Gardasil: The Worthless Way to Prevent Cancer

Story at-a-glance -

  • The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now recommends Merck’s HPV vaccine, Gardasil, for males between the ages of 11 and 21
  • Gardasil is promoted for boys allegedly to offer partial protection against genital warts and cancers of the penis and rectum, and to reduce transmission of HPV to girls, thereby prevent cervical cancer deaths. The estimated cost to vaccinate 11- and 12-year old boys is $38 million
  • The HPV vaccine has NOT been proven to actually prevent cervical cancer. Likewise, after evaluating tissue changes in male genitalia that were suggestive of a cancer precursor, Merck reported that vaccine efficacy against such lesions “was not observed”
  • Cervical cancer accounts for less than ONE percent of all cancer deaths, and anal cancer strikes a mere 5,820 men and women each year. The annual death rate from anal cancer is 770 individuals—330 men and 470 women. Is the cost of this vaccination program truly worth it in light of the fact that we’re allegedly combating some of the LEAST concerning cancers with what’s been shown to be an unusually dangerous vaccine?

By Dr. Mercola

On October 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued the recommendation that Merck's vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), Gardasil, be given 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.

Another key part of the recommendation is the claim that reducing HPV in men will reduce transmission to girls and women, and thereby prevent cervical cancer deaths.

But according to a recent study, which is based on a mathematical study of HPV transmission, this is not an effective strategy.

Rather, the authors concluded that:

"Increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is more effective in reducing HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs.

As a rule, directing prophylactic immunization at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence results in the largest reduction of the population prevalence."

According to an MSNBC report:

"Because many countries have started vaccinating girls against HPV, these countries should stick to vaccinating girls, said study researcher Johannes Bogaards, of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Only once most girls are vaccinated should efforts begin to vaccinate boys, and even then, only if there will be an added benefit to male vaccination, Bogaards said."

There's NO Evidence that Gardasil Reduces Cervical Cancer Incidence

Despite Merck's claims, the question of whether Gardasil will reduce cervical cancer deaths in real-world conditions has actually never been answered. The company-sponsored studies on the subject looked at cervical changes that aren't indicative of cervical cancer in the first place.

According to Discover Magazine:

"Merck says that in males, the vaccine is 89 percent effective against genital warts and 75 percent effective against anal cancer. On closer inspection, some of the numbers don't just deflate, they evaporate ... So how did the HPV vaccine become a multi-billion-dollar winner for Merck? Well you might not be surprised to hear that the company happily lavished money on doctors, professional societies, and over 100 legislators."

Vanishing Efficacy Rates

In her Discover article, medical investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer goes on to expose how misleading Merck's stated efficacy rates really are:

"On May 10, 2007, Merck published the results of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed an astounding 98 percent efficacy in preventing changes in the cervix used as a marker for cervical cancer.

But…[to] achieve the 98 percent efficacy claim, Merck excluded from analysis anyone who "violated" the study protocol. In other words, all real-world problems that arose were excluded from analysis. Problems like girls who refused to take a second or third shot after they became sick and (correctly or incorrectly) blamed the vaccine…

To Merck's credit, they reported that when all women in the study were analyzed, the vaccine's efficacy dropped to 44 percent[But the] 44 percent benefit included only those women with the two specific cancer-causing HPV strains found in the vaccine… [W]hen the researchers looked at negative cervical changes from any causes, they found that changes occurred in unvaccinated women at a rate of 1.5 events per 100 person-years, while vaccinated women had 1.3 events—dropping the benefit to 17 percent.

Moreover, most of the cervical changes tracked by the researchers weren't even indicative of cervical cancer in the first place. Most were innocent cellular abnormalities that either disappear entirely on their own, or never progress to cancer. In fact, when they looked more closely at advanced cervical changes most likely to progress to cancer versus more innocent changes that go away spontaneously, it was the innocent changes that accounted for the decline." [Emphasis mine]

Gardasil has already proven to be a reactive vaccine with potentially devastating side effects. In order to accept a high level of risk to your child's health, don't you think you deserve some pretty overwhelming proof that it is in fact worth this risk? Ultimately you need to carefully review the risk/benefit ratio of this vaccine and carefully consider this important decision.

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Why Expose Millions to Potential Harm in Order to Save a Handful?

According to a recent CNN report, the cost to vaccinate 11- and 12-year old boys would be $38 million. How can this in any way be justified as cost-effective, when anal cancer, for example, has so far stricken a mere 5,820 men and women this year. The annual death rate from anal cancer is 770 individuals—300 men and 470 women!

Gardasil is claimed to be 75 percent effective against anal cancer in men, so crunch the numbers… This is nothing short of crazy. They actually want to place millions of people at risk with this dangerous vaccine in order to reduce anal cancer deaths that claims less than 300 men per year? That's incredible! Likewise, cervical cancer accounts for less than ONE percent of all cancer deaths, so this vaccine is certainly not aimed at any major health threat, no matter which way you look at it. But it gets worse. As explained by Lenzer in the featured article:

"First off, loblem: The annual number of deaths from anal-rectal cancer among all men in the U.S. is 300. And how did Merck get its happy statistics on efficacy? Once again, they reported an idealized benefit by excluding from analysis 1,250 study violators out of 4,055 total test subjects. When the real-world analysis was conducted, the numbers plunged—right down to plum nothing. After evaluating tissue changes in male genitalia that were suggestive of a cancer precursor, Merck reported that vaccine efficacy against such lesions "was not observed."

Believe me, 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. As Angela Raffle, a specialist in cervical cancer screening, told the New York Times three years ago:

"Oh, dear. If we give it to boys, then all pretenses of scientific worth and cost analysis goes out the window."

Gardasil Sorely Lacking in Safety

While cost-effectiveness is an important concern, I believe safety would certainly trump it. It's important to realize that while Gardasil has not been proven to actually prevent cancer in the long term, there is mounting evidence showing it carries tremendous long-term health risks, including:

Bell's Palsy and Guillain-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

According to the featured article:

"… Nizar Souayah, MD, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, says he and his colleagues found "clear evidence from our database of an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the first six weeks, especially the first two weeks, after [HPV] vaccination."

There's also another important factor to take into account when discussing the potential risks versus alleged benefits of the HPV vaccine, and that is the effect the vaccine will have on other cancer-causing HPV strains. Might it actually promote more aggressive cancers? No one knows… This issue was however raised in the 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. "

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 someday down the road. And for boys, these are profound risks to prevent the spread of HPV to girls, and to potentially prevent 300 anal cancer deaths a year…

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 primarily spread through sexual contact, so it is behaviorally avoidable.

The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, both for girls and boys, and a major waste of money. Of course, you need to do your own careful research, but I simply cannot recommend this vaccine for anyone. There are far better ways to protect yourself and your sons and daughters against HPV infection, and all potentially related cancers.

Talk to your kids about HPV. The infection is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. Its main mode of transmission is sexual (genital-to-genital contact), so for sexually active persons, condoms can reduce the risk of HPV by 70 percent. Since condoms cannot offer 100 percent protection, it's important to understand that other factors that increase your chances of getting HPV include having multiple sex partners, having a low immune system, having other sexually transmitted diseases, and using hormonal contraceptives.

Also, be aware that the vaccine doesn't work if you've already been exposed to the viruses against which it protects. Health officials know this – in fact, both HPV vaccine manufacturers say this in their prescribing inserts for physicians.

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.

For information about Gardasil and HPV infection, please see this fact page.

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.


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 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

  • 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.