Government Recommends Gardasil, Potentially Dangerous HPV Vaccine
Federal health officials are recommending that you get your 11 or 12 year old daughter vaccinated with Gardasil to protect against HPV. The human papillomavirus is found in many sexually active adults today, and the four types of HPV that Gardasil vaccinates for cause up to 70 percent of all cervical cancers and more than 90 percent of genital warts.
Gardasil was heralded as a breakthrough in science to protect women from contracting this virus that can lead to long term health problems. However, there are still some unanswered questions about Gardasil. The vaccine was rushed to the market, and there are no long term studies that can say exactly how safe it is for young girls and women. Out of 24 million doses given, there were 13,758 reports of adverse side effects occurring after girls and women were given Gardasil. Most of the problems, 93 percent, were considered to be mild, such as headache, nausea and fever. However, 7 percent involved hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness or death. There have been 39 deaths from Gardasil reported to the CDC, with 26 confirmed, six under investigation and seven unconfirmed.
Since the reports, the company who manufactures Gardasil, Merck, has added several adverse reactions to their warning label stating that some people have developed issues after taking Gardasil, such as autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, paralysis and seizures. Unlike other vaccines, Gardasil is not required for children to be enrolled in school, and many doctors are treating it as an optional vaccine. Though the CDC recommends that all girls at the ages of 11 and 12 should be vaccinated with Gardasil, many doctors say they do not encourage or discourage the parents from vaccinating their daughters. They encourage parents to weigh the benefits and the risks before vaccinating their young daughters.
Gardasil has been shown to be effective against HPV for five years after vaccination, but more studies need to be done to determine long term efficacy. Some parents see this as a reason to wait, because even if Gardasil was effective for ten years, the vaccine could stop working when the girls are turning 21 and 22, at a time when they may need it the most for protection. As with all vaccines and medications, parents should study all available information on Gardasil before introducing it to their daughters or themselves.