At the Autism One Conference a couple moms talked to me about the Gardasil vaccine to prevent HPV. They were concerned about the side effects. Today at the television station, we ran this story from the medical company Medstar:
Recently, the CDC reported that, in the last two years, more than 450 youngsters fainted after getting a vaccination. That may explain why some teeangers are taking a new position on the HPV vaccine.
When 13-year-old Lauren Breidigam had a vaccination to prevent cervical cancer, she got more than the typical pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. She conked out. Lauren Beidigam said, "I remember feeling her put the band aid on and then I just went."
Heather Breidigam said, "It was almost like she didn't have a bone in her body and she started to twitch and I had said to the nurse, I said 'oh my gosh, she's out, she's out cold.'" That surprised both Breidigams. They didn't see fainting listed as a side effect on their patient information sheet. It wasn't until after the incident that heather saw it mentioned on the vaccine company's website.
Heather Breidigam said, "I wish, as a parent, I would have known that. I think I would have been a little more prepared." Researchers aren't sure why, but about 10 percent of girls in studies for the vaccine got dizzy or passed out after the shot. Dr. Larry Glazerman said, "That was in both patients receiving vaccine and placebo. the incidence was about the same. so again, is it because you're coming at an adolescent girl with a needle? I don't know, but it certainly might be."
To be safe rather than sorry, doctors are proposing an easy solution. Dr. Larry Glazerman said, "The recommendation as a result of this, is pretty simple. just that you give them a vaccine either sitting down or lying down and you watch them for 15 or 20 minutes just to make sure that they don't have any significant reaction." The vaccine is given in a series of three shots. lauren has two more to go. And, now all the wiser, she'll be prepared. She plans to take them lying down. The Gardasil vaccine protects against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
It's recommended for girls ages 9 to 26. For more information and a full list of side effects go to the drug company's website at Gardasil.com
You can also find more in depth information about this story on WHOI.
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