Monday, August 11, 2008

CDC says Gardasil needs more study

From CNN:

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.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Maria said...

While it may be nothing, it might be something. The testing should have been done before hand. The safety should have been proven before millions of girls were vaccinated-- and if not, they should have been informed about participating in a trial and the risks involved.

Knight in Dragonland said...

Products are released onto the market based on the available evidence, and for vaccines that standard is rather stringent. Gardasil was tested in four studies including around 20,000 women who were followed for 2-4 years before the product was even submitted for FDA approval. There is no way to "prove" safety to everyone's satisfaction. We'd never have any new therapies if that was the standard.

Sometimes rare side effects emerge once products are released on the market. The CDC is doing what they are supposed to do ... they're looking at the reports placed into the VAERS system and doing a more in-depth analysis to see if there is any evidence of causation. Right now all we have is coincidence. Just because several people were wearing blue when they were struck by lightning doesn't mean that blue clothing attracts lightning strikes.

Anonymous said...

I have a daughter that I should get the vaccine for. I just can't quite decide if it is worth taking the risk. This is a difficuly choice to make--vaccinate & take a chance that everything will be ok or don't vaccinate & take the same chance.

Template by lollybloggerdesigns. Design by Taylor Johnston.