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chelles chelles

Should I reject Gardasil vaccine or not?

All doctors and health practitioners say the same thing.....that the Gardasil vaccine is safe, lots of doses given with no bad reactions, consequences of getting cancer can be prevented, etc. etc. I hear all this and still worry that my child could be the one freak case that has a life altering severe reaction. The doctor that talked to me yesterday said that the few severe cases that have been reported were in people that had other underlying medical problems.  This still does not make me feel any better.  And furthermore.....I never had this vaccine, my mother never had it, my grandmother never had it....and guess what?  We're all fine! Could it be that cervical cancer is easy to catch and treat so this vaccine is not really even necessary? After all, you're required to have pap screenings for this anyway.  I'm very very conflicted on this vaccine. The medical community just wants to tell me that it's good for my child so get it and shut up.  But I don't want my daughter to be that one case that ends up in a wheelchair and the medical community shrugs it's shoulders and says, "Gee, sorry....this is very rare.  Good luck with your life" 

13 Replies

  • Purpledobermann Purpledobermann chelles

    I feel much the same as you. My eldest is due to receive hers next year and I am still not feeling decided. The risk you mention is far fetched enough however it is a risk and this risk exists with any vaccine. I believe cervical cancer is quite preventable in the sense that we can educate kids to always use protection and on top of this to get regular screenings. As we have done as well. I have just had some changed (grade 2) noted on my cervix and a CIN 3 confirmed by biopsy and underwent cold knife cervical conization. No problem. I had paps every year, then neglected for 3 years and then caught the changes at last phase. Still before cancer. And it is highly debatable whether cancer would have developed or not. Still, we are able to nip it in the bud given the current medical agression smile I think I will opt out of the Gardasil for both my kids. They had to get so many shots, this one just makes me feel more uncomfortable than the rest.

  • caroline1971 caroline1971 chelles

    Hi Chelles,  Gardasil is a fairly new vaccine in that it was licensed in 2006. It has been in use in countries all over the World since then and is usually given at the 11-12 year well child visit at the same time the Tdap & first Meningitis shots are given. It's given to protect against hpv (human papilloma virus) infections that in some cases lead to cancer. HPV infection can cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in females and anal cancer, throat cancer and genital warts in males. The original Gardasil protected against four strains of hpv virus and the newer version protects against nine strains. It is not a mandated vaccination - it's purely optional (and even in the few states where it is 'required', you may opt out) so it's up to the parent to make the decision and if there's any doubt, you can certainly hold off and do more research and/or get advice from someone with personal experience. The vaccine is licensed for age 9 through 26 - and most insurance covers it through that age range. I'm sure you view most stories on the internet with scepticism but some do have merit. Make the decision that's best for you and your family.

  • val15432 val15432 chelles

    Just curious as to whether you went ahead with vaccinating your daughter? My daughter had no underlying medical issues when she received it 6 years ago.She is now chronically ill has missed alot of school and has ongoing pain,migraine, Lyme disease, hair loss, menstrual problems and many more. There has been over 300 deaths registered to Gardasil. Recently an 18 yr old UK girl was diagnosed at 18 with cervical cancer having had the injections, I wish I could turn back the clock and read the information leaflet that was.not provided with the consent form. 

     

    • Purpledobermann Purpledobermann val15432

      Sorry to hear. Just wanted to point out that it is more likely your daughter  is suffering as a result of Lyme disease. It has some far reaching effects. Hopefully it was properly managed. Look into this and have them run tests for any issues on that front. x

    • val15432 val15432 Purpledobermann

      Thank you for your advice. Yes she is getting treatment for her Lyme disease. I still have major concerns re safety of Gardasil vaccine as we have been advised by the medical profession that it wiped out her immune system thereby allowing any dormant bacteria or viruses activate leading to her chronic illness.

    • Purpledobermann Purpledobermann val15432

      I would not blame yourself in any case and would still be reserved about how much of it is actually due to Gardasil...Vaccines do not actually wipe out immune systems - they activate them. Antibiotics for example do wipe out immunity on the other hand.

      The real way a vaccine can affect overall immunity is if the patient is already harbouring some moderate or severe active infection or is immunosuppressed pathologically or due to medication around the time of vaccination (2-4 weeks before and after for most conditions and 3-6 months for some more complicated infections. Erring on the side of caution i would also suspect longer than 6 months for severe infections like mononucleosis for example).  

      So If she contracted lyme disease just after or shortly after Gardasil I would say then yes, this could be the case as the body was busy processing Gardasil or in the aftermath of having dealt with the vaccine and she was susceptible - but this would be true of any vaccine and not only Gardasil. If she caught Lyme months or years after the vaccine then I would not assume any correlation. If she contracted Lyme prior to Gardasil and already had it, even if it was dormant, then it would also explain her immune failure though, not sure if this is what you meant? Do you have any idea when she may have contracted Lyme - when was an engorged tick found on her?  

      Don't get me wrong - I am also uncomfortable with Gardasil and am holding off on it for my eldest daughter for now. She has received all other vaccines except this one - it is the only one i have not yet agreed to. I just don't think it is necessarily something that the vaccine brought about.  Antibiotics on the other hand definitely do wipe out immune systems as well as first line of defence, gut flora, making us very susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Treatment for Lyme is usually a bit lengthy. Antibiotics alongside progressive effect of Lyme could be causing her chronic weakness at this point as well. She needs medication of course, don't get me wrong. But I am not so sure that she is weakened by Gardasil - I would be more concerned with Lyme. And make sure she gets top treatment and second opinion on the best way to manage it. Progressive Lyme could affect all of the things you mentioned above - including migraines, hair-loss, menstrual cycle disturbances etc. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are very complex.

      Wishing your daughter a perfect recovery.

  • Laroxe Laroxe chelles

    Well, cervical cancer is potentially preventable but HPV is actually thought to account for about 5% of all new cancers worldwide with about 27,000 HPV-related cancers are diagnosed in the USA every year. Of these around 13,000 will be cervical and around 4000 will die of it, in Europe its the 7th most common cause of womens deaths. The infection is very common with an estimated 79 million Americans infected, it seems sex education around prevention doesn't really impact on infection rates. There are lots of HPV viruses and the vaccines try to target the ones most commonly associated with cancers. It doesn't treat established infection so must be given before exposure but in countries were vaccination has been established they are already seeing large reductions in the rates of infection, 60% in Australia, with a 50% reduction in precancerous lesions.

    People forget that vaccines are among the most studied group of pharmaceutical products around, studies are conducted across the world by different independent organisations, some 170 million doses have been given worldwide (around 90 million in the US). While any vaccine can have adverse effects, the type and rate does vary, HPV vaccines are considered among the safest.

    Most of the antivax propaganda is highly misleading and based on a poor understanding, a common claim is that exposure to so many vaccinations causes harm, they miss the point that on the first day of life a baby is exposed to many thousands potential antigens, and it continues until they die. The second problem is from the VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a passive system that allows anyone to report a possible problem. Researchers use this to inform areas that require investigation, so any clusters of adverse events, adverse events that follow a common pattern would guide investigators, all deaths are also investigated. Simply treating any comment as reliable data about adverse events is misguided. However there have been numerous specific studies that have found no association with neurological disorders, causing blood clots, or fertility problems. Of deaths that have occurred around the time of vaccination they haven't been able to clearly link the vaccine with the cause of death. In fact a large 8 year clinical trial comparing the vaccine to a placebo (saline) failed to show a significant difference in reported adverse events.

    The principle adverse events are a sore arm and for some reason teenage girls seem more likely to feel faint, so people are advised to sit down following the vaccination.

    I'm afraid that Vals post sort of illustrates the problem of association of symptoms, but if the diagnosis of Lyme disease an infection transmitted by tick bites, is correct, that would explain all the other symptoms and would have nothing to do with the vaccination.

    The fact that most of the associated cancers occur significantly later in life can make it difficult to link the vaccine with end results but as the vaccines improve the effects on society will become more and more obvious.

  • Laroxe Laroxe chelles

    Really the same argument could be used with any drug, if your child had an infection would you refuse antibiotics? if you say yes you are taking a risk, in many ways vaccination is using much more natural defences against infection. Its good that you and your Gran are well but remember that there are many who are not because of this virus across the world cervical still kills around 275,000 across the world and if we include the other cancers caused by this virus its around 300,000. Good screening programs reduce the incidence by around half and while treatment is far better these are the recent figures. Cancer can also be a life changing experience or indeed a life ending one. There has been a concerted effort by the anti vax crowd to demonize this vaccine largely with lies and disinformation, in fact this vaccine is among the least likely to cause side effects.

    Its sad that measles has returned to the US, the anti vax movement must be very proud, now serious neurological damage after a measles infection is far more likely.

  • mamanurse mamanurse chelles

    My advice to you is do your homework because once you take the shot there is no turning back.  check out my blog, I do have an article that discusses, this issue.  Hope this help.  

    Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

  • Laroxe Laroxe chelles

    The decision isn't just about whether its safe or not, the recommendations are all based on the balance of risks. Cervical cancer may be easy to detect but there are still 4200 deaths every year in the US after 12000+ diagnosis and the treatments even of precancerous lesions are far more risky than the vaccine. However HPV is associated with more than cervical cancer, there are around 40.000 HPV associated cancer diagnosed.

    In fact the HPV vaccines are considered very safe the scare reports from the antivaccine lobby are usually lifted from what was the VERSE system, which allowed people to add anything they thought might be associated. This was supposed to help researchers spot any patterns which could be investigated not to provide propaganda. Of course any deaths reported were automatically investigated but so far none could be clearly linked to the vaccine. There are even people claiming the vaccine caused other infections like Lyme disease, caused by tick bites. The amount of misinformation by anti vax groups which has already seen increasing deaths from other vaccine preventable diseases is incredible. The only thing that's really be identified specifically with this vaccine is that a few more people faint when its given, so they suggest people sit down. Other than that its seems very safe.

    One thing about this vaccine is that its consequences are not seen until later in life, so a woman may develop cancer, when their parents who made the decision not to vaccinate are no longer around to feel guilty. 30 years ago the idea of a vaccine against cancer was a dream.

    • Purpledobermann Purpledobermann Laroxe

      I do not disagree with what you are saying at all. I am however more concerned with fertility issues that this vaccine was flagged for in the first round of live trials (In India and/or South America, can't remember which) as well as some potential for some systemic inflammatory response. This was my main concern when making the decision with regards to my children.

      My eldest has not been vaccinated yet. She is 12. I am aware of the risks, having been diagnosed with 3rd grade cervical changes and having undergone surgery recently. I may not be around to feel guilty about it later but this can go both ways. I can only go with what little knowledge I can gather and my gut. Both my kids were exposed to HPV at birth. The eldest already had skin lesions on her head shortly after birth (which is how we found out I had HPV to begin with as I never had actual genital HPV symptoms myself). She now has some hand lesions that need treating before they get transferred elsewhere (can't be sure of the strain so better to be safe).

      In my case It took about 10 years for cervical changes to be noted and reach 3rd grade pre-cancer. Further, I have caught oral HPV when I was barely 10 by hand-to-mouth transmission (not sexually). The lesion I had was diagnosed and removed 25 years later and am now being screened regularly for oral and throat cancer. In total I had a portion of my cervix removed and two oral lesions .

      I have explained all this to my daughter. I explained that I am uncomfortable about a vaccine that is subject of so much controversy as yet. I have told her that she has received all other vaccines and continues to get updated ones as they become available. But I could not go ahead with Gardasil yet. I am still thinking.

      I wonder about my decisions about this and many other things every day of my life. I do not think the potential guilt is a good enough reason for or against vaccinating. I am still undecided.

      The kids in her class just received their round of Gardasil. 5 out of 8 girls vaccinated ended up vomiting and feverish which I found very odd but reassured my daughter that it does not mean the vaccine is good or bad - many vaccines give some onset side-effects. I do not want her to be fearful of vaccination even though I kept her from this one so far. It is really a tough call on this one. I am actually frustrated at so much conflicting info found. I researched all vaccines my kids were given and they received nearly all. I have opted out only on Rotavirus shot for my youngest and was late on the pneumococcus on my eldest. I found Hep B vaccine overkill for both of mine as they are low risk and it is given to them so early. But I went ahead with it. I would have preferred not to have given them the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine having seen that my eldest ended up contracting chicken pox 9 months after the vaccine smile So it was pretty pointless. Flu shots I do not do. Other than this all the core vaccines we have are up-to-date.

      But this one...I can't seem to feel comfortable with. And it is not because of antivax anti-propaganda. Just feel it is still not fully understood.  

  • Laroxe Laroxe chelles

    All I can say chelles is that you seem to be approaching this in a sensible way. Of course if the girls have already been exposed to the virus, there may be no point in the vaccination anyway. I was surprised at the rate of side effects among your girls school friends, there is usually some association between the adverse events and the vaccination target disease. Many people get the infection and don't actually know they have it and to have these very obvious symptoms from a recombinant subunit vaccine seems very strange. The fertility issue was investigated at Boston and they found it was an issue with people with a history of STI's, which are already known to effect fertility.

  • mamanurse mamanurse chelles

    In my opinion, I would really think twice.  My daughter is 24 years old now and I would never have allowed her to take this vaccine, a matter fact my daughter has never had any shots and she is absolutely fine.  What drives this vaccine is fear and money.  Check out my blog at www.mamanurseknowsbest.com and I have an article on the subject.  My suggestion to you is to do as much research as possible before making such crucial decision.  

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