The girls both really liked this new doctor, but at the end of Lola's visit, she still pulled out the state's printout of their current vaccinations and pointed out that they are both missing the chickenpox and HPV vaccines. I told her I wasn't comfortable giving either of them those vaccines and she implored me to rethink it, telling me that she feels like they are both perfectly safe. I didn't have the balls or the time to ask where she formed that opinion.
I have since read more and more about the HPV vaccine (namely, Gardasil) that scares the crap out of me. In the interest of paraphrasing for those of you who don't wish to read the clinical studies or spend nearly an hour watching the YouTube video below, let me share what I've learned thus far. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I am NOT a physician or a clinical researcher, but I did graduate college with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry and spent eight years as a medical/surgical assistant in various settings. I feel pretty confident in my ability to dissect a medical study. Here goes:
- The HPV vaccine was created based on the premise that the human papilloma virus is responsible for some cervical cancers. It is also touted as an effective way to prevent infection by HPV in the first place. However, fully 70% of HPV infections resolve themselves without ANY treatment in the first year. That number climbs to 90% after two years. As a good friend of mine says, there is nothing stronger than a human's own immune system. So, of the 10% of HPV infections that persist after two years, less than half of them are present in cancer of the cervix.
- There are 104 different strains of HPV. Some studies say that four of them are correlated with cervical cancer, others say three. The Gardasil vaccine is designed to guard against two of those strains. It seems unlikely that the rate of prevention of cervical cancer is high enough in those two instances to warrant vaccinating everyone over the age of 9.
- Pap smears are responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancer diagnoses in the world and cervical cancer is one of the least fatal cancers around, considering it's ease of treatment. In addition, HPV is not considered to be the sole cause of cervical cancer and it is unknown whether it works in concert with other factors.
- The current death rate in the United States from cervical cancer is between 1.5 and 4 per 100,000. A physician who works for Merck (the company that created Gardasil) admitted that the rate of reported side effects from the vaccine is higher than the rate of cervical cancer. Please keep in mind that for a side effect to be considered "adverse" it has to result in significant illness or disability or death, generally after an ER visit. So those kinds of effects are MORE LIKELY to occur than the CANCER ITSELF.
- As if that isn't enough, here's another shocker: rates of adverse vaccine effects are based on a ratio of the number of reported adverse effects to the number of vaccines distributed from the manufacturer. Wait for it...that means that they are completely disregarding the number of vaccinations that are actually given. There are vast numbers of vaccines that are thrown out every day in this country thanks to expiration dates or power failures or damaged packaging. That means that the ratio of REPORTED adverse effects is actually much higher than reported by the drug companies because they are not counting those vaccines that are discarded. Even higher than that, because according to the American Journal of Public Health (and some common sense thinking), the vast majority of adverse effects are never even reported.
And speaking of 'adverse effects,' the YouTube video embedded here *(for some reason, the link doesn't show up in the post, despite showing up in my HTML version, so here is the URL in case you're interested) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoWUSuGCo-I details the lack of interest by Merck or regulating bodies in the effects Gardasil may be having on fertility rates in girls. There have been many reported incidences of girls receiving this vaccine and going into menopause. Yes, you read that correctly, their ovaries stop working. And because this vaccine is being pushed to girls as young as 9 in the US, we don't even have information on their menstrual periods because most of them haven't started yet, and they may never reach menarche because of this vaccine.