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Archive for June 11th, 2007

Three Deaths Linked To Merck’s HPV Vaccine – Gardasil. Does the benefit really outweigh the risk?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 11, 2007

Since my original post on the controversy surrounding the Gardasil vaccine, I have already added three updates. Recently I was made aware of new information released by the FDA regarding the more serious adverse reactions to this vaccine. Most upseting is the fact that at least three young girls have died within hours of receiving this controversial vaccine.

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, detailing 1,637 reports of adverse reactions to the vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil. Three deaths were related to the vaccine. One physician’s assistant reported that a female patient “died of a blood clot three hours after getting the Gardasil vaccine.” Two other reports, on girls 12 and 19, reported deaths relating to heart problems and/or blood clotting. — read full article

As of May 11, 2007, the 1,637 adverse vaccination reactions reported to the FDA via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) included 371 serious reactions. Of the 42 women who received the vaccine while pregnant, 18 experienced side effects ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormities.

Side effects published by Merck & Co. warn the public about potential pain, fever, nausea, dizziness and itching after receiving the vaccine. Indeed, 77% of the adverse reactions reported are typical side effects to vaccinations. But other more serious side effects reported include paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures. — – read full article

What troubles me the most about this is; Parents understand that with all vaccines there will be a very small percent of people (in this case young girls) that will have an adverse reaction ending in death. The major difference is that vaccines like the MMR vaccines (given to our children to prevent Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) are essential in saving many lives from these highly contagious and often fatal diseases. So, the benefits of these vaccines most definitely outweigh the risks…(the small percent of serious adverse reactions with MMR vaccine is still only a tiny fraction of the amount of deaths we would see without this vaccine).

Unfortunately this is not the case with the HPV vaccine. I think if a parent thought that their daughter might die from a vaccine that has limited protection against a treatable (non life-threatening) virus, they might not see a benefit that outweighs that risk.

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