Did I ruin my life by taking Gardasil? please read.

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I posted this in the general forum at first because I didn't find this one. Sorry. But I thought I would get more help here so:

I am 21 and I asked all my friends if they had gotten any side effects from taking Gardasil. Everyone said no. Even my sister took with without anything bad happening. I was around 13 when they first announced that the vaccine was available, but mom told me to avoid taking it because it was so new. It's been almost 10 years ago since the vaccine came out, and where I live they now vaccinate girls in 5th and 6th grade (that's why my sister took it), and I've heard no more reports about it. No one in my sisters grade (they are like 30 girls) had any problems with the vaccine. She told me that some of her friends thought it hurt and they got a headache, but that was it. So both me and my mom thought that it shouldn't be that bad. So I decided that I wanted to take it, because the media has made it seem like it's really important to take it, and most of my friends also took it. I felt pressured because I'm terrified of diseases and I felt like this was important. 

I decided to take the first shot two days ago. It hurt SO BAD. My arm hurt and I got dizzy and stayed at the hospital for 30 minutes (the nurse who took the shot adviced me to stay afterwards, before even taking it just because I got a fever from the Swine Flu vaccine). When I then walked home, I was still dizzy and I felt weak. I think I felt dizzy the rest of the day. During the evening I decided to google about the vaccine (WHY DIDN'T I DO IT BEFOREHAND?!) and read about how bad and unneccessary it really is. And how many girls and women have gotten syndromes etc. that they now have to live with for the rest of their lives. It's been on the market for soo long, why is no one stopping it?

Yesterday (the day after I took the vaccine) I felt a bit dizzy, but not really. My arm still hurt a little bit. But I also didn't sleep many hours that night. During the evening I got a really bad headache and went to bed early. I woke up in the middle of the night and I was sweating. I took my temperature in the morning and it was at 36.7 degrees Celsius, so no fever. But I still felt hot. Now my left arm and hand (where I took the shot) hurts a lot, more than yesterday. I did NOT sleep on my left arm, but on the right, and that arm feels fine. The pain doesn't entirely come from the spot where they injected the vaccine though (upper arm). It's more from the bend of my arm, down to my hand. I've read about girls getting the guillain-barré syndrome. But some have gotten other syndroms after taking the shot. 

So, My question and concern is... Well. I was stupid enough to take the first shot. There is no way I'll take the second and third. I feel safer that way. BUT, is the damage already done for me? I read that a 20 year old woman got POTS 2 months after her FIRST shot. Another one, also in her 20s got it 15 days after. Someone got something else around 6 months later. I'm literally going to have anxiety for a year now, worrying that I will get something that I have to live with. Could the vaccine affect me in a year or more? I mean, could I get guillain-barré syndrome, POTS, or whatever a year or more after because of it?

I am SO SO SO scared that I might get something. I'm terrified of diseases. I feel like I have ruined my life and I wish I could turn back time to where I didn't take it. Even if I were to feel fine in a few days, I still regret taking it because vaccines put pressure on the immune system. And I'm definitely gonna vaccinate my kids if I ever get them, but NOT with Gardasil. Ovarian Cancer is apparently not even common where I live. I found out about it afterwards. I'm so incredibly mad at myself for not reading more into it BEFORE I took the shot. But what's done is done, sadly.

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  • Posted

    Yes, there are lots of antivax websites that tell really scary fairy stories based on nothing but the imagination of the people running them. If you believe these provide the best and most reliable information, I doubt whether anything I say will change it, but just in case you want a few facts I'll mention a few.

    Almost all of the 12000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in the US are a result of an HPV infection and there are still around 5000 deaths there are also a number of other cancers that occur in both sexes that are also associated with infection including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). The vaccine offers good protection against a number of these viruses and covers the ones that are the most common causes of cancer.(they keep increasing the number of strains covered)

    You are right in that we have nearly 10 years of experience, I think Australia was the first country to introduce it into the vaccination schedule and they already have evidence of a huge reduction in the rate of HPV infection.

    Of course any medical product like vaccines can have adverse effects and every vaccine is evaluated in terms of its risks and benefits, vaccines are among the most monitored therapeutic agents on the planet and this is conducted across the globe. Generally the risks are well know as is the incidence of serious adverse events. You ask why they allow Gardasil to remain on the market, well that's because its highly effective and has a very low incidence of serious adverse events, it is known to be associated with fainting at the time of vaccination, so they tend to give it sitting down and like a lot of vaccines it can cause arm soreness and some flu like symptoms, but these tend to be mild. You comment about vaccines stressing the immune system, this is a common statement on anti vax sites, they seem not to be aware of what the immune systems job is. We are in fact exposed to hundreds of potential antigens every day and our immune system manages these things, generally extremely well. The development of specific antibodies against infections is one of the ways it does this. It increasingly looks as if reducing the amount of exposure to antigens, particularly early in life is what is likely to cause harm rather than to many.

    The authors of these blogs can not really be expected to understand immunity and how vaccines are evaluated, its just unfortunate that they still feel that they are in a position to offer advice and even put their own and other peoples children at risk. We have in fact been close to eliminating both polio and measles from the world, like we did with smallpox, but thanks to the efforts of these people both diseases made something of a recovery.

    You have asked a lot of people who have had the vaccine and they all seem OK, a number of health professionals have offered advice, but you apparently want to believe some unsupported stories by strangers who even admit they know virtually nothing about the subject. Your even happy to put your kids at risk.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. It made me a bit calmer.

      But do you by any chance know for how many years the vaccine can affect you? I know at least a couple of months. But will the vaccine itself be withdrawn from the body in a year or more? I know the immune system copies the virus, and you should be protected for life, or at least a really long time because the immune system REMEMBERS it. But I mean the "harmful" stuff in the vaccine itself that have given these girls POTS, GBS etc. Should I have to worry for the rest of my life?

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  • Posted

    The immunity lasts at least 10 years and probably longer.. I think if you had read the same stuff it would have put you off, and that puts you at greater risk than having it. The more serious autoimmune conditions tend to occur soon after exposure to specific infections and they can occur following a number of different infections,(its talked about in relation to Zika)  even with that in mind they are still very rare. It is also more likely after exposure to the wild virus as they persist for longer in our bodies. These things are not specific to any vaccine, they are related to the immune reaction to the disease, this suggests expose to HPV infection in an unimmunised persons would present a greater risk. Following vaccination the immune system starts the learning process needed for the producion of specific antibodies almost immediatly, It runs through a testing process looking for a best fit and refining it. Its usually made its mind up at around two or three weeks. What the second dose does is convince the body this virus might continue to be a threat so the body produces more antibodies and more memory cells.

    It looks as if the worst adverse event you have suffered is a sore arm and feeling a little off for a couple of days. Please stop worrying, you OK

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