Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Framing the Risks from the HPV Vaccine

The Washington Post has an article arguing that the HPV vaccine is grossly underused. The article cites a movement by oncologists to encourage doctors to forcefully promote the vaccine with their clients:
Laurie McGinley (June 19 2016). Cancer doctors leading campaign to boost use of HPV vaccine. The Washington Post,
The nation’s leading cancer doctors are pushing pediatricians and other providers to help increase use of the HPV vaccine, which studies show could help avert tens of thousands of cancer cases during young Americans’ lives. Yet a decade after its controversial introduction, the vaccine remains stubbornly underused even as some of those diseases surge.

…The oncologists’ goal is to rebrand the vaccine to focus on cancer prevention. They are determined to dismantle what researchers say is the No. 1 obstacle to wider inoculation: pediatricians and family doctors who aren’t strongly recommending the vaccine…

…The vaccine is recommended for preteens because their bodies have the most robust responses, and it works best before sexual activity begins. (Intercourse isn’t necessary to contract HPV.) In 2006, the vaccine was first approved as Gardasil for girls, followed a few years later for boys, amid controversy that has never completely dissipated. Critics questioned the safety of the vaccine, made by Merck, and said it would encourage teenagers to be promiscuous — concerns that research has shown to be unfounded…

…As for side effects, the most common are swelling and pain at the injection site, with occasional fainting. Several large studies over the past decade have more than proved the vaccine’s safety, the CDC says.
The article mentions the controversy over the vaccine but then dismisses that controversy with a vaguely sourced “CDC” allegation that several studies “have more than proved the vaccine’s safety.”

Of course this allegation is ridiculous because science doesn’t prove anything. It simply fails to disprove the hypothesis under consideration. In this case, the hypothesis is the vaccine safety.

And what the Washington Post somehow fails to mention at all is that there is currently a CLASS ACTION SUIT against HPV vaccine manufacturers and the Japanese Government for promoting these vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) levied by individuals alleging severe harm, including paralysis, from the vaccine. Japan’s health ministry actually halted its recommendation for HPV vaccines based on the number and/or severity of “side effects”:
Masaaki Kameda (Mar 30, 2016). Victims of government-recommended cervical cancer vaccine to sue state, drugmakers. The Japan Times,

Victims suffering side effects from cervical cancer vaccines that were once recommended by the government announced Wednesday they will file a lawsuit against the state and drugmakers.

Zosia Chustecka (April 1, 2016). HPV Vaccine Adverse-Effects Class-Action Suit Planned in Japan. Medscape,

In Japan, lawyers acting on behalf of girls and young women who still have symptoms, including pain disorders, after vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) are now planning a class-action suit against the Japanese government, which launched a national vaccination program, and the two manufacturers of the vaccines — Merck & Co (Gardasil) and GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix).

"Many victims are still suffering from side effects..., which include overall pain and disorders of perception, movement, and memory," said lawyer Masumi Minaguchi, a representative from the planned lawsuit's defense team. He was speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday March 30, according to a report in The Japan Times.

There are currently 12 plaintiffs, aged from 10 to 20 years, and the lawyers are looking for more to join in, so they intend to publicize the issue in seminars planned for April and May...

...In Japan, the health ministry began recommending that girls between the ages of 12 and 16 be vaccinated against HPV to protect against cervical cancer in April 2013, after the National Diet revised the Preventive Vaccination Law. However, the ministry halted the recommendations in June 2013 following a number of cases involving reported adverse effects

...Last year, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare put into place a scheme specifically to manage the symptoms after HPV vaccinations, with guidance for health professionals and special centers around the country to deal with these cases.

As previously reported by Medscape Medical News, the issue of adverse effects, symptoms, and pain syndromes after HPV vaccination has also been reported in many other countries, including the United States.

Last year, this issue was investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which concluded that evidence does not support that the vaccines cause complex regional pain syndrome or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. However, researchers from Denmark, where many of these cases were first reported, said that the EMA investigation was "not valid," as it relied mostly on published cases, and the Danes launched their own independent study in November 2015.

In the United States, the health authorities say there is no problem.
I find it problematic that oncologists and the Washington Post are promoting “forceful endorsement” in a context of significant controversy over HPV vaccines.

Why didn't the Washington Post really investigate the controversy by interviewing experts with divided opinions rather than simply pushing for more HPV vaccination?


I am personally PRO-VACCINATION as a general strategy for avoiding diseases but I DO NOT TRUST our profit-and-growth oriented MEDICAL INDUSTRY and CAPTURED REGULATORY AGENCIES to ensure that all vaccines are safe vaccines.

All vaccines have risks and these risks need to be continuously evaluated in order to determine whether the dangers to the health of the population outweigh the benefits of the specific disease reduction. Vaccines also need to be evaluated in combination. Finally, vaccines safety needs to be considered for specially vulnerable populations who may have compromised immunity.

Information should be available and intelligible to average citizens who should be encouraged to ask their doctors questions before consenting to controversial new vaccinations.

Vaccines are, in my opinion, only as good as they are safe and this vaccine's safety is in dispute.

PARENTS have the RESPONSIBILITY to evaluate vaccine safety and have the LEGAL RIGHT to decide whether to vaccinate their children.

The state should not have control over the human body, as noted recently by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor in her dissent over the decision to allow evidence from unwarranted stops to be used against individuals (see here). Her opinion affirms that liberal democracy is predicated upon one's self-ownership. In contrast, unreasonable search and seizures are signatures of a "carcarel state."

I fear we are heading down a slippery slope toward forced vaccinations and the media push around measles outbreaks and now the HPV vaccine illustrate the propaganda arm of an apparatus that increasingly looks a lot more like a carceral state than a liberal democracy.

Once again, I'm not anti-vaccination. My kids have had most vaccinations, but not all.

1 comment:

  1. Suzanne Humphries, MD

    Dissolving Illusions is a lengthy and in depth book on vaccinations which I recently read and would not myself get a vaccination--but that was already the case. As one example of problems with vaccinations: it is better to have mumps as a child--and the immunity from vaccination is weaker and does not last very long; the same is true for measles; the claim that vaccinations eliminated all these terrible diseases is also untrue. Dr. Humphries book goes into the history of these ailments and with many graphs shows what actually happened. Better food, water and air along with greatly improved sanitation did the heavy lifting. Finally the US gov insures vaccinations but not other drugs, so the smart pharmaceuticals are switching more and more to vaccinations! Now instead of the until recently 41 for kids there are over 70. The health industry is about wealth, not health. Hence, the string of murders of holistic MD's.


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