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    Is Gardasil Vaccine Worth the Risk?

    August 2008 | Filed under General Interest, Health Topics

    In an economy when even Big Pharma is doing all it can to increase profits (including the constant increase in the cost of prescription meds) one has to wonder what’s up with the major “I want to be one less” marketing campaign.

    Gardasil protects only against the HPV strains linked most strongly to cervical cancer, “we don’t know if it will make a difference in the ultimate rates of cancer,” says Abby Lippman, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal who has researched the HPV vaccine. “The jury is still out on how much benefit we’re actually going to get with this vaccine.”

    A report released in June stirred up more doubts. Although cause and effect were not proved, the report listed serious events — such as seizures, spontaneous abortions and even deaths — among teens, preteens and young women who had earlier had Gardasil shots.

    As a result, the decision — to vaccinate or not? — has become controversial. Sorting through the pros and cons can be daunting for many parents.

    Related articles:

    Gardasil vaccine doubts grow

    A cancer vaccine given to teenage girls is generating major concerns after the side effects were reported to be not worth it.

    [...] “She’s never been sick,” said Williams of her daughter. “She’s never been in the hospital, nothing, until the Gardasil shot.”

    Two months after getting the shot, Williams said her daughter got a rash on her face and arms, leaving scars behind as evidence.The girl reported having swelling all over, pain in her joints and poor circulation in her fingertips.Williams said the doctors treating her daughter diagnosed her with an auto-immune disease and she said it is possible the Gardasil triggered the illness, though she made it clear the cause could not be proved.According to a federal tracking system called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, there have been 9,749 adverse reactions following the vaccination. (Read Full Article Here)

    RECOMMENDED READING: “Your Personal Guide to Immunization Exemptions”

    More and more vaccines are added to the list parents must consider. In February of 2007 Governor Rick Perry of Texas issued an order making HPV vaccination of preteen girls in his state mandatory. Now 21 states and the District of Columbia are considering similar laws. And the CDC has issued a Universal Recommendation that the vaccine be given to all 11-12 year-old girls in the United States.

    In Your Personal Guide to Immunization Exemptions, author Grace Girdwain advises parents about communicating with school officials and discusses ever-changing state laws. Recent developments illustrate just how difficult and painful challenging government officials can be.

    Last November Maryland’s State’s Attorney General issued a statement that public health officials would use whatever means necessary, including threats of jail to parents, in order to get young children vaccinated against childhood and other diseases. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, children in Maryland who have not been vaccinated are expelled from school, and parents, facing truancy laws, can then be forced to have their children comply with vaccination policies or face fines and jail time. Currently children in most states are required to have 38 immunization shots by the time they enter public school. Worries about increases in the rates of autism that some think could be linked to immunizations and stated apprehensions about the rapidly increasing numbers of immunizations required continue to appear in articles, interviews, and blogs, making it difficult for parents to decide what to do.

    Girdwain’s book, which answers the toughest questions faced by parents who desire to meet proper compliance with the least amount of resistance, will discover a great deal of support and invaluable information in this volume.

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