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HPV Vaccine: Gardasil may be a killer
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The HPV vaccine - which is being given to girls aged between 11 and 12 to prevent cervical cancer in later life - may be a killer

The HPV vaccine - which is being given to girls aged between 11 and 12 to prevent cervical cancer in later life - may be a killer. So far three young girls have died after being vaccinated, and there have been 1,637 adverse reactions reported in under a year.

In Australia 25 girls at the same school who had been given their first HPV vaccine last month experienced headache and nausea, and four ended up in hospital.

The vaccine, Gardasil, has courted controversy since it was approved for use last year. Some states in the USA have decided to make the vaccine compulsory, which has caused an outcry among parents who see the vaccine as a license for sexual relationships outside of marriage.

Gardasil is supposed to protect against human papillomavirus types 6, 11, 16 and 18, which cause most cervical cancers and genital warts.

A public interest group, Judicial Watch, discovered the extent of the adverse reactions only when they made a request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Freedom of Information Act.

Presumably the FDA would have preferred to have stayed silent rather than alert the public about a vaccine that may need more safety trials.

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2007; 334: 1182).

E-news broadcast 14 June 2007 No.368 [Subscribe]


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