By Dr. Mercola
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all 11- and 12-year olds (both girls and boys) receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
Touted as "anti-cancer" vaccines even though they've not been proven to prevent cancer, Gardasil and Cervarix have been embroiled in controversy from the start.
At issue, initially, was that Gardasil had been fast tracked to licensure in the US in 2006 without adequate scientific evidence that it had been proven safe and effective for girls under age 16 and that it was not appropriate for government to recommend and mandate the vaccination of school children against a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that could not be transmitted in an education setting.1,2 Then came California bill AB499, which permits minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with HPV and other STD vaccines without parental knowledge or parental consent.
As more children and teens have received HPV vaccines, adverse reaction reports have been pouring in to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Meanwhile, the HPV vaccine's effectiveness has continued to be questioned as well.
Now, research presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research showed that women who were vaccinated against HPV had a higher risk of developing non-vaccine strains of the virus.3
Women Vaccinated for HPV May Be at Higher Risk of HPV Infection
In an analysis of nearly 600 women between the ages of 20 and 26, 60 percent of those who had received the original Gardasil vaccine, which protects against only four strains (types) of HPV (6,11,16,18), had a higher risk of being infected with another non-vaccine HPV virus strain.
The unvaccinated women had lower rates of the non-vaccine high-risk strains of HPV, which suggests getting vaccinated may make you more susceptible to being infected with other strains of HPV.
The researchers' solution to the problem was to suggest women who already have gotten three doses of the original four-strain Gardasil vaccine now get another shot of a new Gardasil vaccine, which contains nine different HPV strains.
In December 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil 9 that includes five additional HPV types (31, 33, 45, 52, 58) not found in the original vaccine. So if you have already received one or more doses of the original Gardasil vaccine, you may actually be at a higher risk of being infected with the five additional HPV types than if you had never been vaccinated at all.
And if you're already infected with one of the four to nine types of HPV viruses in either the original or new Gardasil vaccines, getting vaccinated will not eliminate the infection. Not to mention, there are more than 100 different strains of HPV, 30 of which are sexually transmitted, and about 15 of them have been associated with development of cancer but only IF HPV infection persists over a long period of time and regular pap screen tests are not conducted to identify and treat pre-cancerous cervical lesions.
Gardasil's Effectiveness Seriously Questioned
In 2012, a systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine by researchers at the University of British Columbia showed that the vaccine's effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or "cherry picking" data) but also unproven. In the summary of the clinical trial review, the authors stated quite clearly:4
"We carried out a systematic review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. We found 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 odds 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]
Gardasil Might Increase the Risk of Precancerous Lesions?!
In 2012, research also revealed that the HPV vaccine reduced HPV type-16 infections by only 0.6% in vaccinated women vs. unvaccinated women – and, similar to the featured study, data showed other high-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women 2.6% to 6.2% more frequently than in unvaccinated women.5
There are also suspicions that Gardasil HPV vaccine might actually paradoxically increase your risk of cervical cancer if you are actively infected at the time of vaccination This pre-licensure information came straight from Merck and was presented to the FDA prior to approval.6
According to Merck's own research, if you have been exposed to HPV-16 or -18 before you get a Gardasil shot, you may increase your risk of developing precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent!
Health officials report that about 79 million Americans are actively infected with the sexually transmitted HPV virus, and 14 million are newly infected each year. The CDC even states, "HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives."7
At face value, this sounds far more frightening than it actually is because most HPV infections do not lead to cancer and, instead, clear from the body naturally within two years with no complications.
There's usually no treatment necessary and often no adverse health effects felt whatsoever in 90 percent of HPV infection cases! Likewise, cervical cancer accounts for less than one percent of all cancer deaths in the US, while anal cancer is associated with approximately 300 deaths a year. So, this vaccine is not addressing a major public health threat, no matter which way you look at it.
The Risks of HPV Vaccine Are Significant
By mid-March 2015, the HPV vaccine Gardasil had generated more than 35,000 adverse reaction reports to the US government, including more than 200 deaths.8
This is probably a gross underestimate, because, although a federal law was passed in 1986 (the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act) mandating that doctors and other vaccine providers report serious health problems or deaths that occur after vaccination to VAERS, there are no legal penalties for vaccine providers not reporting and it is estimated that perhaps less than 10 percent of the vaccine adverse events that do occur are reported to VAERS.9
Health problems associated with the Gardasil vaccine include immune-mediated inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting that something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way—sometimes fatally. A growing body of medical literature demonstrates that the HPV vaccine is linked to nervous and immune system disorders in some young women and girls.
In one case study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine,10 researchers described the case of a 14-year-old girl who developed postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) with chronic fatigue two months following Gardasil vaccination.
POTS is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, which controls functions in your body such as your heart rate, balance, digestion, bladder control, and sleep. While rare, incidence of POTS appears to be increasing and emerging evidence suggests it may be an autoimmune disorder, in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body.
In the case study, POTS fulfilled the criteria for a condition known as autoimmune/auto-inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), highlighting the underlying mechanisms of how vaccines, and particularly their adjuvants (such as aluminum), may be triggering disease. Gardasil contains an aluminum adjuvant, which is designed to hyper-stimulate the immune system to provoke a strong antibody response.
A second study, published in the European Journal of Neurology,11 described six patients who developed POTS from six days to two months following HPV vaccination. In addition, deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown causes" have all occurred in girls after they've received the Gardasil vaccine.
Pap Smears Can Detect Cervical Cancer and Pre-Cancers Early On
It's also important to understand that if cervical cancer does occur, it is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. Routine pap smear testing is a far more rational, less expensive, and less dangerous strategy for cervical cancer prevention, as it can identify chronic HPV infection and may provide greater protection against development of cervical cancer than reliance on HPV vaccines that have not been adequately proven to be safe and effective.
Cervical cancer cases have dropped more than 70 percent in the US since pap screening became a routine part of women's health care in the 1960s, as it can detect pre-cancerous cervical lesions early so they can be effectively removed and treated.
In addition, the risks of getting or transmitting HPV infection can be greatly reduced, if not virtually eliminated, by choosing abstinence or use of condoms. Furthermore, even if adolescent girls and boys get vaccinated, there are still recommendations for girls and women to have pap screens every few years to detect any cervical changes that may indicate pre-cancerous lesions -- because there is little guarantee that either Gardasil or Cervarix will prevent HPV infection or cervical and other cancers.
Dr. Kunle Odunsi, deputy director and chairman of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, even told Live Science, "We need to remember that there are more than 80 HPV types, and some of them can still be associated with risk of cervical malignant disease12
In other words, getting vaccinated is not a guarantee that you won't contract an HPV infection that could theoretically cause cancer in the future if the infection becomes chronic. Odunsi went on to say that "future vaccines could include even more strains of the virus," which adds further credence to the fact that today's vaccines are in no way a foolproof solution. Additional risk factors that increase your chances of developing chronic HPV infection include:
- Co-infection with herpes, chlamydia, or HIV
- Having multiple sex partners
- Compromised immunity
- Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives
Most of these are modifiable risk factors and you can boost your immune system health to help reduce your risk of contracting or having complications from HPV or other infections by following my nutrition plan, exercising, and optimizing your vitamin D levels. One of the simplest steps you can take is to eliminate your consumption of sugar and most non-vegetable carbohydrates.
The over-abundance of many processed foods in the typical Western diet simultaneously enhance inflammation while muting your immune system's ability to respond to and ultimately control infections.
Your Right to Informed Consent Is Under Attack
I cannot stress enough how critical it is to get involved and stand up for your fundamental human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking 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 get vaccinated or give one or more vaccines to your child.
The point is that everyone should have the right to evaluate the potential benefits and real risks of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, and opt out of getting any vaccine or drug they decide is unnecessary or not in the best interest of their health or their child's health.
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and legally obtain vaccine exemptions is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
Vaccine use recommendations 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 choices can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for the National Vaccine Information Center's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you immediate, easy access to your state legislators so you can become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when state and 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 one another, 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 should be treating people like human beings instead of guinea pigs.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More and Share information
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- 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.
- NVIC Vaccine Reaction Registry. Make a vaccine injury or death report to NVIC that will not be shared with others unless you give permission.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors, employers, or school officials for making independent vaccine choices.
- Vaccine Failure Wall. View or post experiences of being vaccinated and still getting sick with the infectious disease that the vaccine was supposed to prevent.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One Who 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 you or your child.