Saturday, July 5, 2008

HPV Vaccine Deaths running at one per month

Health boards in the UK and Ireland urgently need to rethink plans to introduce the controversial human papilomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young girls following publication of a report based on freedom of information obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Judicial Watch, detailing adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine, Gardasil.

The adverse reactions include 10 deaths since September, 2007. The FDA also produced 140 “serious” reports (27 of which were categorized as “life threatening”), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome – all since January 2008. The watchdog group says the number of deaths associated with the vaccine is at least 18 and possibly as many as 20. The serious adverse events include anaphylactic shock, grand mal convulsion, foaming at mouth, coma, paralysis, and death.

The human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are a group of approximately 100 sexually transmitted viruses some of which can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.

Judicial Watch also found 8,864 Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) records associated with Gardasil. Eleven deaths occurred less than a week after receiving the vaccine. Seven women died in less than two days. The most common diagnosed cause was blood clotting. One woman died from a clot within 3 hours of the vaccine. One 20-year-old woman, with no medical history reported, died April 4, 2008 just four days after receiving Gardasil.

Use of this vaccine raises major moral questions, which must also be taken into account by parents, such as, the condoning of pre-marital sex rather than teaching children the value of chastity. Moral issues aside, though, very few parents would be willing to risk their daughters’ lives or health if the safety of the vaccine is in doubt.

The British Government plans that all girls aged 12 to 13 will be routinely offered HPV vaccination from September 2008, with a 'catch up' programme starting in Autumn 2009, to vaccinate girls under the age of 18. The Scottish Executive also plans to commence their vaccination programme in September 2008 and Irish health Minister Mary Harney in a recent statement said that girls in Ireland as young as 12 could be vaccinated from next year. The Gardasil vaccine was licensed for use within the European Union in September 2006.