According to an excellently reported article by Susan Brinkmann for the Philadelphia Daily Bulletin, Dr. Diane Harper, the lead researcher during clinical trials of two human papiloma vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, dropped a bombshell (or perhaps multiple bombshells) at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination.Â Dr. Harper said the drugs will do little to reduce cervical cancer (even though Merck, the maker of Gardasil, has spent millions on an ad campaign designed to convince people the drug will prevent cervical cancer).
(Forgive this blog post’s extensive quotations from the article, but there was much I simply didn’t want to leave out, and couldn’t improve upon.Â Also forgive my addition of bold type in several places.Â As the father of three girls, and the grandfather of a 5-year-old girl, I don’t feel you can overemphasize the risks of the vaccine and the lack of any real benefit to young girls. MJE).
Dr. Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, made her remarks during an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination.Â Although Dr. Harper’s talk was intended to help promote the vaccine, participants said they came away convinced the vaccine should not be received.
â€œI came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldnâ€™t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,â€ said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.Â After hearing Dr. Harper sayÂ that â€œfour out of five women with cervical cancer are in developing countries.â€Â Ms. Robinson said she could not help but wonder, â€œIf this is the case, then why vaccinate at all? But from the murmurs of the doctors in the audience, it was apparent that the same thought was occurring to them.â€
During her remarks, Dr. Harper revealed:
* 70 percent of all HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment within a year. Within two years, the number climbs to 90 percent. Of the remaining 10 percent of HPV infections, only half will develop into cervical cancer, which leaves little need for the vaccine;
* the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is already so low that â€œeven if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.â€
* there will be no decrease in cervical cancer until at least 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, and even then, the decrease will be minimal;
* four out of five women with cervical cancer are in developing countries;
* there have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15 years of age;
* Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, studied only a small group of girls under 16 who had been vaccinated, but did not follow them long enough to conclude sufficient presence of effective HPV antibodies;
* giving the vaccine to girls as young as 11 years-old â€œis a great big public healthÂ Â Â experiment.” Dr. Harper first made the statement in a 2007 interview with KPCNews.com, which was at the height of Merckâ€™s controversial drive to have the vaccine mandated in schools. Dr. Harper remained steadfastly opposed to the idea and said she had been trying for months to convince major television and print media about her concerns, â€œbut no one will print it.â€ â€œIt is silly to mandate vaccination of 11 to 12 year old girls,â€ she said at the time. [Remember, this statement was made when Merck was pushing states to make the vaccination mandatory for school children. MJE] â€œThere also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue.”
Dr. Harper had previously commented on a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that raised questions about the safety of the vaccine, saying bluntly: “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”
When asked why she was speaking out, she said: â€œI want to be able to sleep with myself when I go to bed at night.â€
Since the drugâ€™s introduction in 2006, the public has been learning many of these facts the hard way. To date, 15,037 girls have officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These adverse reactions include Guilliane Barre, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots, brain inflammation and many others. The CDC acknowledges that there have been 44 reported deaths. Dr. Harper also participated in the research on Glaxo-Smith-Klineâ€™s version of the drug, Cervarix, currently in use in the UK but not yet approved here.Â Since the government began administering the vaccine to school-aged girls last year, more than 2,000 patients reported some kind of adverse reaction including nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, convulsions, seizures and hyperventilation. Several reported multiple reactions, with 4,602 suspected side-effects recorded in total. The most tragic case involved a 14 year-old girl who dropped dead in the corridor of her school an hour after receiving the vaccination.
Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute, said Dr. Harper failed to make the case for Gardasil. â€œFor me, it was hard to resist the conclusion that Gardasil does almost nothing for the health of American women.â€
Okay, that’s the end ot he article, and the beginning of this blogger’s commentary.Â Ms. Robinson was being kind (or cautious), when she said “it was hard to resist the conclusion that Gardasil does almost nothing for the health of American women.”Â Excuse me if I disagree, but Gardasil does a lot for the health of American women (and let it be noted that some of these “women” are as young as 9 years old.Â And if you don’t believe me when I say it’s being administered to 9-year-olds, run a Google search on Merck’s corporate website and take a look at the 133 pages where Merck says it can be administered to girls and women 9 through 26 years old).
Yes, Gardasil does a lot for the health of American women.Â It kills and injures thousands of them!
Even before Dr. Harper’s remarks, I wondered about the message we were sending young girls by vaccinating them with Gardasil.Â What were we saying, it’s okay to have unprotected sex because we’ve cut down on the risk of HPV, even though you still may get AIDs, herpes, and other STDs that are potentially more serious than HPV?
Dr. Harper is to be complimented for telling the truth about HPV vaccines.Â It’s important for this truth to be communicated to girls, their parents and doctors as soon as possible.Â It’s also important for some consumer attorneys to make themselves available to represent those girls who have been injured, and the families of girls who have died, as a result of taking the HPV vaccines.