Is it worth the side effects?

Vaccines for every virus: the possibilities are endless. That’s what pharmaceutical giants like Merck would have you believe.

  • Jan. 24, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Vaccines for every virus: the possibilities are endless. That’s what pharmaceutical giants like Merck would have you believe.

Thanks to their aggressive marketing, you are lured and scared into thinking their vaccines are a must. The commercial says the human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to cervical cancer 70 per cent of the time. The fear of cancer fuels many to risk their health on the unknown, even for the shred of a promise that their fate be less horrifying. Women and young girls are lining up for the latest immunity manipulation, Gardasil.

Out of the 100 types of HPVs, 10-30 per cent is implicated in cervical cancer. The CDC says that “in 90 per cent of cases, your body’s immune system clears the HPV infection naturally within two years.”

In an attempt to be efficient, Merck has packed Gardasil with four types of HPV. Mind you, if you contract one of the other 96 types of HPV, well, too bad for you.

Let’s say you were unlucky enough to get one of the kinds thought to cause cervical cancer, you have a 7.5 per cent chance of getting one of the four contained in the vaccine. On the other hand, you also have a 92.5 per cent chance of getting one of the 26 alleged cancer causing HPVs not in the vaccine.

With such lousy odds, is it worth the risk of side effects? Aside from the 11 deaths already reported, the list of adverse reactions related to Gardasil include: Bell’s palsy, Guillan-Barre syndrome, seizures, blood clotting, heart problems, miscarriages, and fetal abnormalities.

Of course, we would be remiss in assuming the usual common side effects associated with other vaccines do not apply here, such as: pain, swelling and redness at the injection site, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, joint pain, muscle pain, weakness, headache and fatigue.

While the pharmaceutical company would have you believe that the link between HPV and cervical cancer is a fact, and that a vaccine is necessary as protection, some are not convinced. Some say that HPV is a self limiting disease that poses no risk of cancer in healthy women. One study claimed “no significant evidence of a vaccine effect [was] observed.”(JAMA 2007).

An FDA background document notes that it may even increase the risk of precancerous lesions by 44.6 per cent (May 2006).

The premature assumption here is that all vaccines are protective. It appears that vaccines are sometimes ineffective, potentially harmful or about as useful as their additives (e.g. Aluminum).

Thankfully, there is no thimersol in this vaccine, because it would probably kill the viruses. Gardasil boasts it is the first genetically altered live virus vaccine quartet. It occurs to me, that a GMO live virus is in fact a new virus, not native to the planet, which could mutate endlessly creating a completely unpredictable set of results. That’s a lot of unknowns — risky business.

With so many alarming issues surrounding this vaccine, it is horrifying that the state of Texas has made Gardasil mandatory for all young girls entering Grade 6.

Thank goodness, in Canada, vaccines are optional. Fortunately, most physicians in Canada are well aware that PAP tests are the best way to screen for cervical cancer and that safe sex practices help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV.

Be sure to tell your daughters and sons the truth about HPV and Gardasil.

Dr. Tara Macart and her husband Jonathan own Opti-Balance Naturopathic Medicine in

Qualicum Beach.