To Vaccinate Your Teenager, Or Not?

As soon as a teenage girl walks into her pediatricianís office, he will suggest another vaccination, to be delivered through a series of shots spaced out over six months.† This time the vaccine is Gardasil, intended to protect her from being infected by the human papilloma virus, HPV, which might cause cervical cancer later in life.

On balance, is this series of vaccinations a good idea?† Is it safe; is it worth the possible side effects?

Gardasil is manufactured by Merck Vaccines.† It was fast-tracked for approval in June 2006 by the Food & Drug Administration after only two years and limited studies of only 1,200 girls for only two years.† Like all pharmaceutical products, as well as the chemicals used in all manufactured products, from skin cream to formaldehyde, the manufacturer is in charge of the studies.

When, after the two-year study, the CDC recommended that Gardasil routinely be given to all 11- to 12-year-old girls, the head of the CDC was Julie Gerberding.† With the change of administrations, she left for a job as president of Merck Vaccines.† (Just one more typical example of the revolving door between industry and the folks who are supposed to protect our health.)

Merck is the company that had known for nearly a decade before it became public knowledge that infants getting the federally-mandated multiple vaccinations were thus getting an elevated dose of mercury from the preservative in those vaccines (a dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish), but did not disclose this information.† Gardasil is preserved with aluminum, like mercury, a toxin.

It is not clear that Gardasil is truly effective nor worth the risk.

Now that tens of thousands of girls have gotten this series of vaccinations, records kept by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) show a high level of adverse reactions.† The reactions generally double after the second injection and quadruple after the third.† They range from headache, hair loss, dizziness and nausea, to an anaphylactic shock, seizures and even death.† Read their stories at, a website founded by Marion Greene whose own daughter was injured. †In fact, there are twice as many adverse side effects from Gardasil as from flu shots (which contain mercury).† Merck, of course, reports virtually no risk.

Gardasil is approved to protect girls and women, ages 9 through 26, from the two types of HPV that are responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases (and against two other types that cause 90 percent of all cases of genital warts).† There are more than 120 types of HPV, as many as 40 of them spread through sexual contact; of these 40, 15 types have the potential to cause cancers in females and males.† The vaccineís effectiveness is very limited against these other types of HPV.† Furthermore, about 90 percent of genital HPV cases clear up on their own within two years.

Even worse, news has leaked out that Gardasil increases the risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent among people (most likely those who are sexually active) who have already been exposed to two types of the HPV virus.† This time, Merck actually told FDA about this risk, yet the agency approved the vaccine and did not even demand a warning insert in the package.

Nor is anyone sure about how long the protection will last.† As you read, above, the Merck study followed vaccinated girls and women for only two years, and in some cases even gave them booster shots.† Other clinical trials followed women ages 16 to 23 for up to four-and-a-half years after their three does of the vaccine.† But compare that to the fact that cervical cancer takes decades to develop.† Then thereís the fact that HPV exposure occurs in 10 percent of children in the first 10 years of life, before any vaccination.

The risk of adverse effects from the vaccine seems higher than the risk of getting cervical cancer in the U.S.† Thatís because women and teenage girls in our country, when they become sexually active, are likely to get regular pap smears which detect cell abnormalities before they turn into cancer, and so treatment can start long before the cancer develops.† Cervical cancer rates have dropped 74 percent since regular pap smear testing began.† Itís among the women who have not had a pap test for five years or more that most cervical cancer is found these days.† And pap smears are still required even for a girl who has been vaccinated.

Gardasil is the most expensive vaccine ever recommended for school-age children.† Merck charges $120 for each dose, and the cost for the three-shot regimen adds up to $400 to $1,000 per patient.†† Merck is now pushing to extend its market, to boys and men, to prevent genital warts, and to women up to the age of 45.†† It advertises widely, and is also pushing a campaign in at least 20 states to convince legislators to require the HPV vaccinations as a prerequisite for girls to attend school.† My state of Massachusetts actually considered such a mandate, but so far that has not succeeded.

Another HPV vaccine, Cervarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved in May of this year.† It protects against only two strains of HPV virus, contains almost twice the aluminum content as well as a second adjuvant (a chemical agent added to boost the effectiveness of the active ingredient).† Higher rates of anaphylactic shock reactions have been reported after Cervarix than Gardasil in Europe, where both have been used.

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For more information:

National Vaccine Information Center

Generation Rescue,

Related: To Vaccinate Your Child, Or Not?

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John S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks, still questioning.

Keith Kelley
Keith Kelley4 years ago

I did like your last comment, "Science works, whether you do it for profit or not. etc.,etc..
i still do believe the vaccines are questionable as to whether they work efficiently, and are safe.
And the last part of your comment is spot on. "What's not science would be suppressing or distorting data and findings for profit or any other motive." This what myself, Jewels, Chris, and many others have been inferring in our comments.
You have put it into words very nicely.
Thank you

Mit W.
Mit Wes4 years ago

Jewel S. Science works, whether you do it for profit or not. The MMR, diptheria and other vacccines work no less and no more if they were developed for profit or not. What's not science would be suppressing or distorting data and findings for profit or any other motive.

Jewels S.
Jewels S.4 years ago

Science would be more credible if it was non profit but it is not. Period. Not a lot of words needed. It is simple but some of you want to be right (or what you think is right) instead of healthy.

Mit W.
Mit Wes4 years ago

Keith, the article a refered only states that homeopathics misinterpreted the significance of Montagnier's work. The hypothesis that water alone could somehow continue to hold casts of whatever molecule that used to be there can't well, hold water. First of all, the pattern would be 3 dimensional, surrounding the molecules of interest. If the molecule is removed, then you must crack open this cast (and, hence, destroy it) to get at it in the first place. So, if such casts did actually form, they would have to travel with the molecules they encase.

Second, lets say these casts or patterns do form. You'll only get one around each molecule. As you dilute the solution to 1/2^100. of what it is, you have only a few to none of both molecules and casts. In contrast, 18 grams of water contains 6.02214179×10^23 molecules of H2O (i.e. 1 mole). You can see that'll take quite of bit of the diluted solution to gather just one of either the actual molecule or one of its casts, or patterns.

Mit W.
Mit Wes4 years ago

Jewel S. wrote:

"science is not the end all be all of information. Some things science discovered years ago has been found to be wrong...."

Science is a method in which to discover facts and laws in the natural world. It is a human endeaver and as such is subjet to human failings. But the method itself is sound. You make observations. You then make a hypthesis to explain the observations. You test the hypothesis by making predictions about future events and then collect the data and see how successful your predictions were. When possible, you have a control. I.e., your control predicts the sought after effect will not occur if the conditions of your hypothesis are not met. Your hypothesis have value if your predictions come true in a statistical significant way and, if you have a control, the predictions do not come true in a statistical significant way. But your job is never done. As time goes by and more data and greater scope of data comes in, your hypothesis (or theory) continually comes under scrutiny. That continual refinement and, yes, sometimes replacement, of theories, may be what you call wrong today. But, that is the essence of progress. No change, no this turns out to be more right than what came before or we discovered mistakes in our past methodology, would mean no progress, no improvement.

But it this isn't random replacement of theories. If a theory worked before in a certain domain, the new theory would still have to explain that.

Keith Kelley
Keith Kelley4 years ago

So, you're saying that one of your medical scientists who received the Nobel prize for medicine is a crackpot, thus bringing the establishment into disrepute?
Seems that no matter who they are, if they get out of line, they put them through the wringer. (similar to Wakefield)
I assume you could apply this to many medical tests being carried out, and rushed through for Big pharma.
Homeopathy-200 years of 'getting away with it'? Seems a long time for that.

Mit W.
Mit Wes4 years ago

And the poo-hooing of, "Big Homeo", continues...

Keith Kelley
Keith Kelley4 years ago

I maybe should have said, "We have to dismiss some, or a majority of claims.............
I stated it that way, assuming you realised we don't entirely go along with the germ theory.
Medical science has made some very useful finds, and develops some amazing techniques. So they are not all bad. :-)

Cooked food, raw food. The main difference I see is that you need the raw food for healing,regenerating the body. I really don't think an all cooked food diet could do that.
Just my opinion. :-)

Keith Kelley
Keith Kelley4 years ago

I seem to remember someone poo hooing homeopathy.
Well here's one of many in the medical world that embraces it.