Home > Parent Perspective, Preventable Diseases, Testimonials > HPV Vaccination Still Not Where it Needs To Be

HPV Vaccination Still Not Where it Needs To Be

This morning I was reminded of the importance of  human papillomavirus vaccination after reading an article that appeared yesterday in Ob.Gyn. News.  As the parent of five daughters, and the friend of several people who have had various health complications as a result of HPV, I’m disappointed that there is a safe and effective vaccine that is currently underutilized at this point in time.  Data released as part of the CDC’s National and State Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years revealed that only 23% of 13-year-old girls in the U.S. had completed the recommended three-dose HPV series.  Additionally, as of 2011, only about 35% of all 13-17  year-old girls had completed the series.

If you are a parent that has yet to begin your child on the 3 dose HPV vaccination series, you may want to consider these tidbits of information that were included in the Ob.Gyn. News article:

  • Three-quarters of the general population become infected with HPV, and three-quarters of those infections occur at 15-24 years of age.
  • More than 50% of those who become infected with HPV do so within 2 years after becoming sexually active.
  • Studies show that more than 20% of males and females have already had vaginal sex by age 15.
  • One-third of all HPV-related cancers occur in men which is why the CDC recommended vaccination for 11-12 year old boys, as well as 11-12 year old girls.
  • Protecting boys will secondarily increase protection against cervical cancer in girls.

The article also discusses how vaccination can reduce the cost burden of this disease and references other interesting considerations regarding HPV and the vaccine to prevent it.  But what I found most interesting were the statistics that have come out of Australia, the first country to fund a HPV vaccination program for all females aged 12-26 years.

After the first two years of the Australian program, which began in July of 2007,  a national surveillance program had identified a 59% reduction in new diagnoses of genital warts among women in Australia.  There was also a 39% drop in new cases among heterosexual Australian males aged 12-26.  Even though they weren’t included in the vaccine program, the rate drop among men seems to suggest evidence of herd immunity, especially since they can be compared among the unchanged rates among men who have sex with other men.  In a subsequent report with updated data through mid-2011, Australian investigators credited “the dramatic decline and near disappearance” of genital warts in women and heterosexual men under age 21 year, to be a result of the national HPV vaccination program that had been initiated just four years prior.

This is just one example of what can be accomplished here in the United States if we work to improve HPV vaccination rates.  There are obviously some challenges we face, but when I think of my friend and fellow Shot@Life immunization champion, I’m committed to finding a way to educate parents and encourage vaccination.   Here is her story and her message to parents everywhere.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges we face in improving HPV vaccination rates?

  1. September 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I know I for one would have liked to get this vaccine, but it wasn’t available when I was a teen and even if it had been my mother wouldn’t have allowed me to get it. I was recently found to have HPV and need to go in for additional screening to see if there are cancerous cells now. I’m a bit scared to learn the results. My age, the number of children I’ve had and the fact that I am a very light smoker (only about 4 – 6 per day) are all risk factors for me.

    When I first got the news I was in shock a bit, maybe even denial. But after a few days I began doing research on HPV and cervical cancer. While it is the most successfully treatable form of cancer, women still die from it and may need to undergo life altering surgery to remove the growth. I also learned that sexual contact isn’t the only way HPV is spread and the same virus causes warts that people may get on their hands. It can also lay dormant in the system for up to 15 years before it would begin to alter cells and become cancerous.

    I had my first wart at the age of 6 and periodically had them throughout my life. I had a pretty bad case when I was pregnant with my fourth child, and it’s very possible I could have spread it to myself from just wiping after toileting at some point. My ex husband, whom I was married to for 15 years always had at least one wart on his hands the entire time I’ve known him. Since I don’t know how I got it, I can’t put blame on anyone and it wouldn’t be productive at all for me to do so.

    I don’t know what the future holds for me, I’ll know more after my colposcopy is performed. Until then it’s a waiting game for me and I think I’m going to take the time over the next few weeks to eliminate the cigarettes I do smoke so as to improve my chances of recovery, just in case. I’d be lying if I wasn’t scared, because if the worst is found, that means my time here for my son is even less then I had originally thought it would be, my other children as well. I have a daughter who is just 13, she lives with her dad and step mom in Montana and I have very little information about what happens to her health wise, because they refuse to allow me to participate in her life as much as I would like. Knowing what I know now though, I am going to contact my ex husband and try to persuade him to make sure my daughter gets the HPV vaccines. I don’t think it’s too late for her and since there is now a potential family history of cervical cancer, it’s even more important and vital that she have it. I think I also need to try and persuade my older daughter to get the series also. She’s just 22, but I think she would be able to benefit from it. Even though I don’t know what is to come, the thought of the potentiality of cancer is frightening and I don’t want the same for any of my children. Since it’s so easy to prevent it, why would anyone take the risk? It’s estimated that 90% of women have HPV and even though they haven’t had an abnormal pap yet, it’s still there, just waiting, and you never know when it might strike. Regular pap tests are essential, they are a pain I know, but not something that anyone should have a blase’ attitude about.

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  2. lama
    September 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    The good thing is that most HPV infections clear up on their own. While most Americans are infected by HPV at some time in their lives, very few of them ever get cervical cancer. Smoking does increase the risk that HPV will advance to cancer, so smokers might be more willing to take this vaccine. Spain and India stopped their vaccination programs when girls there died from it. Since the vaccine can be dangerous, and cervical cancer has been largely controlled by Pap tests to detect cervical cancer at an early stage when it is still easily treatable, many girls would prefer not to get the vaccine. They still should get Pap tests even if they get the shots, since the vaccines (Gardasil here, Cervarix in England) only protect against a few of the many carcinogenic serotypes of HPV.

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  3. Nathan
    September 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Most cases of HPV clear up on their own, but of course the ones we are worried about are the ones that don’t – the ones that go on to cause 12,000 cases of cervical cancer and 4000 deaths in the US annually. It is somewhat difficult to characterize those numbers as “very few.”

    Spain and India stopped their vaccination programs when girls there died from it.

    Links, please?

    Since the vaccine can be dangerous, and cervical cancer has been largely controlled by Pap tests to detect cervical cancer at an early stage when it is still easily treatable, many girls would prefer not to get the vaccine.

    Pap tests are effective at detecting precancerous changes, but to actually prevent the cancer you have to have a procedure which carries with it its own set of risks including cervical incompetence. You also have to understand that the reason that there are 12 thousand cases of cervical cancer a year is because girls that age are not necessarily good about pap tests. But yes, it is important to continue to get pap tests as recommended even if you are vaccinated.

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  4. Chris
    September 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Spain and India stopped their vaccination programs when girls there died from it.

    Wait, Cia, wasn’t that France the last time used that claim?

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  5. lama
    September 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm
  6. lama
    September 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm
  7. September 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    @Lama – how about some legitimate sources or research, got any?

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  8. Chris
    September 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Perhaps from the actual health departments for each country.

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  9. Nathan
    September 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, I meant an original source, not someone’s blog.

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  10. Nathan
    September 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Though I did find this:

    http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?Articleid=19873

    “During this time of public and professional uncertainty about HPV vaccination, two cases of status epilepticus with myoclonus were reported in two girls after administration of the second dose of Gardasil in schools in the same city, in February 2009 [16]. A resulting pharmacovigilance signal was notified to the European Medicines Agency and issues related to the cases were extensively covered by all media at regional and national level. This intense media attention lasted for two and a half months, until it was determined that the adverse events were not related to the vaccine (following investigation by the Spanish and European medicines agencies of the adverse events and the quality of the specific vaccine batch) [16,17]. “

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  11. September 26, 2012 at 5:48 am

    @Nathan – I find it very disturbing how much of a double-standard that anti-vaccine cranks have today.

    What do you think has caused more “deaths” – Gardisil or teens texting while driving?

    Since there hasn’t been a single proven death linked to the vaccine, the answer is obvious….but which one are they losing their minds over? Seriously people, get your priorities straight!!!

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  12. September 26, 2012 at 6:52 am

    It is a lot easier to convince parents of boys to get the vaccine than girls. I guess the perception of the virgin until married still stands even though there are 16 year olds giving birth daily in the hospital. In some cases, the parents will vaccinate their son and not their daughter. I think until we get rid of that perception we are still facing an uphill battle for vaccinating

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  13. lama
    September 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Lara,
    There’s some evidence that nutritional factors can prevent and even correct precursors to cervical cancer.
    Fruits and vegetables: Block, G., et al, “A review of vegetables, fruit and cancer. Parts I and II, Cancer Causes and Control, 1991; 2:325-357, 427-442.
    Folic acid: Hernández, BY, et al, “Diet and premalignant lesions of the cervix. Evidence of a protective role for folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B12,” Cancer Causes and Control, Nov. 2003: 14(9), 859-70.
    Patients with mild to moderate cervical lesions showed a full reversal of their condition in just three months following a diet rich in folic acid. Butterworth, CE, et al, “Folate deficiency and cervical dysplasia,” Journal of the AMA 1992;267:528-533.
    Butterworth, “Improvement in cervical dysplasia associated with folic acid therapy in users of oral contraceptives,” Am J Clin Nutr. Jan 1982:35(1):73-82.
    Lycopene in tomatoes prevents cervical cancer: Van Eenwyk, Jo., et al, “Dietary and serum carotenoids and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia,”Int J Canc 1991:48:34-38.
    Kanetsky, PA, et al, “Dietary intake and blood levels of lycopene: association with cervical dysplasia among black women.” Nutr Cancer 1998;31:31-40.
    Vitamin C prevents it: Wassertheil-Smoller, S., et al, “Dietary vitamin C and uterine cervical dysplasia,” Am J Epidemio Nov 1981;114(5):714-24.

    It wouldn’t hurt to add a lot more folic acid, vitamin C, tomatoes, and other fruit and vegetables to your diet, and might help a lot. Probably better to get the nutrients from diet rather than supplements, if possible.

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  14. anne
    September 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Research Prevention Group at the University of Missouri, said: “The rate of serious adverse events from Gardasil is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.” Chitale, R. “CDC report stirs controversy for Merck’s Gardasil vaccine: cervical cancer vaccine linked to deaths, incidents of fainting and blood clots,” ABC News Aug.19, 2009.

    The reason she said this was that “by Feb. 2010, just 44 months after the HPV vaccine was licensed in the US, more than 17,500 adverse reaction reports pertaining to Gardasil were filed with the federal government-an average of 13 reports per day,” VAERS. “Nearly half of all reports required a doctor or emergency room visit, with hundreds of teenage girls and young women needing extended hospitalization. In the case reports submitted to the FDA, 61 deaths were described due to blood clots, heart disease and other causes. In addition, many of the vaccine recipients were stricken with serious and life-threatening disabilities, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, seizures, convulsions, swollen limbs, chest pain, heart irregularities, kidney failure, visual disturbances, arthritis, difficulty breathing, severe rashes, persistent vomiting, miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, reproductive complications, genital warts, vaginal lesions, and HPV infection, as summarized by Dr. Mayer Eisenstein.
    While a report made to the VAERS is not considered convincing evidence by some, many, including physicians like Dr. Diane Harper, do not think the large number of adverse events occurring the same day as the vaccination are coincidental, and the reader must make his own judgment as to the connection. Zeda Pingel, a healthy honor roll student before she got the HPV in Nov. 2009, reacted with seizures and within weeks could no longer walk, talk, or even breathe or eat without a tracheotomy and a feeding tube.
    268143: 13 year old girl got Gardasil and nine days later hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome, diagnosed by a neurologist.
    276255: 14 y.o. gets it, her doctor reported she developed GBS and hospitalized for it.
    277114: 16 y.o. collapsed and could not walk after getting it.
    277667: 18 y. o. had numbness and paralysis on right side of face, diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.
    275111: 13 y.o. developed blood in her stool about three days after second dose of G. Hospitalized with acute kidney failure.
    282372: 17 y.o. fouund dead evening of same day as got Gardasil.
    275438: 19 y.o. collapsed and died two weeks after HPV shot, autopsy showed large blood clots in heart.
    277813: 16 y. o. got first dose of G., later same day had back and chest pain, cardiac murmur, vertigo, nausea, and difficulty breathing. Ambulance took to hospital.
    277788: 16 y.o. got second dose of G., three days later had grand mal seizure and admitted to hospital.

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  15. Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Just a reminder, VAERS is where investigations start, not where they end.

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  16. lilady
    September 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

    @ Melissa Gastorf:

    Talk about parents having the heads in the sand…how about the research conducted on girls who take the “virginity” pledge and the incidence of STDs, including infections with the human papilloma virus?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15780782

    J Adolesc Health. 2005 Apr;36(4):271-8.
    After the promise: the STD consequences of adolescent virginity pledges.

    Brückner H, Bearman P.
    Source

    Department of Sociology, Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course, Yale University, P.O Box 208265, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. hannah.brueckner@yale.edu
    Abstract
    PURPOSE:

    To examine the effectiveness of virginity pledges in reducing STD infection rates among young adults (ages 18-24).
    METHODS:

    Data are drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative study of students enrolled in grades 7-12 in 1995. During a follow-up survey in 2001-2002, respondents provided urine samples, which were tested for Human Papilloma Virus, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis. We report descriptive results for the relationship of pledge status and sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates as well as health behaviors commonly associated with STD infection.
    RESULTS:

    Pledgers are consistently less likely to be exposed to risk factors across a wide range of indicators, but their STD infection rate does not differ from nonpledgers. Possible explanations are that pledgers are less likely than others to use condoms at sexual debut and to be tested and diagnosed with STDs.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    Adopting virginity pledges as intervention may not be the optimal approach to preventing STD acquisition among young adults.

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  17. anne
    September 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Nathan,
    During clinical trials of vaccine, hundreds of women who got Gardasil contracted HPV disease. Carreyrou, J. “Questions on efficacy cloud a cancer vaccine,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16, 2007.

    Also, no actual cases of cervical cancer were prevented in any of the studies, since cancer takes many years to develop. All claims made for vaccine are indirect, assuming that surrogate markers or precancerous lesions precede cervial cancer. Researchers compared number of these markers in women who got vax and controls. From PI for Gardasil 2009.
    No one in any of the studies actually contracted cervical cancer, so there’s no proof to date that any cancer has been or will be prevented by vaccine.
    The FDA asked its consultants to say whether Gardasil protected against HPV 16 and 18, the only two out of at least fifteen carcinogenic subtypes of HPV targeted by vaccine, and whether they thought it prevented cervical cancer in general. Carreyrou, cited above. In studies before vaccine was released, 361 women who got at least one shot of Gardasil went on to develop precancerous lesions of the cervix within three years, just 14% fewer than in control group.
    In 2007 the NEJM considered two studies of the vaccine’s effect on cervical cancer, all types. In FUTURE i trial vaccine just 20% effective, and while the vaccine reduced number of low-risk lesions, it had no effect on high-risk lesions. In FUTURE II trial vaccine just 17% effective, again, only against low-risk lesions, not at all effective against high-risk lesions. Sawaya, GF, et al, “HPV vaccination-more answers, more questions.” NEJM May 10, 2007;356:1991-93.

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  18. anne
    September 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Nathan,

    Another problem is that there are at least a hundred types of HPV virus, with more being found all the time, and many babies and toddlers show evidence of having acquired HPV viruses, presumably from their mother, perhaps at birth. It is considered dangerous to give the vaccine to a person who has had prior exposure to HPV, but, since pre-screening before giving the vaccine is not routine, many people may be reacting because of their prior, undiagnosed exposure. Or maybe they react for other reasons, of course.

    The FDA was concerned about the danger that Gardasil would enhance cervical disease in girls with a prior exposure. “Gardasil HPV Quadrivalent Vaccine, May 18, 2006 VRBPAC Meeting,” Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Background Document.

    In one study of women who tested positive for vaccine-relevant HPV before getting Gardasil, vaccine had a MINUS 45% efficacy, meaning that these women were much more likely than controls to develop high-grade markers for cervical cancer. Maugh II, TH, et al, “Doubts arise about cancer vaccine: benefits of HPV shots are called ‘modest’: young women, parents are urged to be cautious.” Baltimore Sun May 10, 2007.

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  19. anne
    September 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Lawrence,

    We know that a lot of teens have died because they were texting while driving. We will not know for decades if the HPV vax will prevent any deaths from cervical cancer: it hasn’t been proven to prevent a single death yet, since it was licensed just a few years ago, and cervical cancer usually takes decades to develop. We know that the Pap test is a safe way to detect incipient cervical cancer. In 1975 in the US, 14.8 women per hundred thousand got the disease, and 5.6 per hundred thousand died of it. By 2004 those numbers had decreased by more than half: 7.0 incidence rate and 2.4 per hundred thousand death rate. National Cancer Institute, “Cervix uteri cancer (invasive): Age adjusted SEER incidence rates by year, race and age, Table V-2.” SEER CAncer Statistics REview, 1975-2004. NIH.

    It is believed that this tremendous reduction in both the incidence and mortality rate of cervical cancer was because more and more women were getting the Pap test, and finding pre-cancerous lesions at an easily-treatable stage. Given the risks of the vaccine, it might be considered a better strategy to promote Pap tests exclusively rather than in tandem with the vaccine. (We agree that to be safe, women have to keep getting the Pap test anyway.)

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  20. anne
    September 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    GF,
    And I observed that VAERS reports are not proof positive, but certainly something that most parents would want to be informed of and bear in mind while making this important decision.

    Like

  21. Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

    anne :
    GF,
    And I observed that VAERS reports are not proof positive, but certainly something that most parents would want to be informed of and bear in mind while making this important decision.

    Are you familiar with the statement “innocent until proven guilty”? Because if you were, you’d know why the VAERS reports alone aren’t enough to make a decision over.

    Like

  22. September 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @anne (who has got to be a cia sock puppet) – don’t you agree that preventing cervical cancer in the first place is better than taking the chance of catching it early enough & treating later on?

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  23. lilady
    September 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @ CIA Parker/sockies: How about looking at the post-marketing studies for the safety of HPV vaccine, conducted by the Vaccine Safety Datalink?

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/Index.html

    “A Closer Look at the Safety Data

    VAERS
    In 2009, a CDC-FDA report analyzed adverse events reported to VAERS following Gardasil vaccination from June 2006 through December 2008. This post-licensure study included clinical review of medical records associated with reports to VAERS. The findings were similar to what is seen in the safety reviews of other vaccines recommended for a similar age group, 9 to 26 years old.

    The most common adverse events reported were:

    Syncope (or fainting)–common after receiving shots, especially in pre-teens and teens
    Local reactions at the site of immunization (pain and redness)
    Dizziness
    Nausea
    Headache

    There was increased reporting of syncope and venous thromboembolism (VTE)External Web Site Icon, or blood clots, compared with what has been found for other vaccines given to females of the same age. Of the people who had blood clots, 90% had a known risk factor for them, such as smoking, obesity or taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills).

    Post-licensure safety monitoring from June 2006 through March 2012 continues to show no new HPV vaccine safety concerns.

    VSD
    In 2011, VSD active surveillance (called Rapid Cycle Analysis) looked at specific adverse events following more than 600,000 doses of Gardasil, such as Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS)External Web Site Icon, stroke, VTE, appendicitis, seizures, syncope, allergic reactions, and anaphylaxis. No statistically significant increased risk for any of these adverse events was detected after vaccination.

    Notice that ALL of those VAERS reports that purportedly showed a link between HPV vaccine administration and serious adverse events were fully investigated and NONE of those VAERS reports reporting a valid serious adverse, following investigation, was associated with HPV vaccines.

    Why didn’t you list the VAERS reports that listed the cause of death as gun shot wounds…following immunization? How about the VAERS report that Michele Bachmann referred to? Bachmann stated, “I met a woman whose daughter got the HPV vaccine and thereafter became mentally retarded”

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  24. lilady
    September 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Sorry for re-posting…I had to change the last two words in the quotation from Michele Bachmann:

    @ CIA Parker/sockies: How about looking at the post-marketing studies for the safety of HPV vaccine, conducted by the Vaccine Safety Datalink?

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/Index.html

    “A Closer Look at the Safety Data

    VAERS
    In 2009, a CDC-FDA report analyzed adverse events reported to VAERS following Gardasil vaccination from June 2006 through December 2008. This post-licensure study included clinical review of medical records associated with reports to VAERS. The findings were similar to what is seen in the safety reviews of other vaccines recommended for a similar age group, 9 to 26 years old.

    The most common adverse events reported were:

    Syncope (or fainting)–common after receiving shots, especially in pre-teens and teens
    Local reactions at the site of immunization (pain and redness)
    Dizziness
    Nausea
    Headache

    There was increased reporting of syncope and venous thromboembolism (VTE)External Web Site Icon, or blood clots, compared with what has been found for other vaccines given to females of the same age. Of the people who had blood clots, 90% had a known risk factor for them, such as smoking, obesity or taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills).

    Post-licensure safety monitoring from June 2006 through March 2012 continues to show no new HPV vaccine safety concerns.

    VSD
    In 2011, VSD active surveillance (called Rapid Cycle Analysis) looked at specific adverse events following more than 600,000 doses of Gardasil, such as Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS)External Web Site Icon, stroke, VTE, appendicitis, seizures, syncope, allergic reactions, and anaphylaxis. No statistically significant increased risk for any of these adverse events was detected after vaccination.

    Notice that ALL of those VAERS reports that purportedly showed a link between HPV vaccine administration and serious adverse events were fully investigated and NONE of those VAERS reports reporting a valid serious adverse, following investigation, was associated with HPV vaccines.

    Why didn’t you list the VAERS reports that listed the cause of death as gun shot wounds…following immunization? How about the VAERS report that Michele Bachmann referred to? Bachmann stated, “I met a woman whose daughter got the HPV vaccine and thereafter became M R’ed.”

    Like

  25. Chris
    September 26, 2012 at 11:55 am
  26. Lara Lohne
    September 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @lama, I feel slightly insulted that you would automatically assume I’m not already eating a healthy diet. In my attempt to set a good example for my children, particularly my incredibly picky eater with autism. I have a family history of cancer, stroke, heart disease and type II diabetes. Therefore I am doing everything in my power to ensure I am as healthy as possible.

    @anne, Do you seriously think it takes decades for cervical cancer to develop? How do you account for 25 year old women being diagnosed with cervical cancer? It almost sounds like you are suggesting these women began having sexual relations at the age of 5 years old. In my case, I’ve never had an abnormal pap, until now. Granted I don’t have any idea what the ultimate result is going to be, but it certainly hasn’t been lurking inside me for decades, because I do get regular pap tests.

    I’ve heard stories of women who were pregnant and diagnosed with cancer. One story of a woman who had neglected to find herself a doctor after moving, but when she finally did, after about four years, went in for her pap and it was abnormal and she was found to have cancer, but her previous pap tests were all normal, so four years is hardly decades either.

    It isn’t just about preventing deaths, it is about preventing cancer all together. So what, that we haven’t been able to identify all of the HPV strains, we have identified at least 4 that are known to cause cancer, and I feel that’s a good place to start, and as we progress and learn more we can identify more strains and improve the vaccine to be even more effective. There isn’t any need for anyone to develop cancer, not when a vaccine can prevent it. Yes it is the most successfully treated form of cancer, but typically that’s because radical hysterectomy is performed, eliminating any possibility of a woman having children. The story I mentioned earlier, the woman who waited four years to find herself a doctor, she was only 26 years old and had not yet had a child. With her diagnosis and the subsequent surgery to remove the cancer, she never would be able to. Thankfully they were able to adopt a child.

    Your priorities are skewed severely. You are only against this because it’s a vaccine and by definition you feel it’s evil and bad. Being in a position where I have had an abnormal pap, and being scared of what that may mean for me, What it might mean for my children, a first degree relative with cervical cancer, increases their risk factor, therefore I feel they need to take the necessary steps to protect themselves as much as possible, and that means getting this vaccine.

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  27. lama
    September 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    The information I offered you was kindly meant, and I’m sorry you took offense at it.

    The median age of women when they are initially diagnosed with cervical cancer is 48 years. About 85% of all new cases are in women 35 and older. More than half of all cervical cancer deaths are in women 55 years and older. New cervical cancer cases and deaths are uncommon beliow the age of 35 and nearly nonexistent before the age of 20. National Cancer Institute. “Median age of cancer patients at diagnosis, 2000-2004, “SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2004, NIH.

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  28. September 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @lama – nothing in those numbers makes me think preventing Cervical Cancers that are the result of HPV is a bad thing….why do you?

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  29. Lara Lohne
    September 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @lama, My point was to illustrate that even people who are healthy and strong can become infected with viruses and can get diseases like cancer. It felt to me that you were automatically assuming since I had an abnormal pap, that I must eat a bunch of junk food or something, far from the case actually. I am quite well educated on the values of nutrition, but I have not deluded myself into believing I won’t ever get sick and/or die because I have a healthy diet. I don’t take supplements either, because I don’t need to have really expensive urine.

    I am well aware of these statistics, but it doesn’t mean that women younger then this can’t and don’t get diagnosed with cervical cancer. Women who are in the age group with higher risk would not have been able to get the vaccine. Therefore we won’t be able to see a decrease in cases of cancer in those women. What we need to watch for is the rates of cervical cancer in the first generations who had the HPV vaccine available to them. My guess is, when those girls become women in the ‘high risk’ age group, the number of cervical cancer cases will drop significantly, just as it did for other diseases once vaccines were made widely available.

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  30. Nathan
    September 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    cia parker/elle/anne/lama/etc, I was going to embark on a lengthy post detailing all of the misinformation in your numerous posts. Then I read this:

    Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Research Prevention Group at the University of Missouri, said: “The rate of serious adverse events from Gardasil is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.” Chitale, R. “CDC report stirs controversy for Merck’s Gardasil vaccine: cervical cancer vaccine linked to deaths, incidents of fainting and blood clots,” ABC News Aug.19, 2009.

    https://shotofprevention.com/2012/07/10/even-the-unvaccinated-are-protected-by-hpv-vaccine/#comment-10624

    You are not worth the time. And if you really want people to not know you are using a sock puppet, you should stop cutting and pasting the same material.

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  31. September 27, 2012 at 5:47 am

    @Nathan – I assumed that was the case (as pointed out by Christine in the latest update).

    I’m not sure how a vaccine against Cancer can be considered “bad” especially when all of the post-surveillance safety reports have shown no sign of the “severe reactions” that the anti-vaccine crowd (the HPV subset) claims to have occurred.

    Another sign that they believe that “all vaccines are bad” and not prepared to discuss the actual Science behind them & why they (vaccines) are effective. Of course, when the Science doesn’t support their ideas, they tend to get all “Shill-y” in their arguments.

    Again, why exactly is prevention considered bad? When the alternative is testing & hope you find something early enough to treat it?

    Like

  32. Chris
    September 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Nathan, if you click on my comment which is just a link, you’ll find it’s a reply to her. This shows the basic characteristic of those folks who blindly oppose vaccines: they cannot debate on the evidence, so they must repeat their falsehoods with sock puppets.

    Like

  33. anne
    September 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

    We have different opinions on this. I, unlike you, find the tens of thousands of reports of adverse events, up to and including death, shortly after receiving the HPV vaccine, as well as the opinion of doctors like cancer researcher Dr. Diane Harper, extremely compelling. The lack of screening to take out patients previously exposed to some form of the many possible for the HPV virus, not always through sexual activity, which makes it more rather than less likely that they experience a serious form of cervical disease, and the fact that there are at least 15 carcinogenic serotypes of HPV, while only a few are included in the vaccines, meaning that the others can replicate to fill the gap left by taking out the few, are all reasons that make me believe that the vaccine is more dangerous than beneficial. It will not be known for decades the extent to which HPV vaccines may reduce the incidence of cervical cancer to a rate lower than the already greatly lowered level achieved by the Pap test alone. The vaccine does not mean girls can stop getting the Pap test, since there are other cancer-causing forms of HPV not included in the vaccine. We agree at least on that last point.

    Of course the Pap test does not prevent HPV, and of course it would be nice if there were an easy, safe way to prevent this as well as all cancers. But I, as well as many others, do not believe the vaccine is safe. From “My Daughter is One Less,” by Amy Pingel, mother of the girl left a vegetable by the HPV vaccine: “Judicial Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization, began investigating reports of adverse events from the HPV vaccine in 2007 and issued two critical reports detailing the adverse outcomes of the vaccine. After reviewing government reports on Gardasil, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, remarked, ‘The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors. Any state or local government now beset by Merck’s lobbying campaigns to mandate this HPV vaccine for young girls ought to take a look at these adverse health reports.”
    As of November 17, 2010, there have been 20,978 adverse HPV vaccine reactions reported. There are 89 deaths associated with the vaccine. The US FDA has yet to issue a position on these cases. The HHS conceded an HPV vaccine injury-related case on October 5, 2010.
    I am here to tell you that I didn’t know the harm vaccines could do. I think many parents are like me-they don’t know either. I thought vaccines would keep my children safe and healthy. That’s what the doctor told me. I never imagined that a vaccine could do this to my daughter. My doctor never told me the risks. No one else did either. I was never shown anything describing potential side effects of vaccines. If you do choose to vaccinate, you had better be very comfortable about the need for each vaccine, because every time you vaccinate your child, there is a risk of severe injury and death. It is crucial that parents understand what is at stake and that the choice is theirs to make. I am not telling you not to vaccinate. I am telling you that people who pressure you to vaccinate don’t own the consequences. Only you, as parents, do.”

    Like

  34. Chris
    September 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

    anne the sock puppet:

    We have different opinions on this.

    Do you think we care about the opinion of someone who is repeating the same falsehoods as before? We are interested in the actual evidence, not the “opinion” of someone who changes their ‘nym every few days, who refuses to learn about what one needs to read and understand before actually using VAERS database from it official website, who refuses to understand that the plural of anecdote is not data, and that one lone person who did a small fraction of the research and was misquoted is not all of the data.

    Like

  35. anne
    September 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I cited many studies yesterday which were not carried out by Dr. Harper, whose opinion, however, as the director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Group at the University of Missouri, is one on which I, as well as many others, place great value.

    Like

  36. Chris
    September 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    anne/ella/cia/etc, link to that comment, because I did not see any papers about HPV from the sock puppet you are using today.

    Like

  37. anne
    September 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    GF,
    I don’t think the concept of innocent until proven guilty is one which most parents would feel is appropriate when making a life or death decision for their child. If there is even a small chance that an action might greatly or even slightly damage the child, with no compelling reason to believe his death might be imminent if the action is not taken, many parents are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines. There is no law that says they have to take chances with their child’s life. Well, there are, but there are ways to take an exemption from such laws, and many parents are availing themselves of them.

    Like

  38. Chris
    September 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    You cited mostly a bunch of news articles, SEER data on cancer, and one thing from the New England Journal of Medicine: NEJM May 10, 2007;356:1991-93. And guess what? It is free online: HPV vaccination–more answers, more questions. is not a study, but a five year old editorial comment.

    So, really, what studies? And as you should have learned by now, links to VAERS reports are not studies.

    Like

  39. Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    anne :
    GF,
    I don’t think the concept of innocent until proven guilty is one which most parents would feel is appropriate when making a life or death decision for their child. If there is even a small chance that an action might greatly or even slightly damage the child, with no compelling reason to believe his death might be imminent if the action is not taken, many parents are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines. There is no law that says they have to take chances with their child’s life. Well, there are, but there are ways to take an exemption from such laws, and many parents are availing themselves of them.

    Anne, are you aware that same argument could be used to support witch-hunting?

    Like

  40. Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    On a less flippant note, vaccine-preventable diseases do cause harm. Anne, did it occur to you that if you’re wrong, then you’d be exposing people to harm?

    Like

  41. anne
    September 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    They can cause harm, but so can the vaccines. That’s the whole point. Do you realize that if you’re wrong, you’re trying to get parents to needlessly damage their children? Theoretically it would be better to cooly catalogue both the benefits and risks of both the vaccines and the diseases, and the numbers involved for every factor, and let parents study both sides and make an unpressured decision. Since that’s not going to happen, parents must read a lot on both sides and remember Caveat emptor.

    Like

  42. lilady
    September 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Anne the sockpuppet:

    See my post at # 26 above…which was an analysis of the supposed injuries reported through the VAERS reports and the tracking of more than 600,000 doses of HPV vaccine administered at 10 large health care management organizations. None of doses resulted in physicians visits, ER visits or hospitalizations for serious adverse events.

    Claims reported through the VAERS, of a teen drowning months after receiving the vaccine, death in an automobile accident or fatal gunshot wounds were thoroughly investigated…as were claims of Guillain Barre Syndrome following immunization…and no links were found between these events and HPV vaccine.

    I think you need a better argument against the vaccine…this one is not working. Alternatively you and your sockies could start your own blog, or comment on anti-vaccine blogs and anti-vaccine Facebook sites.

    Like

  43. Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    anne :
    They can cause harm, but so can the vaccines. That’s the whole point. Do you realize that if you’re wrong, you’re trying to get parents to needlessly damage their children? Theoretically it would be better to cooly catalogue both the benefits and risks of both the vaccines and the diseases, and the numbers involved for every factor, and let parents study both sides and make an unpressured decision. Since that’s not going to happen, parents must read a lot on both sides and remember Caveat emptor.

    This is why we look for evidence and examine everything closely. I am fully aware of the stakes, and so I actually bothered to study the research. All of it. If you really believed in reading “both sides”, why did you ignore the follow-ups of the VAERS reports?

    Like

  44. lilady
    September 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Anne the sockpuppet: Still with your silly argument, eh?

    “Theoretically it would be better to cooly catalogue both the benefits and risks of both the vaccines and the diseases, and the numbers involved for every factor, and let parents study
    both sides and make an unpressured decision. Since that’s not going to happen, parents must read a lot on both sides and remember Caveat emptor.”

    Vaccine safety is monitored…see my post @ 26 above…I’ve linked to websites that show the safety of the HPV vaccine and there are many links to the consequences of not having your sexually naive teens vaccinated against human papiloma viruses.

    Like

  45. September 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    @anna “sock-puppet” –

    How about these facts – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

    Like

  46. Lara Lohne
    September 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    anne :
    We have different opinions on this. I, unlike you, find the tens of thousands of reports of adverse events, up to and including death, shortly after receiving the HPV vaccine, as well as the opinion of doctors like cancer researcher Dr. Diane Harper, extremely compelling. The lack of screening to take out patients previously exposed to some form of the many possible for the HPV virus, not always through sexual activity, which makes it more rather than less likely that they experience a serious form of cervical disease, and the fact that there are at least 15 carcinogenic serotypes of HPV, while only a few are included in the vaccines, meaning that the others can replicate to fill the gap left by taking out the few, are all reasons that make me believe that the vaccine is more dangerous than beneficial. It will not be known for decades the extent to which HPV vaccines may reduce the incidence of cervical cancer to a rate lower than the already greatly lowered level achieved by the Pap test alone. The vaccine does not mean girls can stop getting the Pap test, since there are other cancer-causing forms of HPV not included in the vaccine. We agree at least on that last point.
    Of course the Pap test does not prevent HPV, and of course it would be nice if there were an easy, safe way to prevent this as well as all cancers. But I, as well as many others, do not believe the vaccine is safe. From “My Daughter is One Less,” by Amy Pingel, mother of the girl left a vegetable by the HPV vaccine: “Judicial Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization, began investigating reports of adverse events from the HPV vaccine in 2007 and issued two critical reports detailing the adverse outcomes of the vaccine. After reviewing government reports on Gardasil, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, remarked, ‘The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors. Any state or local government now beset by Merck’s lobbying campaigns to mandate this HPV vaccine for young girls ought to take a look at these adverse health reports.”
    As of November 17, 2010, there have been 20,978 adverse HPV vaccine reactions reported. There are 89 deaths associated with the vaccine. The US FDA has yet to issue a position on these cases. The HHS conceded an HPV vaccine injury-related case on October 5, 2010.
    I am here to tell you that I didn’t know the harm vaccines could do. I think many parents are like me-they don’t know either. I thought vaccines would keep my children safe and healthy. That’s what the doctor told me. I never imagined that a vaccine could do this to my daughter. My doctor never told me the risks. No one else did either. I was never shown anything describing potential side effects of vaccines. If you do choose to vaccinate, you had better be very comfortable about the need for each vaccine, because every time you vaccinate your child, there is a risk of severe injury and death. It is crucial that parents understand what is at stake and that the choice is theirs to make. I am not telling you not to vaccinate. I am telling you that people who pressure you to vaccinate don’t own the consequences. Only you, as parents, do.”

    Pap tests do not lower the incidence of cancer, they only help with identifying abnormal cells which could possibly be cancer, but could also be something else. If cancer is found it can be treated, but not always successfully and typically with life altering surgery (particularly if the cancer victim is a very young woman or even still in her child baring years and wishes to have children, or more children.) If a vaccine can actually prevent the abnormal cells to begin with, yes, paps will still be needed, but the incidence of abnormal paps will be less, therefore less chance of cancer, therefore fewer women who must undergo radical surgery just to stay alive. Can you not see how your priorities are skewed? Prevention is significantly different from treatment and I’m pretty sure a three shot vaccine series is significantly less then radical hysterectomy and potentially radiation or chemo therapies. Not to mention all the follow up that must be done, most likely for the rest of the woman’s life to make sure the cancer doesn’t return.

    Like

  47. October 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm
  48. October 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm
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