September 23, 2009 (Düsseldorf, Germany) — Investigators have identified cases of autoimmune disorders after immunization with the quadrivalent vaccine Gardasil. The Merck product is designed to prevent infection with several types of human papillomavirus.
Presenting here at the 25th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, researchers emphasized that they have not established a causal relationship between the vaccine and autoimmune problems but would like clinicians to monitor patients for any emerging adverse effects.
Two groups presented on this subject at the meeting: one identified a case of multiple sclerosis after vaccination, and the second a case of neuromyelitis optica. The studies reportedly received no outside funding.
“We will need to determine whether the incidence of autoimmune disorders is the same in the general population as in those who are vaccinated,” lead investigator Maria Bouktsi from the Interbalkan European Medical Center in Thessaloniki, Greece, said in an interview.