REALity  Volume XXXII  Issue No. 12 December 2013

Western countries such as Canada, U.S., U.K. and Australia, have been pushing the controversial drug, Gardasil, manufactured by Merck Pharmaceuticals, on girls between the ages of 9 to 26 years of age. This is being done, just as though the drug were safe and effective.  Its purpose is supposedly to protect against the HPV (human papillomavirus), which is a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.  However, the drug only protects against two of the 19 high-risk strains of HPV.  Significantly, the two types for which it is supposedly effective, account for just 18% of high risk infections. 

Gardasil has been tested on fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 years of age, prior to being released under a fast-tracked licence. Even Gardasil’s manufacturer admits, by way of its information insert, that “Gardasil has not been evaluated for carcinogenicity or impairment of fertility”.

Never mind the long range possibility of harm caused by Gardasil, there are plenty of current problems with its use that indicate that it is harmful in the short term, including the fact that it has been linked to deaths.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has revealed that its compensation program has awarded $6 million to 49 victims of Gardasil use in the U.S. 200 claims have been made in the U.S. even though barely half have been adjudicated to date. 

It is shocking that in the one year period, between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011, 26 deaths in the U.S. have been reported from the use of Gardasil. Other problems include: seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short term memory loss, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a disorder in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing muscles to become immobilized and when severe, the person is paralyzed, with breathing, blood pressure and heart rate problems).  Lesser side effects, alleged from the use of Gardasil, include: walking disturbances, body tics and seizures and loss of consciousness (leading to head and face injuries upon collapse).

However, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the June, 2013 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, alleged that the Gardasil vaccine has cut HPV infections by 56 per cent (from 11.5% to 5.1%) among teenage girls (14 to 19 years), since its introduction in 2006.  But the result does not distinguish between HPV strains that cause warts and those that cause cancer.  Neither does it distinguish between girls engaged or not engaged in HPV transmitting behaviour.  The Annals of Medicine states that, “At present there are no significant data showing that either Gardasil or Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline) can prevent any type of cervical cancer since the testing period employed was too short to evaluate long-term benefits of HPV vaccination.” 

There is obviously a contradiction in the medical journals as to the effect of this drug.

Perhaps it is more reliable, as a result, to look at what’s happening in other countries from the use of this drug. For example, the Japanese government has pulled its support for this controversial drug and ordered that it not be administered until safety concerns have been investigated.  Japan has reported almost 2,000 adverse events from Gardasil, including 358 cases that were evaluated as serious.

Medical authorities in India have expressed similar concerns. The Indian government has suspended the use of Gardasil in two states following reports of deaths of four girls and other severe complications to adolescent girls.  A group of women activists in India have petitioned the Indian government to stop completely the distribution of the drug.  In August, 2013, the British Medical Journal published evidence of a 16 year old Australian girl made sterile by the vaccine.

In the meantime, Gardasil is continuously being pushed in Canada, even by parents who think the drug should be administered to their sons as well as daughters.  P.E.I. already pays for boys to get this drug, and Alberta is also committed to providing the vaccine to boys.  In the name of equality should boys be put at risk as well?  Also, Merck is not satisfied that approximately 70% of adolescent girls, between 2011 and 2012 in Canada, are receiving the drug.  Merck is hoping that a 90% target will be reached within five years.  To further increase its use in Canada, Merck has now targeted Catholic school districts in Alberta and Ontario so as to increase the sale of the drug, even though the use of the drug is against Catholic teachings.  That is, Catholic faith values encourage abstinence and monogamy, rather than adolescent sexual activity backed up by a questionable drug to reduce the adverse effects of such sexual promiscuity.  (Only sexually active individuals can acquire the Human Papillomavirus).

Gardasil is sold in 109 countries and this has generated $1.4 billion for Merck. It is little wonder Merck is pushing this lucrative drug on school boards.