by Juniper Webcraft
GlaxoSmithKline’s HPV vaccine, Cervarix™, is not taxpayer-funded; it wasn’t until Feb 2010 that it was approved for marketing in Canada. Like Gardasil, it contains genetically engineered “virus-like particles” manufactured from HPVs 16 and 18 which are said to cause cervical cancer; Unlike Gardasil, it doesn’t contain the “virus-like particles” manufactured from HPVs 6 and 11, said to cause genital warts.
Whereas Gardasil contains only one adjuvant, aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulphate, Cervarix is formulated with the proprietary adjuvant system AS04 which contains both an aluminum adjuvant and the oil-in-water adjuvant, MPL. Supposedly, this novel system will make Cervarix better able to prevent cervical cancer than Gardasil, but only a very long time will tell. For reasons discussed in our article highlighting Gardasil, it’s possible that neither vaccine will reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and either might even increase it.
The Cervarix™ monograph warns, “Vaccination should not be undertaken in women who are pregnant and vaccinees should be advised to take adequate precautions to avoid pregnancy for 2 months following vaccination.” It also admits, “Cervical cancers begin as asymptomatic precancerous lesions and usually develop gradually over many years.” This reminds us that, for those concerned about acquiring cervical cancer, regular Pap tests can detect signs of cancer early enough that the disease can be prevented.