Researchers Calling for HPV Vaccine Scrutiny

Leslie Carol Botha: I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet and spend time with Lucija when we both attended the British Society for Ecological Medicine Conference in London in March of 2011. Lucija spoke on vaccination policy and I spoke about the growing global concerns about the safety and efficacy of Gardasil.

So I guess the question remains – what is wrong with a society who listens to researchers over the parents whose daughter’s have died or been injured by Gardasil? What is wrong with this picture?  That, by the way goes for all parents of vaccine-injured children.  Pharma puts drugs on the market, makes money, ignores the casualties and waits until researchers or independent studies (costing millions of dollars by the way – kind of prohibitive) to prove them wrong.

UBC researchers advocate HPV vaccine scrutiny

By Gail Johnson, November 1, 2012
Vancouver’s Online Source

UBC Faculty of Medicine fellow Lucija Tomljenovic

A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may trigger fatal autoimmune or neurological events in some cases, two UBC researchers say. Their findings come as public-health authorities, who maintain that the shots are safe, are urging young women to get vaccinated to prevent cervical cancer.

Neuroscientist Chris Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic, who has a PhD in biochemistry and is a senior postdoctoral fellow in UBC’s faculty of medicine, say that research on the HPV vaccine Gardasil (which is given in three shots over a six-month period) raises serious concerns and that the risk of adverse reactions is largely downplayed. In an interview at their lab, they maintain that the vaccine needs more scrutiny before health agencies promote it in public campaigns.

“For reasons that are not understood, some people are having terrible reactions to this vaccine,” Shaw says. “Some people are more susceptible. Most people who get these vaccines are fine.…But some people may get sick from these vaccines, so claiming that there are no adverse reactions aside from a sore arm is not strictly true.”

Shaw and Tomljenovic work out of UBC’s department of ophthalmology and visual sciences’ neural-dynamics research group. The two published a study called “Death after quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccination: Causal or coincidental?” last month in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs. The study focuses on two young women who were vaccinated with Gardasil and died following symptoms resembling those of cerebral vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels in the central nervous system). Autopsies revealed no anatomical, microbiological, or toxicological findings that might explain the deaths. Shaw and Tomljenovic’s study showed that autoimmune vasculitis could have been triggered by certain HPV antibodies binding to the wall of blood vessels in the brain.

“The fact that many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following HPV vaccination are indicative of cerebral vasculitis but are unrecognized as such (i.e., intense persistent migraines, syncope, seizures, tremors and tingling, myalgia, locomotor abnormalities, psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits), is a serious concern,” they wrote. “It thus appears that in some cases vaccination may be the triggering factor of fatal autoimmune/neurological events. Physicians should be aware of this association.”

Shaw and Tomljenovic concede that the study has limitations: only two case studies and no control group. Their research is ongoing.

They say the most frequently referenced study of the vaccine’s safety comes from pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., which developed Gardasil, one of two vaccines approved for use in Canada. (The other is GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix.)

The Merck study involved almost 190,000 females who received at least one vaccine dose between 2006 and 2008. Published in the October 1, 2012, online edition of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the study stated it “did not detect evidence of new safety concerns among females 9 to 26 years of age secondary to vaccination with HPV4 [Gardasil]”. “These findings support the general safety of routine vaccination with HPV4 to prevent cancer,” the study noted.

Shaw and Tomljenovic note that this study has limitations. “First, we could only detect new-onset conditions requiring ED [emergency department] visits or hospitalizations within 60 days after vaccination; it was not designed to investigate long-term safety outcomes or risk of HPV4–associated recurrence/progression of disease,” the Merck study said. “Second, despite its large size, this study may have had insufficient power to detect very rare conditions.”

The study was funded by Merck; the lead author receives research support from Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and other drug companies. “The study sponsor, Merck & Co, provided substantial input into the study design and analytic plan,” Merck reported. “In collaboration with the Kaiser Study Team, the sponsor reviewed data analyses and helped draft and revise the manuscript.”


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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.

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