September 13, 2010
Theresa E was floored when she got a phone call from VAERS, the FDA’s vaccine adverse event reporting system. Yes, the caller said, investigators did indeed feel that Theresa’s daughter’s seizures could be a serious reaction to Merck’s anti-HPV vaccine, Gardasil.
Although Theresa had had a hunch that her daughter’s intermittent seizures could have been triggered by the Gardasil vaccine, doctors completely pooh-poohed the idea.
But eventually, encouraged by information from Nina Kenney, whose daughter had also begun suffering seizures post-vaccine, she insisted on filing a VAERS report. Her doctor had for months been “too busy” to get around to the paperwork, she said, “and when I took the almost-completed form to him to finish he was a little shocked that I was serious.”
So when someone from VAERS called shortly afterwards to verify the information she’d provided and made the comment about a serious reaction, Theresa was so stunned that she asked her caller to repeat it. She’s relieved to see that taking the time to report to VAERS was worthwhile; her information will add to what investigators know.
Yes, report post-vaccine seizures—even if your doctor discourages you
“If I can prevent one more person from getting hurt, it’s all worth it. Please encourage people to send as much concrete information to VAERS as possible, because I think that’s why they listened. I didn’t just send the form. There isn’t enough space on the form to give much info, so they got a two-page letter, copies of the school report about where they found my daughter and letters stating that the (Gardasil) vaccines were stored improperly. I felt I was sending too much info, but I am glad I did. Whether it is an active ingredient or an inactive ingredient, they need to find out for sure.”