in­troduce the vaccine in the routine immunization.

Normally, there is a huge benefit in participating in such a programme with the developed countries. If the medicine is found good, the participating country will get the vaccines and medicines at a very cheap rate, said the Director. “Countries should participate as the vaccines are already lab tested and experi­mented.”

Routine pap smears can also help prevent cervical cancer. Dr Ugen Dophu said that the combination of regu­lar pap smear screening and HPV vaccine will give a 100 percent result.

What studies show

March 12, 2010, saw six women from around the world present documents and research about the dangers of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Never before have the FDA turned to members of the public regarding vaccine safe­ty.

The reports presented de­tailed worldwide data prov­ing that women and young girls have suffered severe adverse reactions, including death, after being vaccinated with the HPV vaccines.

There is a clear pattern from many countries, of girls suffering from the same side effects. Yet, the fact has not been picked up by either the committees that regulate the vaccines or the governments that sanction them. More worryingly, the six women found that there were a huge number of deaths recorded on Vaccine Adverse Event Re­porting System (VAERS) after HPV vaccines.

VAERS is the reporting system used in the USA for adverse events that happen after vaccination.


Read the comment posted at the end of this article….am formulating my response.  It will be good – left brain vs. right brain – intutive/common sense/wise woman  thinking vs. male medical model brainwashing.

Harsh? Biased? Too friggin’ bad.


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.