Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How the Internet Hijacked My Day

CDC Director Gerberding Gives Green Light to Gardasil then Goes to Work for Merck  (g1a2d0049c1)
Image Courtesy: watchingfrogsboil

I had a long list of things to do yesterday, but none of it happened. Why? My day got hijacked by a news story, a comment from the hubs, and the endlessly fascinating maze that is the internet.

The story: Twelve girls from the same high school in Leroy, NY have developed mysterious “Tourette-like” symtoms since the start of school. Leroy, NY is a thirty minute drive from my house.

The comment from hubs: “This might be a shot in the dark, but how about Gardasil?”

As far as I can tell, no information has been released as to whether these girls have had recent vaccines of any kind. One news article reports: “NYS Health Department spokesman Jeff Hammond also says vaccines such as Gardasil were investigated as a cause and ruled out.” (Source)

Here’s some interesting things about Gardasil, HVP, and cervical cancer that I found on the web.

1. Gardasil is a vaccine available to girls and boys ages 9 to 26. It’s given to prevent certain strains of the human paploma virus. The strains of HPV the vaccine targets may lead to cervical cancer, genital warts, and precancerous lesions among other diseases. (See Merck’s insert for full details here)

2. HPV is widespread in the population (20 million presently have it and 50% of sexual active people are expected to acquire an HPV infection in their lifetime).

3. explains that in 90 percent of HPV cases, the body's immune system will rid itself of both low-risk and high-risk HPV strains.

4. How strong is the evidence that HPV leads to cervical cancer?

From Very few HPV infections lead to cervical cancer.

From News with Views: Repeated transient HPV infections even when caused by high risk types of HPVs are characteristically not associated with an increased risk of developing squamous intraepithelial lesions, the precursor lesion of cervical cancer.

From Mike Adams at Dispatch From the Trenches: A woman found to be positive for the same strain (genotype) of HPV on repeated testing is highly likely suffering from a persistent HPV infection and is considered to be at high risk of developing precancerous intraepithelial lesions in the cervix . It is the persistent infection, not the virus, that determines the cancer risk.”

Say what? The women at risk are the ones with an HPV infection that persists as opposed to several different HPV infections.

5. How many people get cervical cancer?

According to National Cancer Institute, 12, 710 estimated new cases in 2011

6. How many are dying from cervical cancer?

Again, NCI stats for 2011 was estimated at 4, 290.

7. If you don’t get the Gardasil vaccine, how can you protect yourself against cervical cancer?

From Pre-cancer cells can be found before they have a chance to grow into cancer by having regular Pap tests.

A yearly Pap smear is also recommend by Merck.

8. This one is important: If you have a benign cervical HPV viral infection before receiving the vaccine, the vaccine can increase your risk of developing cancer. So imagine this scenario: Mom and sixteen-year-old sitting in pediatrian’s office. Daughter is too embarrassed to admit to sexual activity and gets her HPV vaccine, not knowing she already has HPV. The chances of her benign infection converting to a precancerous state just increased by 44%. Yikes. (Source)

This also explains why the age of patients eligible for Gardasil is so low. The drug is most effective if it is given before exposure to HVP. In other words, they want the girls to have it before they become sexually active.

9. What are the side effects of Gardasil?

According to Merck’s insert, patients have to be carefully monitored during the injection because they may faint and/or have a seizure (stiffening of limbs followed by uncontrolled jerking of limbs and face).

Another reported side effect during injection is anaphylaxis--a severe allergic reaction that may result in death. Read here for more detail on symptoms including difficulty breathing, dizziness, vomiting, slurred speech and hives.

After the injection, the possible side effects include: headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, pain at injection site.

There have been serious adverse reactions including: gastroenteritis, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and a long list of systemic (all over the body) autoimmune disorders.

Out of around 29,300 people in the study group, 40 died. According to the Merck insert, this number is not out of bounds with what happens to a healthy population of this age and size. Five deaths were from car accidents for example.

10. Why do some people want Gardasil banned?

Here’s something to chew on from This article criticizes the way control groups were handled in Gardasil studies. The people in the study were given one of three things: Gardasil, a control without the vaccine but with amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant (its purpose is to stimulate an immune response), or a saline placebo.

The substance that the anti-vaccine folks are worried about is the aluminum hydroxyphosphate because it crosses the blood/brain barrier and has a history of wreaking havoc. So that control group is worthless; it’s part of the experiment. (More about aluminum and vaccines here.)

If you go through the Merk insert, they only separate the aluminum control from the saline placebo for pain associated with the injection site. For all the rest of the data on deaths and severe adverse reactions, the aluminum control and the saline placebo are lumped together. Not only is the data misleading, it is useless to those who suspect this aluminum is the poisonous part of the vaccine!

The anti-vaccine folks fear Merck is pushing Gardasil for the money. At $400 bucks a patient for the three shots, no wonder they want every kid (girls and boys) to roll up their sleeves. Many sites distrust Merck in the wake of the Vioxx scandal. This popular arthritis drug was pulled after 27, 785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths were linked to the drug. (Source)

If you’re still with me at this point, you may be bored reading these lists and facts. Ho-hum. Every vaccine has risks and a small portion of the population is expected to experience adverse reactions, right?

Now check out this website:

The nine beautiful girls described here are dead and their families hold Gardasil responsible.

Under the injuries and injuries continued links are dozens of horror stories about how other girl’s lives were ravaged after receiving the vaccine. Some found doctors who conclusively told them their medical problems were caused by Gardasil. Others still struggle to find a diagnosis or a doctor that will believe them.

Here's a sample of quotes from different girls before and after their Gardasil shots. I picked the ones that stand out in connection to the Leroy case:

Before the shot:

“I had always been a pretty healthy teenager with the exception of a few asthma attacks every year, which were usually mild and easy to treat. I was in school and sports and always active.”

“I am the Mom of a beautiful, 15-yr-old girl who, up until recently, was healthy and very well-adjusted. She attended high school, was a great student, was involved in marching band and our church youth group until a few weeks ago.”

“My now 14yr old Daughter has always been a healthy, active and straight A student.”

“You see, up until this point, my daughter had been a normal happy active teenager. In fact, she was used to running six to ten miles a day, and so loved her sport that she had just days before this ordeal began, came back from her last meet. She was so talented, she was competing at the state level, had set several school records, was being recruited by numerous colleges and was ranked as one of the best in the state.”

After the shot:

“Over the next few days we started noticing random muscle twitches that would make my body jump and that I had started to faint more often. We thought it could be because of my anxiety and new anxiety medication, but bought it up to my doctor anyway. She put me on Ativan and told me to go to to a councilor, so we did.”

“In January of 2009 we went for the second shot . . . The muscle twitches became worse as did the fainting spells. My doctor insisted that because I had just turned 19 that it was just anxiety about growing up.”

“She was given a clean bill of health the day she got the shot. Within 20 minutes she was so sick. She began vomiting, shaking, experiencing migraine headaches, numbness, fatigue and high fever. She literally slept for 4 days.”

“She began experiencing headaches, dizzy spells and achy, shaky legs within days of receiving the first shot of the Gardasil vaccine on July 30, 2009.”

“On 11/5/08 during a routine physical, she received her 1st dose of Gardasil. The following week she complained of headaches & felt tired. On 11/29/08 she had a headache and stayed in bed all day. She got up that afternoon & had 2 seizures. She was rushed to the ER. Her condition became critical after she lost all motor skills & became unresponsive. She was life flight to Riley’s Hospital in Indianapolis. She spent 4 months in the PICU. Her condition remained critical. She was put on a ventilator & feeding tube. She also had uncontrollable movements, extremely high heart rate (up to180 bpm), high fevers including 1 that was 108.7 degrees, she remained in a medical induced coma. She was given extensive testing and the ONLY result we do have is that she has Encephalitis.”

“She was weak, dizzy, severely fatigued, still unable to breathe, still having chest pains, and begining to have leg tremors.”

“My problems started a few days after my first Gardasil shot; though I didn’t connect them to it as I’ve never had an adverse reaction to [or been allergic to] anything in my life. My symptoms include skin problems, twitching, muscle cramps and stiffness, muscle weakness, ice pick headaches, brain fog and concentration problems, as well as trouble with spelling and finding the right word.”

“It’s amazing how everyone’s symptoms are identical, and how their diagnoses are the same- a Conversion Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. And yet, researching those, we saw that all cases are different, not one case is the same. We are all being told we are mentally ill to cover up the damage being done by this horrible vaccine.”

Ready for a Twilight Zone moment? Read this. Kinda spooky, considering that last quote.

So, that’s why I'm very curious if the Leroy girls had the Gardasil vaccine.

Those little excerpts above don’t do the injured girl’s stories justice at all. If you are considering the Gardasil vaccine for you or your kids, I encourage to explore these sites and do your research before you make your decision.

I’m not sorry I spent a day learning about all this because I have two lovely daughters ages 7 and 5. I have never questioned vaccines before and they got all their shots as recommended. However, they will not be getting Gardasil—no way.

What do you think? Would you let your child have the Gardasil vaccine?


  1. We had a foster daughter who had it and it went away on its own. (Which was good for her.)
    Of course the best way to avoid it is to not have sex!

  2. Great point! I will definitely be talking to my daughters (at age-appropriate times) about sex, STDs, and AIDS. Waiting until you are older (after high school) and having few (or only one) sex partners is smart.

  3. Everyone has to educate themselves and make that personal, informed choice when it comes to vaccines. I hope to educate my children about safe sex practices, in addition to considering the benefits and risks of vaccination.

  4. Omg this is frightening. You asked if we would let our children get this vaccination. We didn't have a choice. My thirteen year old daughter (7th grade) was required to have the vaccination prior to being permitted to enter the public school system in our state for middle school. All girls (although I have heard of boys getting it as well) who had either reached the age of twelve or who were entering middle school were required to have this series of three shots. I am just now hearing the horror stories. Fortunately she did not suffer any negative effects other that pain at the injection site and the ped's office makes them lie down for twenty minutes after the shot because you can faint.

    Thanks for sharing this info.

  5. Melissa, that is scary. I am so glad there haven't been any problems with your daughter. Keep in mind this vaccination has been given to millions and the vast majority are fine. The problem is that the side affects that do affect a small percentage are severe. Moms really have to educate themselves about the risks and benefits of vaccines. If someone had suggested I give my kids Gardasil two weeks ago, I would have said, "Okay." I had no idea what was happening.


I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)