Monday, December 9, 2013

HPV Fears Circulating

Fears about the HPV vaccine have been circulating on the Internet again, in large part because of an article that was originally published in 2009. The negative publicity that the vaccine has been receiving scares parents and is potentially very harmful to those that go unvaccinated.

In 2009, Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead scientists that developed the HPV vaccine was invited to speak at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination. Although the name sounds reputable, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), one of the oldest and best-established anti-vaccine groups, holds the conference. While speaking at the conference, Dr. Harper made some comments about Gardasil (an HPV vaccine) that were misconstrued in an article by Natural News. This original article has re-circulated many times, causing fear in parents.

Dr. Harper clarified her statements and tried to correct the misconceptions. Her recent writings, including a 2012 peer-reviewed article, show that she is very supportive of Cervarix, and her comments at the conference may have been based on the fact that she saw more promise with Cervarix than Gardasil.

In a blog post on the Skeptical Raptor, the author notes:
Dr. Harper is an advocate for the vaccine, and has remained steadfastly in support of the vaccine over the past few years. She has some nuanced concerns about the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine if women have regular screenings for pre-cancerous cells, but she has never said that it was unsafe or ineffective. And many researchers disagree with her reliance on pre-screening, because even pre-cancerous cells may cause significant issues to reproductive health–in other words, preventing even milder forms of HPV-induced diseases add significantly to the overall benefit of the vaccine…Gardasil saves lives, and Dr. Diane Harper says that.

HPV recently made the news in other areas too. Two young women in Wisconsin, who are sisters, have filed a court case claiming the aluminum in the HPV vaccine caused an autoimmune response that led to premature ovarian failure.

Dr. Elizabeth J. Neary of Madison, Wisconsin counters their claim and states: “The aluminum adjuvant used in the vaccine was used in tetanus vaccines as early as the 1930s and continues to be used today. Aluminum is in our water, food (baking powder, cheese) and medications (antacids). The average daily diet contains 20 times the amount of aluminum contained in this one vaccine. “ She continues to warn that if fewer young women get the HPV vaccine, we will definitely see more young women get cervical cancer.

“The vaccine is spectacularly safe and effective. It’s been used in millions and millions of people around the world with essentially no unexpected or unusual, abnormal or serious affects,” Dr. Thomas Broker of Alabama adds. “The fact that it’s two sisters presumably vaccinated at different times, different batches, yet later coming down with the same problem suggests very much it was likely a genetic bases of that disesase.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 57 million people got the HPV vaccine over the last seven years. They further state that the HPV vaccine will prevent some of the nearly 26,000 new cases of cancers caused each year by HPV. Vaccine Watch urges readers to carefully screen Internet material and check sources, not all information on the Internet is accurate. Parents with concerns about the HPV vaccine should speak with their physician or child’s pediatrician.

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