A fate worse than death
April 25th 2008, 14:50 | Bryan Hubbard
My father was fond of the expression 'A fate worse than death'. I think it was something to do with the way we Brits would have been treated had the Nazi hordes invaded in the Second World War.
I was wondering if similar thoughts have been going through the minds of devout parents in the UK who have refused to have their teenage daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer. Like their counterparts in the States, these parents apparently see the new HPV vaccine as a licence for licentious behaviour, although it presumably doesn't also protect against an unwanted pregnancy.
A new study reveals that 20 per cent of Christian families have refused to have their daughers vaccinated against HPV, a sexually-transmitted infection that may lead to cervical cancer. At the moment in the UK, the vaccine - marketed as Gardasil - is still in the trial phase, but it's planned to introduce it nationwide in September.
It is already part of the vaccination programme in the States - and early reports suggest that the religious families may have been wise to avoid the vaccine, even if it's for the wrong reasons.
As of March, more than 7000 incidents relating to the vaccine have been reported to the US's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, including 13 deaths, 204 hospitalizations, and, out of which, 124 young girls have been left disabled. Commentators agree that this is merely the tip of the iceberg as it's reckoned just 10 per cent of adverse reactions ever get reported, especially if they are transitory.
Worse, there isn't even a shred of evidence to demonstrate the vaccine can prevent cancer. One study published last year concluded that the vaccine couldn't protect against the lesions that are more likely to lead to cancer. The latest studies also suggest that protecting women against HPV strains 16 and 18 can increase the likelihood of other forms that are more closely related to cancer.
A fate worse than death. That would be the Gardasil vaccine, then.
* A FULL REPORT on the Gardasil vaccine is contained in the May, 2008 issue of 'What Doctors Don't Tell You', which is being despatched to subscribers this week. If you would like to subscribe, and so read the full report, please go to: http://www.wddtyhealthshop.com/products.asp?recnumber=246