Sep 4, 2009

Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out

by David E. Smith, IFI Executive Director -Illinois Family Institute

According to CBS News, Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead researchers for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings about the vaccine's risks and long-term effectiveness. Dr. Harper expressed concern that the CDC's recommendation that girls receive the vaccine at age 11 would "put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit. The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed." There is no data indicating Gardasil is effective for more than five years.

Dr. Harper also expressed concern that patients are not being informed that the risks and side effects of Gardasil could occur "more often than cervical cancer itself."

Dr. Scott Ratner, a physician, spoke to CBS News last year after one of his teenage daughters became seriously ill after her first dose. Dr. Ratner said she'd have been better off getting cervical cancer (often completely curable if detected early enough through tests such as a PAP smear). "My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis." Other physicians continue to express concern that the rate of serious adverse events, including death, associated with Gardasil is at least as high as the number of deaths each year from cervical cancer.

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