• Amy Laskowski

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    Photo of Amy Laskowski. A white woman with long brown hair pulled into a half up, half down style and wearing a burgundy top, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Amy Laskowski is a senior writer at Boston University. She is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU and helps manage and edit the work of BU Today’s interns. She did her undergrad at Syracuse University and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. Profile

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There are 9 comments on The ABCs of HPV

  1. This is a total crock. This vaccination is dangerous like many of the other vaccinations the pharmaceutical companies push on the unwary public to bolster their products. The number of people permanently maimed and killed by this poison make it not wise to use. In none of these studies have i seen figures for how many people this virus kills yearly and until that number FAR exceeds the number of people injured by the cure it is not viable.

    1. According to your statement, you’ve read over many of the studies regarding this vaccine. If that’s the case, could you please list the study and statistics that give figures for how many people are “permanently maimed and killed” by the HPV vaccine?

      Otherwise, your statement is likely just part of the anti-vaccination movement (a la Michele Bachmann and Jenny McCarthy), as there is no data whatsoever to support this stance, other than a study in which the researchers completely fabricated the data.

      1. I don’t have enough information to understand the risk vs. benefit equation for HPV vaccines, but I think the same questions that Terry asked to James should be asked of Rebecca (and maybe it was but not printed here) and asked of all of the doctors who give this (and other) vaccine(s) – namely please site the statistics of the side effects. The comment “…people can be allergic to things in a vaccine, but the rates of any serious side effect seem to be low…” is a very soft statement without any actual data.

        I think many vaccines are beneficial from a public health perspective, but once a lot of diseases are wiped out at some point the benefit vs. risk equation becomes less of a slam dunk. Let’s say they come out with a vaccine for strain A strep, which kills about 2,000 people a year in the US (compared to 4,000 women who die of cervical cancer each year in the US), but 0.x% of people who take the strep vaccine get a life threatening blood clot. How low does x have to be for you to consider giving it to your child? If a doctor tells you that the risk is lower than other vaccines, is s/he giving you enough info to make an informed decision? I don’t think so. But too many people inherently trust doctors to do that and so will go along with their suggestions without further research on their own.

        In my experience, doctors don’t provide patients (and parents of patients) with enough information to make an informed decision about the risks. My comments here are not intended to pass judgment on HPV vaccines, but to encourage a more honest dialogue about risk vs. benefit. A general anti-vaccine movement is not in our best interest, but neither is suppressing the facts of side effects for fear of over reaction.

  2. I was curious about the side-effect and death rates associated with these vaccines, seeing as the article does not include these statistics. According to the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/gardasil.html – last updated October 2011), it does not appear that there is anything to worry about. Seemingly all serious and non-serious side effects could not be wholly attributed to the vaccine and there is no increase in rates to suggest a connection.

    While it is near impossible to prove the profit intentions of the pharmaceutical companies, statistics like those mentioned in the article are quite shocking…and possibly a bit misleading. Many of the HPV strains are completely harmless and go away by itself. The vaccine is most useful because it prevents the worst of the strains (those that cause 70% of cervical cancer – 16 & 18). Since most health officials normally just stress condom use or regular check-ups, HPV (the non-wart strains) is the dangerous exception due to few to no symptoms and the inability to check males!

    Imagine the following hypothetical: You decide not to have your daughter not vaccinated. Years after her wedding to her only sexual partner (who has had previous partners and was tested for all other STDs), she finds out that she has HPV strain 16. It has progressed quickly into later stages of cancer and she needs treatment, which may include removal of the uterus or radiation. After treatment, she is unable to successfully carry a child.

    If all it takes to prevent the sadness that my daughter would have is 3 vaccine shots, I would do it.

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  4. You saying that the fact that there are no major studies which have linked these vaccinations to any problems is an indication that they are safe is about as misinformed as anything I have ever seen.

    Reality is that government testing procedures have complexity levels in their requirements that would eliminate virtually any small independently conducted study. The only people who have the resources to carry out these types of tests are Pharmaceutical companies. Logically this is a problem because the only companies which have the resources to actually sufficiently test these vaccines have ZERO motivation to do so. They are after all the same companies who sell the vaccines.

    The absence of evidence against these vaccines in no way shows that they don’t cause problems. This is simple logic.

    I for one would refuse vaccination based solely on the non-active ingredients they use as stabilizers along with the actual vaccine. In many vaccines, these stabilizers (example: formaldehyde) are dangerous enough that I would not put in my body under any circumstances.

  5. I had the first two doses of the HPV vaccine in high school and never could receive the third due to a whole slew of serious health problems I’ve acquired after nearly dying. My mother was uneasy about me having the vaccine in the first place, but my pediatrician was very eager for me to have to it. This was shortly afterthe vaccine first came out. After the first shot, I noticed that things in my body seemed off, and after the second I almost died. Years later, I still struggle with damage to my nervous system and other symptoms that puzzle doctors. It is difficult to confirm 100% that Gardasil was the culprit, but I, along with doctors, believe it to be. It’s the only thing that makes sense with the timing, type, and severity of my health issues. Now doctors are afraid to give me any vaccinations of any kind or even a flu shot.
    Basically, my point is that while the promise of a vaccine that can help prevent HPV sounds great, it lacks significant testing for safety. There have been a number of cases similar to my own reported to the CDC and even deaths. I do not believe it’s such a good idea to be encouraging people to get this vaccine when the safety of it has not been adequately confirmed.

  6. There is currently a class action suit in Australia by girls who have been severely damaged by this vaccine. THe same thing would be happening here if Merck wasn’t protected by the vaccine injury court and the defective design decision by the supreme court last feb. Like all vaccines, this one is listed as “unavoidably Unsafe” and contains the nano aluminum salt AAAS which is a know neuruotoxin. There are many articles on the dangers of aluminum nana salts.
    In addition, the antibodies triggered by the vaccine last, on average 3-5 years for girls and even less than that for boys. This vaccine has been heavily marketed by MErck and propaganda materials distributed to medical societies and academy meetings as “educational material”. It’s unfortunate that there is so little awareness of the big picture. I suspect Merck is funding the research the writer is involved in , or at least funds the department.

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