Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Worrisome Gardasil side effect: cervical cancer screening rates drop significantly

The number of young women getting regular Pap tests has dropped quite significantly in Australia, where Merck’s Gardasil vaccine has been administered to almost all girls aged 12-13 via a school-based program. Women up to the age of 26 have also been able to receive the three-shot HPV vaccine free of charge through a now-ended catch-up program.

Health authorities are concerned about the ten percent drop in screenings among 25-29 year olds. The problem, they believe, may be that young women have been “lulled into a false sense of security” by Gardasil, which is advertised as a vaccine against cervical cancer.

Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccine actually only protects against the two HPV strains that cause 65-70 percent of cervical cancer, so it’s essential that women continue to get regular screenings. It’s particularly important because replacement disease, whereby other strains of the virus fill the biological niche left by the two vaccine-relevant strains, may well become an issue. And so far, although the vaccine has proved very effective against the vaccine-relevant strains, overall cervical abnormality rates have dropped by only  17-45 percent.

Regular Pap smears alone can eliminate at least 90 percent of cervical cancers. When a woman gets an HPV test along with the smear, there’s very little chance that cervical cancer will sneak up on  her. (See here .) Women are advised to go for screenings every 1-3 years; screenings are also important because doctors will usually check for breast cancer and other health issues at the same time.

All in all, it’s hardly surprising that Australian health officials are "concerned."  And if you or your daughter have had the Gardasil shots and have shelved regular exams, well, don't, is all I can say.

© 2010

Permission is freely given to accurately reproduce the first five paragraphs of this article, along with a link back to this site and the entirety of the article.


resveratrol said...

That's actually what we have in mind after getting the shot - that we do not have to do pap test. It's part of their responsibility to inform us that we're still going to need it.

Nina said...

Recently, Laura Eldridge wrote a book about contraceptive choices for women. It is entitled, In Our Control. She includes an entire chapter on the HPV Vaccine in which she says, "if the new HPV vaccines entered the world with a bang, the most successful anitcancer intervention to precede it---the Pap smear---entered with a whimper.

Gardasil was marketed, in revolutionary fashion, as an anti-cancer vaccine not an HPV Vaccine.

Unknown said...

my son had 1st shot 11/23/26 (just before his 12th b-day)with no side effects except perhaps post headache he rarely gets headaches but I brushed it off not associating it with the vaccine. 1/23/16 he recieved his 2nd vaccination with no reactions. 18 days later 2/10/17 he developed headache in frontal lobe and temples and complained his eyes hurt, and had a low fever 100.7 day2 and 99.7 day3. then on 2/13/17 he was feeling better went to school, he started feeling dizzy at lunch time then progressed to slurring his speech and having trouble walking. (but no one at school noticed or reported to me) He fell while on the bus home and hit his head and had trouble walking home falling several times. My daughter came in and told me to go pick him up. I did! I thought he had been drugged!!! He appeared to be intoxicated. I took him to ER and they tested blood & urine and did a CT scan, all came back negative they advised he see a neurologist. (The episode lasted about 5 hour's, but cleared up by the time we got to the ER.) He went to school the next day and I told them what happened and to call me if anything unusual happens. I recieved a call just before 2pm that he was having same symptoms again and picked him up and went back to ER where fortunately they were able to do MRI,they transferred him to Phoenix Childrens Hospital 100 mi. away. They did lumbar puncture which showed his white blood count was elevated he was admitted and they began treating by iv for bacterial and viral infections while they waited on lab results.They also did an EEG.
The lability results all came back negative but the MRI & EEG showed evidence of seizure. He was sent home and is now taking anti seizure medication while his brain heals.
His PCP says he would not rule out the vaccine as the cause while the Neurologist says she can't confirm it's the cause she's just going with encephalitis, because side effects usually occur within 15 min of vaccination. I am very frustrated!!!

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