________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2314 Benson Mill Road Sparks, Maryland 21152 Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Attention: Members of the School Board 750 South Merritt Mill Road Chapel Hill, NC 27516
April 30, 2011
Dear School Board Members;
It is unusual for a Marylander to write to a North Carolina school board, but I do so at the request and on behalf of citizens of Chapel Hill. I recently received an email from a Chapel Hill physician and his family. They expressed concern about a contest promoted by your school board in which children are being bribed to be injected with three vaccines in the next month or so. Even assuming this was a wise and safe recommendation, it is clearly an unethical one. Children are not able to evaluate the risks and benefits of medical interventions, yet they are being intentionally manipulated to make an uninformed choice.
The assumption here is that the school board has decided this is a good thing. Clearly the school board is unaware of the potential negative consequences of such a promotion. I can speak from experience and from extensive research regarding one vaccine, the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, and I would like to increase your awareness about this.
1. There is no evidence that the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) will prevent cervical cancer (1, 2). Gardasil has limited use as an HPV vaccine, not a vaccine for cervical cancer. In August 2010, the Director General of the French Agency for Safety of Health Products found Merck’s claims of efficacy to be unproven and the claims that it will prevent cervical cancer are unsupported by any studies. The French have forbidden Gardasil ads in their country. (3)
2. Rates for cervical cancer in developed countries are very low. According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of cervical cancer dropped by 75% since regular Pap screening procedures were implemented four decades ago ( 4). Nearly all cervical cancer can be prevented with annual pap smears and a non-invasive, inexpensive DNA sequencing test to detect and appropriately treat any high-risk HPV types. (2) HPV vaccination is unnecessary particularly since one must continue to have Pap smears and HPV testing anyway since the vaccine only addresses two of more than a dozen HPVs that could lead to persistent infection. (2)
3. Side effects from the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) can be severe and serious. The FDA reports that there are three times as many Adverse Events reports (AEs) from Gardasil than there are for all other vaccines combined. (5). Even though they are greatly underreported, there are currently over 21,000 AEs including almost 9,000 emergency room cases, 2,000 hospitalizations and 94 deaths.(6) My 21 year old daughter, Christina was one of the deaths resulting from Gardasil. We have expert opinion Chris died from an autoimmune response to Gardasil. In her memory, a website with documented information and links, a Gardasil study and video interviews with both medical professionals and victims is available at www.gardasil-and-unexplained-deaths.com.
4. The rate of serious adverse events from the HPV vaccine, Gardasil (3.34/100,000) (5) is greater that the rate of cervical cancer (2.4/100,000) (4, 7). The CDC/FDA continue to call the adverse events (AEs ) “coincidences” and continue to say the vaccine is safe and effective.
5. Despite the fact that in June of 2009, the FDA approved the addition of “Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders” including “pulmonary embolus” and “seizure-like activity” to the package insert Warnings and Precautions section for HPV vaccine (Gardasil), current literature given to consumers and ads about Gardasil do not disclose the risks ( 8, 9).
6. In April 2010, the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was pulled from the market in India due to reports of illness and death following Gardasil injections and unethical marketing practices. (10,11)
7. In February 2011, the FDA denied approval of the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) for women over the age of 27 because the efficacy of the vaccine has not been studied in this group. (12). However, the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) were also not studied in females under the age of 15. (13)
8. The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was fast-tracked and approved by the FDA in just six months due to heavy lobbying and intense pressure by the pharmaceutical company, Merck (14). There are no long term safety studies, and no studies of the possible interaction between Gardasil and other vaccines like Menactra or Tdap that might be given concurrently. (13)
9. The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is one of the most expensive vaccines ever produced costing around $400 for the three injection series. Merck made $1.5 billion dollars in Gardasil sales the first year alone and was criticized for an aggressive campaign that “created a market out of thin air” (14). Vaccine manufacturers are also protected by law against any liability for adverse reactions to the vaccines. For the manufacturer, it is all profit and no liability (15).
My daughter and I and millions of others were deceived by false marketing and a failure to be informed of the true risks and benefits. My healthy daughter died from receiving a vaccine she did not even need. I am writing so you will have the benefit of information we did not have.
In addition to the unethical practice of bribing a minor to succumb to a medical procedure, the unintended consequences of the school board’s promotion of a vaccine race could be very costly. I am not just talking about financial costs and possible litigation if even one of the students became seriously ill or died, but also the emotional costs and heart wrenching regret over a life destroyed or lost. Please reconsider your decision.Sincerely, Emily Tarsell firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Haug C. The risks and benefits of HPV vaccination. JAMA. 2009; 302 (7): 795-796.
2. Lee SH. The truth about HPV. Bottom Line Health. April 2011: 9-11.
3. Legifrance gouv.Le Service Public De La Diffusion Du Droit. Decision du 31 aout 2010 interdisant une publicite pour un medicament mentionnee a l’article L. 5122-1, premier alinea, du code de la sante publique destinee aux personnes habilitees a prescrire ou delivrer ces medicaments ou a les utiliser dans l’exercice de leur art.
4. Ayoub, D.; McDonough, K.; Conrick, T.; Blakey, C. What is Wrong with the HPV Mandate in Illinois? Publication of the Prairie Collaborative for Immunology Safety, Springfield, Illinois, March 14, 2007.
5. Slade BA, Leidel L, Vellozzi C, et al. Postlicensure safety surveillance for quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine. JAMA. 2009; 302 (7): 750-757.
6. Updated VAERS Reports – HPV Vaccines. http://www.SaneVax.org. Accessed April 30, 2011.
7. Attkisson S. Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out. CBS News. August 19,2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/19/cbsnews_investigates/main5243431.shtml. Accessed April 30, 2011.
8. Vaccines, Blood and Biologics, Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications. Approval Lettter-Gardasil. June 9, 2009. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm165132.htm. Accessed April 30, 2011.
9. CDC. Vaccine Information Sheet: HPV Vaccine- Gardasil. March 30, 2010. http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pub/vis/downloads/vis-hpv-gardasil.pdf. Accessed April 30,2010.
10. Dhar A. Groups write to Azad on HPV vaccine trial. The Hindu. April 8, 2010. http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article392111.ece. Accessed April 30, 2011.
11. Sarojini NB, Srinivasan S, Madhavi Y, et al. The HPV vaccine: science, ethics and regulation. Econom Polit Weekly. 2010; 45 (48): 27034.
12. Teichert E. FDA rejects Merck’s Gardasil for women over 26. Fierce Vaccines. April 7, 2011. http://www.fiercevaccines.com/story/fda-rejects-mercks-gardasil-women-over-27/2011-04-07. Accessed April 30.2011.
13. Gardasil , Publication 9883611. (2008). Merck and Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USA.
14. Rosenthal E. Drugmakers’ Push Leads to Cancer Vaccines’ Rise. New York Times. August 19, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/health/policy/20vaccine.html . Accessed April 30, 2011.
15. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ( NVICP ). http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation. Accessed April 30, 2011.