By Dr. Mercola
During a Republican debate in Tampa, Florida, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) alleged that campaign contributions from drug company Merck—the maker of Gardasil—played "a pivotal role in Rick Perry's 2007 executive order that mandated teenage girls in Texas be inoculated against HPV," CNN reports.
The order did not go into effect, however, as it was later overturned by the legislature.
Still, it's hard to overlook the potential for undue influence and conflict of interest. Perry responded that the company gave only $5,000 to his campaign.
However, Merck has contributed:
- $28,500 to Perry's gubernatorial campaigns since January 2001, and
- $377,500 to the Republican Governors Association (one of the largest backers of Perry's campaigns)
Furthermore, CNN reported that:
"Perhaps more importantly, Perry's friend, former chief of staff Mike Toomey, spun through the revolving door to become a lobbyist for Merck in Texas, a position he held at the time of the HPV-related executive order.
… Perry's actions benefiting donors from the pharmaceutical industry don't appear to stop with Merck.
For instance, drug-maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals has also contributed handsomely to the Republican Governors Association and it has also benefited from Perry's support. Novartis has donated $700,000 to the RGA since January 2006, although it has only directly donated $5,000 to Perry's own campaign. In 2009, Perry signed a bill into law mandating meningitis vaccines for all college students, a requirement he expanded again earlier this year."
CDC Officially Recommends Gardasil for Boys
On October 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend giving the HPV vaccine to males between the ages of 11 and 21. They further recommend the vaccine series can be given to boys as young as nine, as well as to men up to the age of 26, especially if they engage in homosexual sex—allegedly to offer partial protection against genital warts, and cancers of the penis and rectum.
Interestingly enough, according to CNN Health, a large portion of the debate was focused on whether it would be cost-effective to vaccinate boys against HPV.
While cost-effectiveness is certainly an important concern, I believe reviewing the safety would certainly trump it. CNN reports that the cost to vaccinate 11- and 12-year old boys would be $38 million.
How is this cost-effective, when anal cancer, for example, has so far stricken a mere 5,820 men this year!
Deaths caused by anal cancer: 770. Gardasil is claimed to be 75 percent effective against anal cancer in men, so crunch the numbers… This is nothing short of insanity.
Why the push to vaccinate boys with Gardasil?
Because "girls aren't getting vaccinated in the numbers doctors had expected," CNN reports. "If the boys are also immunized, it reduces the transmission back and forth…" Folks, this is a health emergency in the making. Please do not be deceived into giving this dangerous vaccine to your kids, regardless of their gender.
What Effect Will Gardasil have on Other Cancer-Causing HPV Strains?
Such conflicts of interest can be dangerous in the extreme, especially when you're talking about mandating a vaccine that has not been proven to actually prevent cancer in the long term, and that appears to carry tremendous long-term health risks, including:
✓ Bell's Palsy and Guillan-Barre syndrome
✓ Cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer
✓ Blood clotting and heart problems, including cardiac arrest
✓ Miscarriages and fetal abnormalities amongst pregnant women who received the vaccine
✓ Sudden death
There's another important factor to take into account when discussing the potential risks versus alleged benefits of the HPV vaccine, which is discussed in a September issue of New Scientist:
"[W]hat effect will the vaccine have on the other cancer-causing strains of HPV? Nature never leaves a void, so if HPV-16 and HPV-18 are suppressed by an effective vaccine, other strains of the virus will take their place. The question is, will these strains cause cervical cancer? Results from clinical trials are not encouraging. Vaccinated women show an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18. "
High Time to Take an In-Depth Look at HPV Vaccine Risk/Benefit Profile
For those who are still unaware, the HPV vaccine only protects against two strains of HPV associated with cancer (HPV-16 and HPV-18), but there are MORE THAN 100 different strains of HPV in all, and about 15 of them are known to potentially cause cancer IF the infection persists. In more than 90 percent of all cases, however, the infection resolves on its own and does not lead to any health complications.
It's clear to me that this is another case where the precautionary principle needs to be applied, as currently no one knows exactly whether or not the vaccine will have any measurable effect as far as lowering cervical cancer rates. The results will not be fully apparent until a few decades from now, and in the meantime, countless young girls are being harmed, and we still do not know how Gardasil will affect their long-term health, even if they do not experience any acute side effects.
Sadly, Merck (the maker of Gardasil) is not erring on the side caution here. As recently reported by ActivistPost, the official Gardasil web site completely omits any mention of death as a possible side effect, despite the fact that Gardasil has been linked to 49 deaths. They also fail to mention any of the more serious side effects, many of which have been reported to VAERS, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, despite the fact that there are 213 reported cases of permanent disability as a result of the vaccine.
New Scientist points out that "one way forward is to build a mathematical model of the disease and use it to test the benefits of vaccination." However, this is far easier said than done, and one such modeling study included several highly optimistic assumptions that may or may not be accurate, including the assumption that:
- The vaccine offers lifelong protection
- The vaccine has identical effects on young girls and older women
- HPV-16 and HPV-18 will not be replaced by mutated and/or more potent cancer-causing strains
- Vaccinated women will continue to get cervical cancer screenings, and
- Vaccinated women's natural immunity against HPV will remain unaffected
Is it reasonable to hinge the future of millions of women on a set of assumptions? Two years ago, Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead researchers for Gardasil blew the whistle on the vaccine, saying that girls and their parents need to receive more complete information before accepting the inoculation. Dr. Harper, who participated in the Phase 2 and 3 trials to get Gardasil approved and authored several papers on it, raised serious questions about the vaccine's risks-benefit profile. And, according to Dr. Harper, the available data suggests the vaccine's protective effects do not last beyond five years.
In a 2009 CBSNews interview, she stated:
"If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... we've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit. The benefit to public health is nothing; there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70 percent of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated."
She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings."
Why Risk Your Life to Prevent an Avoidable Disease?
Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown causes" have all occurred in girls shortly after they've received the Gardasil vaccine. These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer one day down the road. Because let's not forget that the HPV vaccine has not yet been PROVEN to actually prevent any kind of cancer.
The benefit is just one big "maybe."
So, are the risks involved really acceptable, especially in light of these latest findings? With recombinant HPV DNA thrown into the mix, we now know even LESS about the long-term risks and benefits of this vaccine…
Of course, you need to do your own careful research, but I simply cannot recommend this vaccine.
There are far better ways to protect yourself and your young daughters against cervical cancer. According to the CDC more than 6 million women contract HPV annually, yet less than 3,900 women will die from cervical cancer out of those 6 million. This is because, in 90 percent of all cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection on its own. Furthermore, the infection is spread through sexual contact, so it is behaviorally avoidable. In fact, using condoms can reduce the risk of HPV by 70 percent, which is more than Gardasil can claim to do.
The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, and a major waste of money. In order to keep your daughter healthy, why not take these simple steps that can prevent HPV and cervical cancer far better than a vaccine ever could:
- Talk to your kids about HPV. This infection is sexually transmitted, so it is 100 percent preventable through lifestyle choices, including the use of condoms.
- Keep your immune system strong. A healthy immune system is better able to handle a heavier emotional and physical stress load. The ideal healthy habits to keep your body and mind strong are detailed in these 12 changes that will cut your cancer risk in half.
Keep Educating Yourself on Vaccines
It is becoming increasingly necessary to continue to educate yourself and your family on the issues surrounding vaccinations of all kinds. There are so many problems; no one article can possibly cover them all. You can find and search all vaccine related articles on my Latest Vaccine News page. I also recommend you familiarize yourself with the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) web site. As a leader for vaccine safety, the NVIC offers information on everything from laws to informed consent to late-breaking vaccine news.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.