May 31, 6:19 PMVaccines ExaminerNorma Erickson
Freda Birrell, from Scotland, spent a good part of her life as a political activist. She believes in justice and fighting for what is right. When a friend from North Carolina contacted her with questions about HPV vaccines, her first instinct was to check out the facts.
She knew very little about Gardasil or Cervarix when she began her inquiries through the channels she was familiar with, politicians in Scotland and the United Kingdom in Westminster.
During the time she was making her inquiries, the press started picking up stories of young girls falling ill after HPV vaccinations. Parents were asking questions, but the answer was always that the adverse events were either ‘coincidental,’ or ‘unrelated.’ Never was either vaccine implicated in the ever-increasing list of unusual events that occurred post-vaccination.
Freda continued her investigation. The information she discovered left her with no choice but to take action. She is now on the Board of Directors for the international coalition of advocates, and parents who established and run the website www.truthaboutgardasil.org. The website is dedicated to those who have not survived after HPV vaccination. The site is a virtual guide to information about both Gardasil and Cervarix.
Freda agreed to take some time from her busy schedule to talk to this Examiner about her journey from political activist to member of the board of directors for TAG (Truth About Gardasil).
Freda, how did the politicians you contacted in Scotland and the U.K. initially respond to your questions about HPV vaccines?
In 2008, when I first began to inquire about Cervarix and Gardasil, many of the politicians I contacted were in a similar position to myself. They knew of the vaccines, but they had heard nothing about the possibility of potential serious side effects.
When you couldn’t find information through your normal channels, what did you do?
One of the first things I did was join the Yahoo group “Let’s Talk about Gardasil.” There I got to know many of the mothers and daughters who had been injured. It did not take me long to realise that there was something sinister going on out there and I became determined to do what I could from here to investigate these vaccines.
What kind of information did you gather through your visits with this Yahoo group?
That is where I got to know Karen Maynor, from New Mexico. Her daughter, Megan died after being vaccinated with Gardasil. It didn’t take us long to strike up a good friendship that will last forever. Karen is one of many mothers in the States who lost their daughters after Gardasil shots.
The combined death toll, along with the ever increasing number of reported illnesses being experienced by these young people, well over 17,000 at last count, made it apparent that a huge effort had to be made to bring this information to the attention of all Americans. We knew we had to inform officials within the FDA, elected representatives in the government and even the President of the United States himself.
That is no small task. How did you decide where to begin?
In August 2009, whilst on holiday in Ireland, I phoned Karen to suggest she write a letter to the Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Margaret Hamburg. Karen had already written to the Commissioner, so this seemed a natural follow-up. So, Karen, Rosemary Mathis, Leslie Botha and I worked on the composition of the letter. We also gathered stories of injured and deceased girls with photos to include with the letter. This information was all mailed to the FDA commissioner on the 14th of September 2009.