By Dr. Mercola
There are currently two HPV vaccines on the market, but if there was any regard for sound scientific evidence, neither would be promoted as heavily as they are.
The first, Gardasil, was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. It is now recommended as a routine vaccination for girls and women between the ages of 9-26 in the US. On October 25, 2011, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also voted to recommend giving the HPV vaccine to males between the ages of 11 and 21. The second HPV vaccine, Cervarix, was licensed in 2009.
Were it to be discovered that the HPV vaccine, in fact, does not effectively prevent cancer, then young women (and now boys) are being exposed to clearly unacceptable health risks. And that's precisely what a recent study has concluded...
Review of HPV Trials Conclude Effectiveness is Still Completely Unproven
Published online on September 24,1 a systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine by a Canadian team shows that its effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or "cherry picking" data) but also completely unproven.
The summary states it quite clearly:
"We carried out a systematic review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. We find that HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications).
Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odd with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.
For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70% reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified.
Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).
We thus conclude that further reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening (which carries no such risks) and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles." [Emphasis mine]
It is truly mindboggling, and a true testament to the conflicts of interest manipulating public health guidelines, that the HPV vaccine has received such robust backing by health officials and legislators alike.
Back in 2007, just a year after Gardasil's introduction to the market, Texas Governor Rick Perry went so far as signing an executive order mandating sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against HPV. Not surprisingly, Perry's former chief of staff was then a Merck lobbyist. Fortunately, the Legislature subsequently overturned his order.
It's important to realize that the HPV vaccine only protects against a small select set of HPV viruses that can lead to cell abnormalities that in some instances can cause cervical cancer, if the abnormalities are not identified and treated. So in reality, it's a misnomer to call it an anti-cancer vaccine. And it's massively misleading, if not a deliberate deception, to claim it "will" save lives.
Today, six years after licensure, we STILL have absolutely no proof, not a shred of actual evidence, indicating that Gardasil actually prevents cancer in the long-term and/or reduces cervical cancer mortality. What we have instead, is tens of thousands of adverse event reports and 122 deaths, as of mid-August.
Media Reports on Merck Study, But Ignores Canadian Review
What makes this issue so infuriating is the complete lack of transparency about the potential risks of the vaccine. Just days after the online release of the featured Canadian review, which obliterates claims of both safety and effectiveness, the Wall Street Journal2 reported that:
"A new study of Merck and Co's Gardasil cervical-cancer vaccine showed it was associated with fainting on the day of inoculation and skin infections two weeks afterward, but no link with more serious health problems was found. ...The Gardasil study – led by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, California – was required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to provide an additional look at the vaccine's safety in a large group of people. It was funded by Merck.
...More than 200 categories of illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, nervous-system disorders and medical conditions such as attention deficit disorder, back pain and other injuries were reviewed. In most cases the condition existed before the vaccine was given. There were 14 deaths recorded among girls and women in the study but the causes, including car accidents, congenital heart problems, suicide, lupus and pneumonia, weren't linked to the vaccine..."
There's not a single mention of the Canadian review. Likewise, WebMD's HPV page,3 which was reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 13, 2012, plainly states:
"No serious HPV vaccine side effects have been found, although fainting spells following injection have been reported in teens and young adults. Sometimes soreness occurs at the injection site."
This kind of blatant hiding of potential adverse effects leaves me speechless... Where is the journalistic integrity and accountability? WebMD is the second most visited health web site on the entire web (Mercola.com is fourth), so to say they have an influence over the health choices made by the average US citizen would be an understatement. The general belief is that it's a first-rate, trustworthy source of "independent and objective" information about health, but as I reported two years ago, the site is in fact heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.
The HPV Vaccine Risks You're Not Being Told About
As of August 13, 2012, VAERS has received 119 reports of death following HPV vaccination,4 as well as:
- 894 reports of disability
- 517 life-threatening adverse events
- 9,889 emergency room visits
- 2,781 hospitalizations
And WebMD had the gall to misinform the public by stating that there have been NO serious side effects associated with HPV vaccination! What parent would not consider even the remote potential for permanent disability and/or death worthy of at least a brief mention?
Recent data pulled by VAERS research analyst Janny Stokvis5 also show a dramatic and recent increase in abnormal pap smears, cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer following HPV vaccination.
Bear in mind that cervical cancer typically does not strike until your late 40's. According to 2005 -2009 data by the National Cancer Institute,6 the median age at diagnosis for cervical cancer in the US is 48. Only .2 percent of those diagnosed with cervical cancer were under the age 20, so it's quite rare in this age group. It is estimated that 12,170 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012.7 Because we're dealing with relatively low numbers to begin with, it makes the rapid increases detailed below all the more worrisome – especially when you consider that the vaccine is supposed to REDUCE cancer incidence.
The following data is for girls ages 14 to 26.8 According to Stokvis, some of the reports of cervical abnormalities are occurring four to five years after HPV vaccination, so we're just now starting to see some of the longer-term ramifications, since the vaccine has only been on the market for six years.
||% increase in 12 months
|Abnormal pap smear
This new data supports previous suspicions that the HPV vaccine might actually increase your risk of cervical cancer. I wrote about this two years ago. The information came straight from Merck and was presented to the FDA prior to approval.9 According to Merck's own research, if you have been exposed to HPV 16 or 18 prior to injection and take the vaccine, you increase your risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent...
Additionally, since Merck's research indicates Gardasil may also 'provide cross-protection' against other strains of HPV that are closely related to HPV 16 and 18 (two of the four strains included in the vaccine), this would mean prior exposure to these additional strains (which are not included in the vaccine itself) may pose an additional increased risk for cervical cancer when combined with vaccination.
As of August 13, 2012, more than 27,023 adverse event reports10 have been filed with the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS),11 including 918 reports from boys and men between the ages of nine and 44, who were given HPV shots. Keep in mind that it is estimated that only between one and 10 percent of serious events, which occur after vaccination, are ever reported to VAERS.12, 13
In addition, FDA researchers revealed in 2009 that nearly 70 percent of Gardasil vaccine adverse events reported to VAERS came from Merck, which indicates that the majority of doctors are reporting vaccine-related injuries and deaths directly to Merck instead of to VAERS.14 Who knows how many of the Gardasil-related injuries and deaths never make it from Merck's files to the VAERS database.
Adverse events reported to VAERS post-HPV vaccination include:
||Short term memory loss
|Blood clotting and heart problems
||Miscarriages15 and fetal abnormalities
||Cardiac arrest16 and sudden death
Large-Scale Study Shows HPV Vaccine is Ineffective and Increases Rate of Carcinogeic HPV Types in Vaccinated Women
The featured study alone is big news, but that's not all. Other damning studies have also been completely ignored by media and public health officials alike. As reported by menstruationresearch.org in June:17
"In January 2012, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published the ATHENA HPV study18 announcing the results of a large cervical cancer screening trial, enrolling 47,208 women 21 years of age or older at 61 clinical sites throughout the United States. The authors reported that in a sub group of 12,852 young women, the HPV vaccine reduced HPV-16 infections only 0.6% in vaccinated women vs. unvaccinated women.
Most disturbing are the data that showed other high-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women 2.6% to 6.2% more frequently than unvaccinated women. In fact, the study reported that the increased rate of infections by carcinogenic HPV types in vaccinated women (other than those targeted by Gardasil®) is four to 10 times higher than the reduction in HPV 16/18 infections."
Yet another recent British study19 published in the journal Vaccine on May 14, 2012, states:
"Estimates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine impact in clinical trials and modeling studies rely on DNA tests of cytology or biopsy specimens to determine the HPV type responsible for a cervical lesion. DNA of several oncogenic HPV types may be detectable in a specimen. However, only one type may be responsible for a particular cervical lesion.
Misattribution of the causal HPV type for a particular abnormality may give rise to an apparent increase in disease due to non-vaccine HPV types following vaccination ('unmasking')... There could be an apparent maximum increase of 3-10% in long-term cervical cancer incidence due to non-vaccine HPV types following vaccination...Unmasking may be an important phenomenon in HPV post-vaccination epidemiology, in the same way that has been observed following pneumococcal conjugate vaccination." [Emphasis mine]
Talk to Your Kids about HPV and Gardasil
There are far better ways to protect yourself or your young daughters against cervical cancer than getting Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations, and it's important you let your children know this. Remember, in more than 90 percent of cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection within two years on its own, so keeping your immune system strong is important.
In addition, HPV infection is spread through sexual contact and research20 has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce your risk of HPV infection by 70 percent, which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine! Be sure your kids know that this infection is sexually transmitted, so the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by lifestyle choices, including the use of condoms. Also let them know that, even if they get vaccinated, it is important that girls and women are screened every few years for cervical changes that may indicate pre-cancerous lesions because there is little guarantee that either Gardasil or Cervarix will prevent cervical cancer..
Jerry Brown Signs Bill Requiring Signatures for Those Opting Out of Vaccinations
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows minor children as young as 12 years old to be given Gardasil, Cervarix, hepatitis B vaccine and future vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases without a parent's knowledge or consent.
Last month, the Sacramento Bee21 reported that Governor Brown signed legislation (AB2109) that requires parents seeking a personal belief exemption to vaccination for their children to pay for an extra office visit to obtain the signature of a medical doctor or other state designated health care worker that confirms the parents have reviewed information about risks and benefits of vaccines. The new law will take effect in January 2014. Wouldn't it be nice if parents choosing to vaccinate their children were given truthful information about vaccine risks and benefits rather than complicating the process for those, who have already done their homework and have decided a vaccine is not in the best interest of their child?
According to the Sacramento Bee:
"Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento proposed the measure, Assembly Bill 2109, which requires the statement to be signed by the parents and by a health care practitioner.
In signing the bill, Brown said that he will direct the state Department of Health to provide a way for people whose religious beliefs preclude vaccinations from having to seek a health care practitioner's signature. Brown noted that AB 2109 does not eliminate parents' current right to exclude their children from vaccinations but attempts to ensure that they have important health information in making that choice."
Why We Must Protect Vaccine Exemptions
Your right to vaccine exemptions is increasingly under threat. All across the United States, people are fighting for their right not to be injected with vaccines against their will. These threats come in a variety of guises like California bill AB499,22 which permits minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent!
In light of the evidence that HPV vaccines have not been proven safe or effective, how wise is it to allow a young child to be vaccinated without her parents even knowing about it? It's nothing short of insanity.
I cannot stress enough how critical it is to get involved and stand up for your human right to exercise informed consent and your legal right to obtain non-medical vaccine exemptions. This does not mean you have to opt out of all vaccinations if you decide that you want to give one or more vaccines to your child. The point is, everyone should have the right to evaluate the potential benefits and real risks of any pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, and opt out of any vaccine they decide is unnecessary or not in the best interest of their child's health. Every child is different and has a unique personal and family medical history, which may include severe allergies or autoimmune and neurological disorders, that could increase the risks of vaccination.
It is your parental right to make potentially life-altering health decisions for your own children. Why wouldn't you want to keep that right – even if you want your child to receive most or all vaccinations currently available? Tomorrow there might be a vaccine you don't want your child to receive, but if you've failed to support informed consent rights and the legal right for all Americans to take medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions, you've given away your own freedom to choose in the future...
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 legal vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community. 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, employers or school 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.