January 3, 2011
Posted by Rachel B.
It is unfortunate–no it is simply tragic to believe everything that is read. For many people, they believe what is publicized by the medical community to be nearly a gospel–and follow many medical representatives recommendations to a T. When Gardasil was released to the market in 2006, it was advertised as an essential vaccination that every parent should get for their little girl so that she could be “one less” young lady with cervical cancer. But as problems arose and questions were raised about the side effects and safety of the vaccine there was a lot of silence–from both Merck and the FDA on the issues raised. Claims of illnesses like Guillain Barre Syndrome, seizures, comas and even death began to surface and no one could find any “responsible party” who was willing to acknowledge or help with the claims. As a result, individual vaccination-rights groups began to look into the issues and many interesting facts have arose as a result. In a recent press release from the group SANE Vax, flaws in Merck’s recent data surrounding the approval of Gardasil for boys brings up some highly valid points that bear looking into.
Merck has recently received approval for extended use on the Gardasil vaccine–for boys in an attempt to prevent anal cancers and boost efficacy among men who have sex with men. (MSM) The FDA has yet to publish the meeting minutes from the session where they agreed to Gardasil’s expansion. These minutes are supposed to be public. The other issue at hand is to truly understand the impact that anal cancer currently has on this population. Claiming about 720 lives every year, the average age of diagnosis is 60. Yes, 60. So, why are we giving Gardasil to boys ages 9 to 26? There is no convincing reason to vaccinate at this age, not to mention the fact that Gardasil does not provide life-long immunity and at this point is thought to last just over 5 years, in theory.
A variety of other flaws remained in the data that Merck presented to the FDA regarding Gardasil’s efficacy for boys. For instance, (and barely scraping the surface) most males used in the study were not properly screened for pre-existing HPV prior to the study. Instead, they were only inspected for visual indications of the disease (meaning warts) and not blood tested. HPV may be present in the blood for many years without symptoms. Therefore, the placebo group could have contained males who were already infected but did not yet have warts or other signs and who later developed obvious symptoms. This in turn would make the vaccine group appear to have a much higher efficacy rate than what was really the case.