HPV Vaccinations: Much Ado about Nothing?

Overnight mandatory HPV vaccinations have become the nation’s newest polarizing social issue. Are they a good idea or a bad idea? Dangerous or safe? Very good questions, but, if laws are passed requiring children to get the vaccination, the answers to these inquires won’t matter will they?

So, before big brother gears up to infringe on our liberties again. Let’s see how necessary these HPV vaccinations really are. Dr. Fuhrman emailed me a link to a study appearing in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The research examines prevalence of HPV infection among females in the United States. Here’s some of the introduction:
A highly efficacious prophylactic vaccine against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 was licensed in June 2006 and recommended for routine use in females aged 11 to 12 years in the United States.11-14 Clinical studies of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine demonstrated close to 100% efficacy in preventing infection and disease (cervical cancer precursors, genital lesions) associated with types included in the vaccine in analyses restricted to those women who were naive to HPV types 6, 11, 16, or 18 (either by HPV DNA or HPV antibodies).

Representative data on type-specific prevalence of HPV DNA detection in the United States could provide a baseline estimate to measure the wide-scale impact of the vaccine for reducing infection and could help guide models evaluating impact and cost effectiveness. With widespread implementation of the prophylactic HPV vaccine, decreases in the prevalence of vaccine HPV types would be expected. To determine a prevaccine population-based prevalence of cervicovaginal HPV in the United States, we performed HPV DNA testing on self-collected vaginal swabs among females participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004.
Now, I’m sure a large portion of the populous believes that the government is just looking out for us and that this medication will save millions of lives--or is this maybe about millions of dollars? If young girls across the country are being injected with the HPV vaccination Gardasil, wouldn’t the makers of Gardasil stand to make a whole lot of money?

So then, it’s probably a good idea for vaccine manufacturers to kick the hype-machine into overdrive. Especially since according to Dr. Fuhrman Gardasil only protects against a small percentage of HPV cases:
Gardasil, the new Merck HPV vaccine, protects against 4 types of HPV and these four types were only found in 3.4 percent.
  1. 44 percent of women studied aged 20 – 24 had infections with HPV.
  2. The virus disappears and does not cause a problem in 90 percent of infected women.
  3. 100 strains exist, the vaccine protects against only 4, but they include the two strains associated with seventy percent of cervical cancers 16 and 18.
  4. The vaccine has not been studied for long-term effectiveness and the protection may wear off in 5 – 7 years.
  5. Conclusion, most HPV infections and about 50 percent of HPV related cancers will not likely be helped by the vaccine because its effectiveness will likely wane with time, other strains can also cause disease.
Stuff like this proves how powerful spreading panic can be. Float some new fears out there and people will basically believe anything you tell them. For more the HPV vaccination situation, take a gander at these previous posts:
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Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Tamara Baxter - March 7, 2007 7:32 AM

You fail to mention the morbitiy that is caused by all four types of HPV. This vaccine is not only about protection against cervical cancer. It will also protect against high and low grade dysplasia which can result in the need for medical procedures, as well as genital warts which are difficult to treat and cause significant emotional distress. Tell the hole story.

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