By Dr. Mercola
Naomi Snell, a 28-year-old woman in Melbourne, Australia, is leading a class-action civil lawsuit against drug maker Merck after suffering autoimmune and neurological complications following injections with the HPV vaccine, Gardasil.
After receiving the first of three doses of the vaccine, Naomi suffered convulsions, severe back and neck pain, and lost her ability to walk.
Doctors actually diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, which was later retracted and labeled a neurological reaction to the vaccine.
Seven other women, who say they have suffered various physical problems, including anaphylaxis and miscarriage, after receiving Gardasil may also join the civil lawsuit, and this is likely only the beginning, as Gardasil is being implicated in a growing number of serious, permanent and sometimes deadly adverse reactions.
Multiple Sclerosis-Like Symptoms and Paralysis Not Unusual After HPV Vaccination
Unfortunately, stories like Naomi's are all too common in relation to Gardasil.
One of the vaccine injury cases featured in the movie The Greater Good is that of Gabi Swank, a 15-year-old honor student who decided to get the Gardasil vaccine after seeing a "Be One Less" Gardasil vaccine advertisement on TV.
Like so many young girls, she wasn't warned about any possible side effects when she got the shots, which are given as a series of three injections.
At the time the documentary was filmed, she had already suffered two strokes and experienced partial paralysis. She also lost part of her vision and today suffers frequent seizures. When she was in high school, many days she had to use a wheelchair to get around school due to muscle pain and chronic fatigue.
A similar reaction happened to 13-year-old Jenny Tetlock, who began seeing signs of trouble just one month after she was vaccinated against the HPV virus. Fifteen months later, a degenerative muscle disease left her nearly completely paralyzed.
Neurological symptoms such as these were also reported in a study done in 2009 by neurologist Dr. Ian Sutton. He reported five cases of multiple sclerosis-like symptoms emerging shortly after women received the Gardasil vaccine, noting:
"We report five patients who presented with multifocal or atypical demyelinating syndromes within 21 days of immunization with the quadrivalent human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil. Although the target population for vaccination, young females, has an inherently high risk for MS, the temporal association with demyelinating events in these cases may be explained by the potent immuno-stimulatory properties of HPV virus-like particles which comprise the vaccine."
Further, Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, recently issued an update on adverse reaction reports relating to Gardasil.
The documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) detail 26 new deaths reported to the government following HPV vaccination between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011. That's 26 reported deaths of young, previously healthy, girls after Gardasil vaccination in just one year.
Other serious side effects reported during that time frame included:
✓ Speech problems
✓ Short term memory loss
✓ Guillain-Barre syndrome
✓ Ovarian cysts
Between May 2009 and September 2010, 16 deaths after Gardasil vaccination were reported. For that timeframe, there were also 789 reports of "serious" Gardasil adverse reactions, including 213 cases of permanent disability and 25 diagnosed cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome, Judicial Watch reported.
Serious Vaccine Reactions, Deaths, Often Labeled "Coincidence"
While it is not clear exactly what is causing so many adverse reactions, it is known that Gardasil contains genetically engineered virus-like protein particles as well as aluminum, which can affect immune function.
Further, according to the vaccine manufacturer product information insert, the vaccine has not been evaluated for the potential to cause cancer or to be toxic to genes.
In fact, Merck only studied the Gardasil vaccine in fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 prior to it being released to the market under a fast-tracked road to licensure. To date, most of the serious side effects, including deaths, that occurred during the pre-licensure clinical trials and post marketing surveillance have been written off as a "coincidence" by Merck researchers and government health officials.
But on the National Vaccine Information Center's (NVIC) Web site, you can read about Gabi Swank's Gardasil reaction and other descriptions of women and girls who have suffered serious health deterioration after Gardasil shots and, in some cases, have died shortly after receiving this vaccine. The growing Gardasil vaccine injury toll has become too large to ignore:
- Christina Tarsell, a 21-year-old college student majoring in studio arts at Bard College, who died suddenly and without explanation shortly after receiving the third Gardasil shot in June 2008.
- Megan, a 20-year-old college student who died suddenly, without explanation, about one month after receiving her third Gardasil shot. No cause of death was found.
- Ashley, a 16-year-old who became chronically ill after receiving Gardasil, and now suffers regular life-threatening episodes of seizure-like activity, difficulty breathing, back spasms, paralysis, dehydration, memory loss and tremors.
Gardasil Protects Against Just FOUR of the 100 Types of HPV Viruses
There are more than 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Of them, about 40 types of HPV are sexually transmitted and 15 of these types are most associated with cervical cancers and genital warts in women and men. HPV infections that remain unidentified and untreated for a long time are also associated with development of vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancers. Some HPV infections can cause minor skin infections and common warts on your hands and feet.
Certain types of chronic HPV infections, which are not identified or treated for a long time, can lead to cervical cancer. It is only when the HPV virus lingers for many years that abnormal cervical cells could turn into cancer. This is why PAP smears identify cervical changes and can prevent cervical cancer deaths far more effectively than the HPV vaccine ever will, because there's a sufficient amount of time to find and treat any cervical abnormalities if you're getting regular PAP smears.
It is important to know, however, that over 90 percent of women infected with HPV clear the infection naturally within two years, at which point cervical cells go back to normal.
The death rate from cervical cancer in the United States is 3 per 100,000 and it is estimated that, in 2011, about 12,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 died. In 2009, there were about 34,000 deaths from car accidents in the U.S. for a death rate of 11 per 100,000.
Women have a much higher risk of dying in a car accident than dying from cervical cancer!
Cervical cancer rates are even lower in some European countries. The reason why the mortality rate is so low is because -- for the vast majority of healthy women living in developed countries like Europe and the U.S. -- their immune systems are usually strong enough to naturally clear HPV infection within two years. Again, this happens in more than 90 percent of all cases!
Of course, even if you get HPV vaccine, if you contract one of the 40 or more types of HPV that are sexually transmitted and aren't included in the vaccine, you will not be protected from HPV infections. And, if you've already been exposed to one of the four types of viruses in the vaccine, it doesn't work against those either.
This means that, even if you accept the risks and get vaccinated, your chances of experiencing some form of HPV infection are still very high. Whether or not the HPV virus will lead to genital warts or cervical cancer or other kinds of health problems, however, depends in large part on the state of your immune system and, in the case of cervical cancer, is affected by whether or not you get routine PAP screenings.
Many Teens Mistakenly Think HPV Vaccine Cuts Risk for All STDs...
Unfortunately, according to a recent study nearly one in four girls who get the HPV vaccine mistakenly believes it will also reduce their risk of getting other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis and gonorrhea. Clearly, more education is needed in this area.
The study polled close to 340 girls, average age nearly 17, after their first of three HPV doses, and their mothers. The poll was intended to determine the girls' perceived risk of getting HPV after the vaccination, their perceived risk of getting other STDs, and their perceived need for continued safer sex behaviors. While the majority of the girls correctly thought the vaccine would not protect them against STDs other than HPV, 24 percent responded they thought the vaccine would reduce their risk of other STDs. According to the authors, those with this misperception were also less likely to be informed about HPV infection and the HPV vaccine in general.
According to the authors:
"Education about HPV vaccines and encouraging communication between girls and their mothers may prevent misperceptions among these adolescents."
If You Live in California, Your Minor Daughter or Son Can Be Given Gardasil Vaccine Without Your Knowledge or Consent
In October 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB499 that permits minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease (STD) vaccines like Gardasil -- without parental knowledge or parental consent. This means that, if you live in California, school or medical personnel will soon be allowed to give your child Gardasil, hepatitis B vaccine and future vaccines for STD's without you ever knowing it.
At issue, of course, is whether 12-year-olds are mature enough to fully analyze the benefits versus risks of vaccination (or any medical treatment for that matter), or recognize the benefits of alternatives to STD prevention, such as abstinence or use of condoms. Meanwhile, a child could suffer a serious vaccine reaction and the parent, not knowing the child had been vaccinated, could mistake it for the flu or another less serious health problem, delaying getting the child to an emergency room until it is too late.
Of course, also at issue is whether this law violates long held legal rights for parents to be responsible for making important medical decisions for their children, especially when risk-taking is involved. If a child is injured from complications of a medical procedure or use of a pharmaceutical product, it is the parent who will be legally and financially responsible for providing care for the child. Therefore, the legal right for parents to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking for minor children, which includes giving consent for use of a pharmaceutical product, such as a vaccine, that carries a risk of injury or death, is an important legal right to defend and protect in America.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is currently exploring legal options for overturning this new law, which violates parental informed consent rights.
Will Merck Get its Day in Court?
The class-action civil lawsuit in Australia being brought against Merck for injuries and deaths following Gardasil vaccination may help to bring more attention to the risks of this vaccine, which was fast-tracked in the U.S. and brought to market without adequate scientific evidence proving safety and effectiveness. Like in Australia, there are many girls and women in the U.S. speaking out about what happened to them after getting Gardasil shots. If you or a loved one has been harmed by Gardasil or any other vaccine or pharmaceutical product, please consider sharing your story with others so there is greater public awareness about vaccine and prescription drug risks.
Of course, Merck is no stranger to legal action. The company paid out billions in lawsuit claims to tens of thousands harmed by the drug Vioxx, and over the years has had more than $5.5 billion in judgments and fines levied against it. Unfortunately, in the U.S. Merck is protected from civil lawsuits for Gardasil vaccine injuries and deaths because of the liability shield granted to pharmaceutical companies by the U.S. government.
Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, explains:
"In 1986, there were three major drug corporations selling vaccines in the U.S. (Merck, Lederle, Connaught) and now there are eight (Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Astra Zeneca, CSL Biotherapies, Emergent BioSolutions).
That is because, in 1986, Pharma blackmailed Congress into giving them partial liability protection from vaccine injury lawsuits by suggesting they would have to abandon the U.S. childhood vaccine market without a liability shield.
In February of this year , drug companies got what they wanted all along: the U.S. Supreme Court gave Pharma total immunity from lawsuits – even if they could have made a vaccine less harmful.
Vaccines, said the Court, are "unavoidably unsafe."
So if your child is brain injured by a vaccine that you may not have wanted your child to get in the first place, all you can do is file a claim in the federal vaccine injury compensation program. Even though the program has awarded more than $2 billion dollars to vaccine victims, two out of three plaintiffs are turned away empty handed.
With no liability or accountability for those making, licensing, selling and giving vaccines in America, there are no checks and balances to ensure that vaccines are safe and effective. Doctors, who have been taught to believe that infectious microorganisms should be eradicated from the earth with the mandatory use of multiple vaccines, are as ripe for exploitation as the people they vaccinate."
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 in educating 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
NVIC will help you learn how to effectively write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. You might want to 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 put on the radar screens 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 consider sharing your experience with others. 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.