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Should I Or My Children Have The HPV Immunisation?

Following on from yesterday's blog about the dreaded, but ever so important Pap smear, I thought it apt to share some of the research evidence that has come to light about the new HPV vaccine, Gardasil.

Australia is the first country in the world to administer the HPV immunization initiative. Gardasil is a genetically engineered vaccine given free to all girls aged 12-17 years and as announced recently, to boys aged 12-13 years from 2013 in Australia. It contains only 4 types out of the 100 strains of HPV, so it does not prevent infection from all strains. Gardasil has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of CIN II precursor lesions but, as has been raised by many doctors, it is unlikely to reduce the level of cancer. It is well known that a healthy immune system naturally clears any HPV infection within 2 years anyway and Pap smears are still necessary every two years, despite vaccination. 

Federal Health Minister Tanya Pilbersek has stated "We know that it's a safe vaccine". However, according to information obtained by Channel 7 under a Freedom of Information claim, 681 reactions to Gardasil were reported to ADRAC (the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee) as of January 30, 2008 with more than a third of these women not recovered after 6 months. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports "It is important to emphasise that the vaccine is supported by limited efficacy and safety data".

The Health Minister, Tanya Pilbersek has stated that all vaccines in Australia undergo stringent testing by experts. Unfortunately, according to our own TGA (the Therapeutic Goods Administration), vaccines are not tested in Australia for either safety or effectiveness. Gardasil's pre-licensure tests were performed overseas and were funded by the manufacturer of the drug. During this testing, 17 deaths were reported and a very large number of reactions (more than 90% of those tested reported at least one systemic reaction). Despite this, the vaccine is registered for use in Australia.

On 12 January 2012 the Annals of Medicine published a ground-breaking peer-reviewed paper written by renowned researchers Tomljenovic, PhD, and Shaw, PhD from University of British Columbia, Canada, citing that the HPV vaccine is neither justified by long-term health benefits (what, if any, is yet to be proven), economically viable, nor is there any evidence (even if it is proven effective against cervical cancer) that it will reduce the level of cervical cancer beyond what Pap screening has already achieved.

Long term effects of the vaccine are unknown but there have been reports of autoimmune diseases including arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The list of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine as detailed by The Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph (06/07/2008) include fever, hyperventilation, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, tinnitus, tremors, tingling, paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, blood clotting, chronic fatigue syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, seizures and deaths.

Four Melbourne school girls were rushed to hospital after receiving the vaccine in 2007. India halted trials of the vaccine in 2008 due to a number of deaths of the women involved. The European Medicines Agency reports 16 deaths of women after being given the vaccine in Austria and Germany. In the USA the numbers are increasing every year. The causes of death include blood clots, acute respiratory distress, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown cause", which are obviously uncommon for teenagers! The vaccines must not be given during pregnancy as it causes spontaneous abortion and foetal abnormalities.

There is also concern it will encourage young women to have unprotected sexual intercourse at a younger age without concern of HPV infection, which is untrue as only 4 types of HPV are covered. The vaccine also contains aluminium as an adjuvant which is a toxic heavy metal for the nervous system. 

Considering the above evidence, I do not recommend the Gardasil vaccine to be given to anyone regardless of age or gender.


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