Will Merck’s Gardasil HPV Vaccine be its Next Vioxx?

OpEdNews

May 26, 2010

For OpEdNews: Richard Gale – Writer –

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the genomic industry.

Do you find something seriously wrong with this scenario?

Reports of faulty gas pedals, obstructive floor carpets, and failing breaks in Toyota and Lexus vehicles generated uproar across major media networks. For the 4-year period starting in 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had reported 5 deaths, 17 injuries and 13 crashes, and an additional 29 deaths between 2000 and 2005. There was no hesitation among the networks and federal officials to demonize Toyota for knowingly risking the lives of people solely to empty its dealership lots. Even Congress quickly called for a Congressional investigation, and Toyota took upon itself the responsibility to recall over 8 million vehicles.

During the same four year period while NHTSA was collecting crash data on Toyota’s lemons, the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database was gathering casualty data following vaccinations with Merck’s human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil. And it was clear that Merck was far ahead and winning its race against Toyota for the Lemon of the Decade Award. Since Gardasil’s launch in 2006, the vaccine has been responsible for 66 deaths and over 17,700 medical injuries of young girls, some as young as 11 years old. Six percent of reported events, or 1,100 girls, were serious enough to require emergency hospitalization.

Unfortunately, vaccine injuries are not reported immediately and thoroughly as are automobile accidents and deaths. There are no vaccine police rushing to the scene of vaccine accidents to investigate the incidents and to record injuries and fatalities accurately. Consequently, only a fraction of vaccine adverse events are reported by pediatricians, physicians, medical clinics and hospitals, and make their way eventually into the VAERS database. Few parents even know such a reporting system exists.

Cindy Bevington has investigated and reported about Gardasil extensively.¬† During a Progressive Radio Network interview, she reported on the hundreds and hundreds of emails she receives from girls, mothers and doctors around the US and other countries complaining about the HPV vaccines. Often she receives parents’ requests “begging” for help because their pediatricians and physicians refuse to report their daughters’ adverse events as vaccine related.

By the CDC’s own admission, only 10 percent of adverse events get listed on VAERS. Even this very conservative figure has been refuted by independent analyses; actual records can be as low as 1 percent of all actual negative reactions for any given vaccine. It is therefore realistic to suspect that Gardasil is associated with between 177,000 and 1.7 million adverse effects among vaccinated American girls and young women.

Medalerts.org reports that a young woman vaccinated with Gardasil is ten times more likely to file a VAERS report compared to an influenza vaccination. HPV vaccines now account for 20 percent of all vaccine side effects aside from the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. America’s daughters are twice as likely to have an emergency room visit. They are four times more likely to have a death sentence, five times more likely to receive a report of “did not recover,” and seven times more likely be pronounced “disabled.”

Besides the 66 deaths, Gardasil’s serious side effects now include Guillain-Barre syndrome, lupus, seizures, anaphylactic shock, chronic fatigue, paralysis, blood clots, brain inflammation, blurred vision and blindness, convulsions, demyelinating encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, pancreatitis and various digestive disorders. Last autumn a case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, was reported. And a recent 2010 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology investigated the case of a 16-year old girl going blind following vaccination, a secondary symptom to multiple sclerosis.

In her January 2010 article on Vactruth.com, “Website Documents Over 300 Gardasil Horror Stories,” Christina England, a journalist monitoring the politics and science of the HPV vaccines, relates the case of an employee at a large hospital who commented on the 1,000-plus girls who are manifesting psychotic symptoms for no apparent reason other than being vaccinated with Gardasil. Nevertheless, federal health agencies remain mute and dumb, and the CDC and the FDA continue to stand by their masters at Merck and preach their faith in Gardasil as “safe and effective and the benefits outweigh the risks.”

One would expect that vaccine makers would undertake special precautionary measures when conducting clinical trials for women who are undergoing hormonal changes, such as premenstrual changes during puberty and during various stages of pregnancy. The effects that Gardasil has on young girls entering sexual maturity remain unknown. The principle investigator for Gardasil’s clinical trials, Dr. Diane Harper, has publicly stated that no efficacy and safety trials for any of the HPV vaccines were conducted on girls under the age of 15 years. Neither were trials conducted to determine Gardasil’s safety on pregnant women.

Dr. Suzanne Garland at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne published a study in 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology showing a “higher rate of congenital abnormalities in infants were noted in pregnant women who received the vaccine.” A second study, according to Christina England, found that there were slightly higher fetal deaths and rare cases of central nervous system malformations and neural tube defects in vaccinated pregnant women. Yet these kinds of studies only convince us of the seriously flawed and limited clinical trials conducted by Merck, and further confirms growing criticisms of the systemic failure in the FDA’s approval process because of the millions of dollars the agency receives from the pharmaceutical cartel to expedite vaccine and drug launches and to require only the minimum of efficacy and safety information for approval.

Fortunately, the seriousness of HPV vaccination is becoming more apparent, via the efforts of the National Vaccine Information Center, NaturalNews.com, Mercola.com and the Progressive Radio Network, and concerns are being raised within the practicing medical community and among parents. For example, the otherwise pro-Big Pharma Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) printed an article in 2009 stating, “the rate of serious adverse events [of Gardasil] is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.” Given the high prestige of JAMA, this alone should be a sufficient warning to avoid HPV vaccines at any cost.

Once a vaccine is administered, the risk for potential damage cannot be recalled. It is not like returning your Toyota to avoid the possibility of a mechanical failure in the future. And the length of time a serious adverse effect might occur from Gardasil remains unknown. Christina Tassell, a 21-year-old National Honor Student died in her sleep a couple days after receiving Gardasil. There was no way the vaccine could be returned to her pediatric salesman after symptomatic complications began to surface.

Since Gardasil is administered in a series of three injections, adverse effects may occur after the second or third vaccination, or even months afterwards. One mother shared the condition of her 15-year-old daughter who two months after receiving her second vaccination began having seizures and complete memory loss. The mom writes, “her other symptoms were hair loss, joint pain, severe headaches, stomach pain and insomnia. When she did sleep, she would have seizures for hours. We have taken her to numerous doctors but they have no idea what is wrong with her. She continues to struggle on a day to day basis and is on the 504 Disability Plan at school.”

So where is the media in reporting on this Big Pharma-created medical catastrophe? Where are the New York Times and Rupert Murdock’s media empire? Why aren’t our health officials at the FDA, the CDC and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the HHS taking precautionary measures, and why aren’t our elected officials on the Hill demanding a Congressional investigation of a product threatening our daughter’s lives and health that is greater than handing the family’s Toyota’s car keys over to a teenager?

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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.