Major concerns about a vaccine given to many teen girls. The Centers for Disease Control says Gardasil helps prevent certain types of cervical cancer. But since Gardasil hit the market two and a half years ago - there's been an alarming number of serious adverse reactions and even deaths that some say are linked to the vaccineand as more girls come forward alleging the vaccine made them sick, the more confusion and mystery there is surrounding Gardasil and its manufacturer Merck.
According to a federal tracking system - called Vaers - there have been 9,749 adverse reactions following the vaccination -- and 21 reported deaths since 2006. But Merck - Gardasil's maker - points out these are anecdotal cases.
In a statement, Merck officials say quote: "An adverse experience report describes an event that occurred after vaccination and does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused or contributed to the event."
The acting immunization safety director for the Centers for Disease Control - says Vaers does not provide enough information for researchers to prove whether Gardasil caused any of the side effects reported, and that the majority of the 8 million girls who have gotten the vaccine have had no problems.
While the CDC believes Gardasil is safe - a conservative watchdog group called Judicial Watch, which has been studying Gardasil safety, says parents' concerns about the vaccine are valid.
The CDC says it's working on a comprehensive study right now that will determine whether or not there is a pattern that links Gardasil to some of these serious side effects. That study is expected to be released in October.
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