Posted by: Alice Shabecoff, Care2.com
14 September 2010
As soon as a teenage girl walks into her pediatrician’s office, he will suggest another vaccination, to be delivered through a series of shots spaced out over six months. This time the vaccine is Gardasil, intended to protect her from being infected by the human papilloma virus, HPV, which might cause cervical cancer later in life.
On balance, is this series of vaccinations a good idea? Is it safe; is it worth the possible side effects?
Gardasil is manufactured by Merck Vaccines. It was fast-tracked for approval in June 2006 by the Food & Drug Administration after only two years and limited studies of only 1,200 girls for only two years. Like all pharmaceutical products, as well as the chemicals used in all manufactured products, from skin cream to formaldehyde, the manufacturer is in charge of the studies.
When, after the two-year study, the CDC recommended that Gardasil routinely be given to all 11- to 12-year-old girls, the head of the CDC was Julie Gerberding. With the change of administrations, she left for a job as president of Merck Vaccines. (Just one more typical example of the revolving door between industry and the folks who are supposed to protect our health.)
Merck is the company that had known for nearly a decade before it became public knowledge that infants getting the federally-mandated multiple vaccinations were thus getting an elevated dose of mercury from the preservative in those vaccines (a dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish), but did not disclose this information. Gardasil is preserved with aluminum, like mercury, a toxin.
It is not clear that Gardasil is truly effective nor worth the risk.