HolyCoast: So, Just How Dangerous is Gardisil?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So, Just How Dangerous is Gardisil?

After last night's debate many of the people I follow on the right were engaged in internecine warfare over Gardisil and the vaccinations that Rick Perry mandated...briefly...in Texas.  The vaccine has been proven to prevent a communicable form of cervical cancer.  Perry rescinded his order making those vaccinations mandatory and according to my Texas sources, nobody actually got the vaccines.  The argument appears to be over the idea of mandating a vaccination, as though that's something novel.

Every schoolkid in California has to have a series of vaccinations, and this year there's been a special push for the Whooping Cough vaccination that apparently a lot of kids, even up to college age, hadn't had.  You couldn't enroll your kid without it.  And in Virginia, Gardisil vaccines have been mandatory for some time, but nobody is beating up the state government there.

I looked up some facts about Gardisil to see what the history of adverse reactions have been.  Here are some numbers from the CDC:
Reports to VAERS Following Gardasil®
As of June 22, 2011, approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® were distributed in the U.S. and VAERS received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination: 17,958 reports among females and 346 reports for males, of which 285 reports were received after the vaccine was licensed for males in October 2009. VAERS received 423 reports of unknown gender. Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious.

Non-serious adverse event reports
VAERS defines non-serious adverse events as those other than hospitalization, death, permanent disability, or life-threatening illness.

The vast majority (92%) of the adverse events reports following Gardasil® vaccination have included fainting, pain, and swelling at the injection site (the arm), headache, nausea, and fever. Syncope (fainting) is common after injections and vaccinations, especially in adolescents. Falls after fainting may sometimes cause serious injuries, such as head injuries, which can be prevented by closely observing the person for 15 minutes after vaccination.

Serious adverse event reports
Any VAERS report that indicated hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, congenital anomaly or death is classified as serious. As with all VAERS reports, serious events may or may not have been caused by the vaccine.
There's more information about certain adverse reactions at the link. Bottom line, 99.95% safety rating, and 92% of the adverse reactions were considered minor. Seems to be a pretty safe vaccine, certainly on par with the others that are regularly mandated for our kids.  I'm not really sure why this one has generated such abuse for Perry, especially when you consider that Mitt Romney mandated health insurance for everyone in Massachusetts, something Republicans are supposed to be against.

1 comment:

Nightingale said...

Why has this vaccine generated such abuse for Perry? Because this vaccine is connected to sex.

Human Papilloma Virus is the virus that causes the majority of cervical cancer, and a person gets HPV from sexual contact.

Sadly this vaccine has also been over-sold. The promoters make it sound like if you get this vaccine you'll never have to worry about cervical cancer, no matter your sexual practices. Not true. It only protects people from 4 of the most virulent stains of HPV, yet there are still more strains that lead to cervical cancer. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the greater risk of cervical cancer...not to mention a whole host of other diseases.

This debate is truly a waste of time for anyone in the GOP who wants to save this country from fiscal oblivion.