Side effects: Gardasil versus Menactra

Examiner.com

March 9, 2010

Norma Erickson
Vaccine Examiner

Parental concerns over the number of adverse reactions to the Gardasil vaccine have prompted a special hearing to be held by the FDA on March 12 to address the issue of Gardasil safety.

Gardasil is a vaccine against several strains of HPV (human papilloma virus) that reportedly linked to cervical cancer. Since the drug was released in June of 2006, there have been approximately 16 million doses dispensed. View the Gardasil package information sheet here.

To get an idea as to the extent of parental concerns over the negative effects of Gardasil, let’s compare the reported adverse events to those of another vaccine released approximately the same time–Menactra.

Menactra was released in February 2008, to combat meningitis. Since its release, approximately 15 million doses have been administered. View the Menactra package information sheet here.

Although this may seem like comparing apples to oranges, both vaccines were released at similar times and both have been used in similar amounts. Gardasil takes three doses for complete protection; Menactra takes only one. This should mean the adverse reactions to Gardasil would be approximately one-third of those reported for Menactra.

According to the National Vaccine Information Center:

  • Gardasil is responsible for 2 times as many emergency room visits as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 4 times as many deaths as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 5 times as many ‘did not recover’ reports as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 7 times as many ‘disabled’ reports as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 4 times as many cardiac arrests as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 4 times as many cases of lupus as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 15 times the number of strokes as Menactra.
  • Gardasil is responsible for 34 times the cases of thrombosis as Menactra.

The National Vaccine Information Center compiled the above statistics bases on an in-depth analysis of the reports made to VAERS (the vaccine adverse event reporting system).

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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.