TELL US: Vaccine vexation

Waverly Leader

18 Oct 11 @ 06:00am by Emma Schmidt

A MONASH resident who says she suffered MS-like symptoms after having the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine is leading a group of women taking its manufacturer to court.

Naomi Snell, founder of Melbourne support group Australian Gardasil Girls, told the Leader last week lawyers from Sydney had agreed to represent the six women against Merck, which manufactures Gardasil.

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They were expected to decide yesterday whether they would pursue a class action or individual cases.

Ms Snell said the case was based on proving that the vaccine was not fit for its intended purpose.

“I am really happy that we are getting our day in the courts and hopefully it’s a step closer to justice,” Ms Snell said.

Ms Snell said she began feeling sick after her first shot of the vaccine, which immunises against human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer. “I had a full auto-immune and neurological attack,” she said. “At stages I was unable to stand and walk.”

Doctors believed she had multiple sclerosis, and she was forced to quit her job and put her career on hold. Ms Snell’s family has a history of auto-immune disease.

Others in the Australian Gardasil Girls group claim they suffered a miscarriage and anaphylaxis as a result of the immunisation.

Ms Snell’s case has been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration. TGA spokesman Neil Branch said they were unable to comment on the outcome for privacy reasons. Mr Branch said there had been 1767 suspected adverse reactions to Gardasil reported in Australia until September, which was consistent with other new vaccines and adverse event rates in other countries.

Sydney lawyers Carroll and O’Dea will represent Ms Snell.

Merck did not respond to the Leader.


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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.