It was six months since she had received the last of the three injections of the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil.
Her grieving mother is still waiting for official answers on what happened to Jasmine, but she doubts the medical investigations will provide them.
Her own inquiries have led her to cases overseas, which she considers similar to Jasmine's clutch of symptoms before she died.
In the U.S., it has been alleged more than 10 deaths are linked to Gardasil.
A month after Jasmine’s first Gardasil dose, she began to progressively develop pains in various parts of her body. She had episodes of her heart racing, weak arms, tingling in her hands and legs, and she became tired and irritable.
This sad story is, unfortunately, no longer a unique one, as teenage girls all over the world continue to receive the Gardasil vaccine. As of January, 2010, there were more than 17,000 reports of adverse reactions regarding this vaccine in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
Among them are 59 deaths, 18 of which were among girls under the age of 17.
What makes this particularly tragic is that Gardasil is in no way a medically necessary vaccine. It’s intended to prevent a virus (human papilloma virus, or HPV) your body can clear up on its own within two years, and does so more than 90 percent of the time!
At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives, according to the National Prevention Information Network (NPIN). Most often, the infection causes no symptoms at all, and is easily cleared up by your immune system.
In some cases the infection can result in genital warts, and much less often, cervical and other genital cancers, but even the National Cancer Institute says:
"It is important to note, however, that the great majority of high-risk HPV infections go away on their own and do not cause cancer."
So while Merck, Gardasil’s maker, would like you to hear that 6 million women contract HPV annually -- they do not tell you most of those cases are harmless!
Their vaccine, however, is not.
Gardasil May be Causing Millions of Injuries
It’s estimated that only between 1 percent and 10 percent of vaccine adverse events are ever reported, which means there could actually be anywhere from 150,000 to 1.5 million vaccine injuries related to Gardasil.
On the National Vaccine Information Center’s Web site, you can read several stories of women and girls who have been seriously injured, and in some cases died, shortly after receiving this vaccine, including:
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.
Gabrielle, a 15-year-old former gymnast and cheerleader who can no longer attend school and is suffering from severe headaches, heart problems and seizures since getting the vaccine. She has been diagnosed with Inflammation of the Central Nervous System as a result of a Gardasil vaccine reaction, and her condition continues to deteriorate.
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.
Serious Side Effects Dismissed as 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 and aluminum, which 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 it is becoming clear that this vaccine appears to be one of the most dangerous on the market. In an analysis comparing the vaccine to another for meningitis (Menactra), the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) found that, compared to Menactra, Gardasil was associated with:
At least twice as many emergency room visit reports (5,021)
Four times as many death reports (29)
Seven times as many disabled reports (261)
Three to six times more fainting reports
NVIC is currently petitioning President Barack Obama and Congress on behalf of families to investigate Gardasil vaccine deaths and serious injuries. If you agree that these, and countless other cases like them, sound like more than a “coincidence,” please sign the Petition to Investigate Gardasil Vaccine Risks Now!
Parents, Discuss Gardasil Risks with Your Child
There is a major media push right now urging girls to become “one less” victim to cervical cancer by getting the Gardasil vaccine. So if you’re a parent of a teenager or pre-teen, it’s likely they’ve already heard about Gardasil.
But instead of risking their health to get the vaccine, you would likely be far better off teaching your daughter how to keep her immune system strong and healthy -- and discussing the realities of sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid them -- than having her injected with this unnecessary and reactive vaccine.
As a parent, it’s up to you to keep your children informed, and by sharing the risks of Gardasil, along with the simple ways to avoid HPV, you’re teaching them how to make educated choices for the sake of their health.