[SaneVax: On December 4th, Katie Couric had the courage to interview Emily Tarsell, Rosemary Mathis and her daughter, Lauren, all of whom believe their lives were negatively impacted by the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Not one of them did anything other than explain their experiences, ask for investigations, and suggest that parents to do some research prior to deciding if HPV vaccines were right for their children. Immediately after the show aired, there was a concerted effort by many traditional publications to crucify Katie for having the audacity to give these people time to tell their stories on her show. What is wrong with this picture?]
Katie Couric Slammed for Questioning HPV Vaccine
By Maressa Brown
“Is Katie Couric the next Jenny McCarthy?” asks an accusatory headline on TIME.com. The question is one some are asking after the news anchor-turned-daytime talk show host ran a lead segment on her show, Katie, about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine yesterday. Surprise, surprise — Katie’s critical look at the vax is being slammed.
Katie had two mothers as her guests on the show: Emily Tarsell, a mother who says the death of her daughter, Christina, was caused by the HPV vaccine Gardasil in 2008, and a mother and daughter, Rosemary and Lauren Mathis, who believe Lauren developed a bizarre illness characterized by nausea and fatigue due to the vaccine. (Rosemary Mathis is now the director of the anti-HPV organization, SaneVax, Inc.) As you might imagine, these women have a serious bone to pick with the vaccine, and they’re not alone.
There are plenty of fears and questions about the safety and side effects associated with the vaccine. In 2008, only 4.5 percent of parents listed safety concerns as a reason for their daughter to avoid the shot. But by 2010, that number skyrocketed to 16 percent. Perhaps this is due to a dose of healthy skepticism … and/or reported side effects.
Note from the SaneVax Team: It does not particularly matter what the pharmaceutical industry or government health officials say, there is a controversy surrounding HPV vaccines. Parents and medical professionals (such as Public Department of Health Director, David Blodgett) have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. This issue is not going to go away until adequate studies are conducted and verifiable answers provided.
Katie Couric and her staff have kindly provided a page on which to continue the HPV vaccine discussion. If you have questions, comments or concerns, feel free to join the discussion here.