UBC Researchers Advocate HPV Vaccine Scrutiny

Vaccine Safety

Story at-a-glance -

  • New research from the University of British Columbia (UBC) has provided evidence that Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, may cause a type of inflammation in the brain involving blood vessels (cerebral vasculitis) that can lead to death.
  • Ever since Gardasil vaccine was licensed in 2006, reports of serious adverse events have included autoimmune and neurological disorders sometimes involving clinical symptoms similar to cerebral vasculitis, an often-fatal condition in which blood vessels in the spinal cord and brain become inflamed. The new research suggests that cerebral vasculitis can be triggered by Gardasil vaccine.
  • In more than 90 percent of cases, women naturally clear HPV infection from their bodies within two years without any complications, at which point cervical cells return to normal.
  • Cervical cancer is usually preventable and curable if detected early enough through PAP screenings and prompt treatment is initiated, which has reduced cervical cancer rates by 70 percent in the U.S. since PAP screens became a routine part of women’s health care in the 1960’s.

By Dr. Mercola

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides evidence that Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, may cause a type of inflammation in the brain involving brain vessels (cerebral vasculitis) that can lead to death.

As of mid-2012, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has received 119 reports of death following HPV vaccination,1 as well as:

  • 894 reports of disability
  • 517 life-threatening adverse events
  • 9,889 emergency room visits
  • 2,781 hospitalizations

Ever since Gardasil vaccine was licensed in 2006, reports of serious adverse events have included autoimmune and neurological disorders sometimes involving clinical symptoms similar to cerebral vasculitis, an often-fatal condition in which blood vessels in the spinal cord and brain become acutely and chronically inflamed.

According to the new study, many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following Gardasil shots are associated with cerebral vasculitis and that, in some cases, cerebral vasculitis may well be triggered by Gardasil vaccine,2 even though public health agencies are still maintaining that the vaccine is safe!

Researchers Prove HPV Vaccine May Trigger Cerebral Vasculitis-Like Symptoms

In the study, researchers analyzed brain tissue samples from two young women, who suffered from cerebral-vasculitis-type symptoms following Gardasil vaccinations, and subsequently died.

They found antibodies that recognize HPV-16L1, a viral antigen present in Gardasil, binding to the wall of blood vessels in the brain. Particles of the HPV-16L1 antigen from Gardasil were also detected in the arteries at the base of the brain, with some particles adhering to the blood vessel walls.

They noted:3

"IHC [a biomarker-based immunohistochemical (IHC) protocol for assessing causality in case of vaccination-suspected serious adverse neurological outcomes] also showed increased T-cell signaling and marked activation of the classical antibody-dependent complement pathway in cerebral vascular tissues from both cases.

This pattern of complement activation in the absence of an active brain infection indicates an abnormal triggering of the immune response in which the immune attack is directed towards self-tissue.

Our study suggests that HPV vaccines containing HPV-16L1 antigens pose an inherent risk for triggering potentially fatal autoimmune vasculopathies.

The fact that many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following HPV vaccination are indicative of cerebral vasculitis but are unrecognized as such (i.e., intense persistent migraines, syncope, seizures, tremors and tingling, myalgia, locomotor abnormalities, psychotic symptoms and cognitive deficits), is a serious concern.

It thus appears that in some cases vaccination may be the triggering factor of fatal autoimmune/neurological events. Physicians should be aware of this association."

Health officials and the media are largely ignoring this very important finding, just as they did the important findings of another study conducted by the same Canadian researchers published in September that questioned HPV vaccine effectiveness.

Canadian Review Finds HPV Vaccine Effectiveness Overstated and Unproven

Gardasil, which was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, is now recommended as a routine vaccination for girls and women between the ages of 9-26 in the United States. In October 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 (there is also a second HPV vaccine on the market, Cervarix, licensed in 2009 but Gardasil continues to generate the majority of U.S. HPV vaccine sales).

It is truly mind-boggling that the HPV vaccine has received such robust backing by public health officials, even as six years of reaction reports involving death and permanent disability continue to mount – and its effectiveness has been called into question again and again. Recently, a systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine by the UBC research team showed that vaccine effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or "cherry picking" data) but also irresponsibly and dangerously unproven.

The summary stated: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 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)."

Earlier this year, research also revealed that the HPV vaccine reduced HPV-16 infections by only 0.6% in vaccinated women vs. unvaccinated women – and data that showed other high-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women 2.6% to 6.2% more frequently than unvaccinated women.5

This new data supports previous suspicions that Gardasil HPV vaccine might actually increase your risk of cervical cancer. The 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 prior to injection and take Gardasil vaccine, you may increase your risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent ...

Click here to find out why 5G wireless is NOT harmlessClick here to find out why 5G wireless is NOT harmless

Both Safety and Effectiveness are Now in Question: Why Isn't the FDA Warning the Public?

The FDA continues to state that Gardasil vaccine is safe, and has cited an FDA  required post-marketing study funded by Merck (Gardasil's maker) as evidence.7 The post-marketing study conclusions said no new Gardasil safety concerns were found, and the media has been widely circulating it as "proof" of the vaccine's safety. 

What they don't tell you is that the Gardasil post-marketing study only looked at new-onset conditions requiring an ER visit or hospitalization within 60 days of vaccination; that kind of study design would not have allowed detection of vaccine reactions that occurred after 60 days, nor would it detect related recurrence or progression of HPV disease.

The Canadian researchers of the recent study, which detected serious Gardasil vaccine risks that can be fatal, also noted that the Gardasil post-marketing study may have had "insufficient power to detect very rare conditions." Not to mention, it was funded, and reportedly heavily influenced, by Merck:8

"The study was funded by Merck; the lead author receives research support from Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, and other drug companies. 'The study sponsor, Merck & Co, provided substantial input into the study design and analytic plan,' Merck reported. 'In collaboration with the Kaiser Study Team, the sponsor reviewed data analyses and helped draft and revise the manuscript.'"

Do You Know the Best Way to Prevent HPV and Cervical Cancer?

There are far better ways for young women and men to protect themselves from developing cervical or other HPV-associated cancers than by getting Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations, and it's important you let your children know this. First, in more than 90 percent of cases, your immune system can clear HPV infection within two years on its own. Keeping your immune system strong is important.

In addition, HPV infection is spread through sexual contact and research has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce your risk of HPV infection by 70 percent,9 which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine!

If you are a parent, it is important to educate your pre-teens and teenagers so they know that the risks of getting or transmitting HPV infection can be greatly reduced by choosing abstinence or use of condoms. Even if they get vaccinated, it is essential that girls and women know they must be 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 HPV infection or cervical cancer.

Routine pap smear testing is extremelyimportant, as it can identify chronic HPV infection and may provide greater protection against development of cervical cancer than reliance on HPV vaccinations. Cervical cancer cases have dropped more than 70 percent in the U.S. since pap screenings became a routine part of women's health care in the 1960's, as it can detect pre-cancerous lesions early so they can be effectively removed and treated.

Your Right to Informed Consent is Under Attack

All across the United States, citizens are fighting to protect the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices for themselves and their children. When it comes to vaccination, parental and informed consent rights are being attacked by Big Pharma and medical trade association lobbyists working to eliminate vaccine exemptions in state public health laws and pass legislation that forces use of every government-recommended vaccine. These threats come in a variety of guises like California bill AB499, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown into law in 2011 and 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? If a parent does not know that a child has received a vaccine, how can that parent monitor the child for signs and symptoms of a vaccine reaction? It is dangerous to withhold this kind of medical information from parents, who are morally, financially and legally responsible for their children's health and well being. It is nothing short of insanity.

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 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 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 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 NVIC's free 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 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 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 your child.