Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Mom, Guard Your Daughter

From the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:

Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer. Several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, and two vaccines directed against the currently most important oncogenic strains (i.e., the HPV-16 and HPV-18 serotypes) have been developed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown.

How will the vaccine affect preadolescent girls, given that the only trials conducted in this cohort have been on the immune response?

Vaccinated women may feel protected from cervical cancer and may be less likely than unvaccinated women to pursue screening.

How will the vaccine affect other oncogenic strains of HPV? If HPV-16 and HPV-18 are effectively suppressed, will there be selective pressure on the remaining strains of HPV? Other strains may emerge as significant oncogenic serotypes.

So why has the AAP made Merck billions by adding this unproven vaccine to it's "recommended" (meaning the doc is going to give it to your daughter unless you put up a stink) schedule? Click HERE for the full article.


Anonymous said...

What a scary, scary vaccine. Who the hell would make their daughters guinea pigs for this vaccine especially after reading about those cases where the girls had such horrible reactions. How anyone could listen to their Pediatricians and believe a word they say regarding vaccines anymore is mind boggling.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

I don't blame Moms, entirely. They saw an ad campaign, based on fear - "Don't YOU want to protect your daughter from cancer???" Their doctors took the Merck sales pitch hook line and sinker and recommended the vaccine to their girls. I try to remember that few Moms are in my boat - and so are unaware of the potential problems with vaccines. That's why I blog about it - not to bore people or sound like I'm anti-vaccine. Believe it or not and contrary to what the rapid "science" crowd writes about me, I am not. Recently I got a call from a friend whose son is going to college. She was wondering about the meningitis vaccine for him. Kids die every year from meningitis in college - if there are no contraindications it seems prudent to consider this vaccine for your college aged child.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim:

I refused that vaccine for my child who entered college a couple of years ago. It has as much thimersol in it as the flu vaccine. As we know, vaccines can cause problems other than autism (diabetes, asthma, cancer, etc.) so I wouldn't take that chance. None of my kids will ever be vaccinated again as I am a parent like you...know way too much being one of my kids is autistic.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Anon - I did suggest she read the packaging to make sure the shot was Thimerosal free - I don't know how many version of this vaccine there are. I also know parents who've give their kids the Renew Life Heavy Metal Cleanse after vaccines to help their bodies kick out the metals. My point is that being informed allows you to make rational decisions. Thanks for popping in - I'm heavy on "anons" right now. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if there are more versions now. Here's one:

Menomune - Meningococcal Connaught Laboratories 800.822.2463
* freeze-dried polysaccharide antigens from Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, thimerosal, and lactose

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

What form(s) does Menactra come in?
Each 0.5 mL dose of vaccine is formulated to contain 4 µg each of meningococcal A, C, Y and W-135 polysaccharides conjugated to a total of approximately 48 µg of a diphtheria toxoid protein carrier. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride, sodium phosphate (dibasic, anhydrous), water for injection. Preservative-free. The syringe presentation of this vaccine contains no latex.

Anonymous said...

I was able to find a thimersol free menengitis vaccine for my daughter who just entered college. It's called Menactra. There is no way she is going to receive Gardasil. She did a project, ie. debate, for her American Government class last year on vaccines - safe or not. She took the opposing view and opened the eyes of her classmates and teacher. She won the debate. It was a great opportunity to get people to think about routine vaccination. Vaccines must be made safer or we should look into alternate ways to either administer them, inhaled or patches, or naturally boost our own immune systems to conquer these diseases.

Anonymous said...

I'll never be convinced of vaccination ever again, preservatives or no preservatives. To me, reactions have to do with much more than just the preservatives. The other ingredients in some of these vaccines are disgusting.

Anonymous said...

How is it we all made it through college without this vaccine? We partied, stayed up all night, ran our immune systems into the ground and so on. The fact is our systems weren't already ruined from the years of vaccination before college like the kids today. So the solution from the pharm. companies is to continue their scare tactics and parents vaccinate more.

Anonymous said...

I am scared to death of the meningitis vaccine as well. My ped has been pushing it for my son going into his junioir year of high school. It appears that the Menactra is thimerasol free, but I agree with anonymous's point of view that we all survived our crazy high school and college days without this vaccine.

Also, I know of two cases of meningitis where the person had the vaccine and got meningitis anyway ... very soon after the vaccine. Coincidence? One case was the highly publicized Babson College student, who died, and the other is a family friend who recovered. They were both pretty early into their freshmen years, having received the vaccine over the summer.

So, thimerasol aside, does anyone know if this is a live virus vaccine?

Lee said...

Thanks for the link, which I have forwarded to my women friends, and to friends who have young daughters.

This is an interesting example of large-scale introduction of a vaccine, largely due to (I suspect) pressure from the drug company, yet with little evidence to suggest long term benefit, and with possible long term risks.

My stance on vaccinations is that their benefits can be huge (I cite the polio vax as an example) but that we are hugely over-vaxing our population, and need to use caution and commonsense.

I will NOT be having this vax, not will I want my young daughter to be vaxd (she was not vaccinated on the infant schedule, and we are conscienscious (sp?) objectors) if the issue is raised by a medical professional. However, if she steps on a rusty nail I'll take her straight along for a tetanus jab! In other words, we use vaccnation when we need to.

I think in this instance, perhaps our governments should be pushing good sex education and safe sex practices, and maybe handing out condoms in school instead of vaccination drugs!

Lee said...

As an aside, I have had and survived:

- mumps
- measles
- german measles
- chickenpox
- viral encephalitis

and a host of other nasties including at least a dozen cases of flu. Guess what? I'm STILL (*gasp*) ALIVE!!!!

Gee. I must be a modern medical miracle.

Laura said...

Ick. I don't know anyone with daughters of the age for this vaccine, and if I did, I'd be "that mom" and tell her to read up. I try to only be "that mom" -- the vaccine-questioning mother AKA Crazy Anti-Vax lady -- when friends ask for my advice. And fortunately, they have. I'm the "old pro" mom among my college friends, as I had Hutton years before the rest started families. I'm glad that my friends are willing to ask questions about vaccine safety. Wish I had done more research when Hutton was that age! No, I trusted my ped. I'm glad I may have an influence in getting my friends to question more.

The point that this vaccine only covers a few strains of HPV, that you still need regular pap smears, that anyone having sex in a non-committed relationship should USE CONDOMS (i.e., the highschool and college kids who will think, "Hey, I can't get HPV! I'm free to not use condoms!" and then come down with the other strains of HPV not in the vax, and any no. of other STDs)...it just doesn't make sense to risk death or disability to be a guinea pig!

Amanda said...

September sees the roll out of immunisation for all teenage girls in Scotland...except mine, who aren't teenager yet but when they are I'm not so sure they'll be getting it. Oh deep joy, more research for a stressed out parent - and that's official. Hot hubby and I are on a research program investigating the effects of parental stress on children with additional needs. If the parental stress is addressed does it improve things for the kid? Er, the words no shit sherlock come to mind but we're going with it and showing willing. Keep you posted over on Highland madness when I get time!

Lee said...

Hi Amanda,

Just a stickler point - the correct terminology for these drugs is vaccinations, not immunisations.

'Immunisation' suggests that all who take the drugs become immune to the relevant bugs, and nothing could be further from the truth. The term 'immunisation' is technically incorrect and is widespread as a adertising scheme rather than appropriate terminology.

One of the major problems of the term 'immunisation' is that parents believe (incorectly) that once their kids have been drugged, they are immune to these diseases, so voluntarily expose them to cohort groups where the bug is known to be live.

For example, at the childcare centre where my kids used to go, measles went around, and most parents whose kids had been vaccinated chose for their children to attend anyway. A full 30% of the children who had been vaccinated came down with the measles, and then the parents were (d'oh!) surprised. The parents whose children were not vaccinated kept their kids away, and the kids mostly did not get measles.

Modern vaccinations give protection rates in the field that vary hugely - this apparently was not an uncommon percentage of 'failures', according to our council nurse at the time.

Interesting, huh?