Parents faced with the dilemma of whether or not to vaccinate their daughters for HPV and cervical cancer, may first want to consider the story of 16-year-old Kansas native, Gabrielle.
According to the National Vaccine Information Center, Gabrielle had three shots of the drug Gardisal in 2008, causing inflammation in her brain and body, seizures, weakness in the right side of her body and lupus. Her doctors say she could die.
Although the Center for Disease Control claims Gardisal protects against HPV and cervical cancer, NVIC says there is little proof the vaccine actually does what it claims. Dr. Sarah Feldman with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts is also a skeptic.
“I feel that we don’t have enough information or data yet to be able to say that this will prevent cervical cancer,” she said.
Recently, ABC News reported there has been 12,424 adverse reactions to the shot since 2006 and 32 deaths. While the vaccine’s producers Merck and Co. claim resulting medical problems and side effects are just coincidence, Gardisal has many doctors seriously worried.
Dr. Jacques Moritz, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York says he won’t be giving the vaccine to his 11-year-old daughter. He says most doctors he knows have stopped giving the vaccine “because of the safety issues around it now.”
Gardisal has been heavily promoted by its makers. Both my roommate and I received more than one brochure in the mail urging us to get the shot. However, the sense of urgency and use of fear tactics in the brochures has been enough to cause both of us to reconsidered taking the vaccine.