The American College of Pediatricians (the College), recently updated its stance on Gardasil, a vaccine for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), in wake of recent research about the virus and vaccine. The College acknowledged that HPV vaccines have been possibly linked to premature ovarian failure (POF), but quickly back peddled by stating that such side effects are rare.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted virus. According to the press release, approximately 14 types of HPV are believed to cause multiple cancers. The most common cancer that has been causally attached to HPV is cervical cancer.
Multiple concerns over HPV vaccines
- The statement notes that there are legitimate concerns about the HPV vaccine that need to be addressed, including:
- Long term ovarian function was not assessed in either the original rat safety studies, or in the human vaccine trial.
- Most primary care physicians are probably unaware of a possible association between HPV4 and POF and may not consider reporting POF cases or prolonged missing menstrual periods to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
- Potential mechanisms of action have been postulated based on autoimmune associations with the aluminum adjuvant used and previously documented ovarian toxicity in rats from another component, polysorbate 80.
Since licensure of Gardasil in 2006, there have been about 213 VAERS reports involving amenorrhea, POF or premature menopause, 88 percent of which have been associated with Gardasil.
“A Vaccine Safety Datalink POF study is planned to address an association between these vaccines and POF, but it may be years before results will be determined. Plus, POF within a few years of vaccination could be the tip of the iceberg since ovarian dysfunction manifested by months of amenorrhea may later progress to POF,” the press release reads.
Three vaccines intended to prevent cervical cancer caused by the HPV vaccine, have been licensed since 2006. More than a dozen girls in Europe have recently come forth, claiming to have experienced ill side effects from the vaccine.
Most HPV infections go away by themselves
But there are truths about Gardasil and HPV that the press release overlooks, including the fact that 70 percent of HPV infections in women will clear themselves in a year without treatment. In two years, approximately 90 percent of these infections will clear themselves. In three years, only ten 10 percent of women will have an HPV infection, half of which will have developed into a pre-cancerous legion.
The authors of the statement claim they have notified the makers of Gardasil, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about their concerns. The College went on to press that HPV vaccines should not be mandated by regulatory authorities.
“The College is opposed to any legislation which requires HPV vaccination for school attendance. Excluding children from school over refusal to vaccinate for a disease spread only by sexual intercourse is a serious, precedent-setting action that trespasses on the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children.”