HPV Vaccine Researcher Blasts Mandatory Marketing
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
From the Alliance for Human Research Protection
Dr. Diane M. Harper, a lead researcher in the development of the humanpapilloma virus vaccine, who says giving the drug to 11-year-old girls “is a great big public health experiment.”
AHRP’s stated rationale for objecting to a policy mandating Merck’s HPV vaccine in 11 year old girls http://ahrp.blogspot.com/2007/03/nyt-vital-discussion-clouded-mandatory.html is validated by an internationally recognized expert in the field who tested the vaccine in clinical trials.
Dr. Harper, a lead researcher who spent 20 years developing the vaccine for humanpapilloma virus, says the HPV vaccine is not for younger girls, and that it is “silly” for states to be mandating it for them.
Not only that, she says it’s not been tested for effectiveness in younger girls, and administering the vaccine to girls as young as 9 may not even protect them at all. And, in the worst-case scenario, instead of serving to reduce the numbers of cervical cancers within 25 years, such a vaccination crusade actually could cause the numbers to go up.Dr. Harper, a scientist, physician, professor and the director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, said: “It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old girls There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue.”
All of her trials have been with subjects ages 15 to 25.
“This vaccine has not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don’t get cervical cancer – they won’t know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer.”
Dr. Harper said, Merck was required to put together a database on the efficacy in children before Gardasil was approved. But instead, the company put together four study sites that “are not necessarily representative, and may not even have enough numbers to determine what they need to know.”
She believes the ideal way of administering the new vaccine is to offer it to women ages 18 and up. At the time of their first inoculation, they should be tested for the presence of HPV in their system. If the test comes back negative, then schedule the follow-up series of the three-part shots.
But if it comes back positive?
“Then we don’t know squat, because medically we don’t know how to respond to that,” Harper said.
She said that vaccinating little girls now is not going to protect them later. Since it can take a decade or more to even manifest itself as dysplasia, the HPVs against which this vaccine works may infect a little girl at the age she needs the vaccine most – meaning she will have to have a booster at the right point in time or she will not be protected. And, remember, it won’t work at all if she was positive for the virus when she was inoculated in the first place.
Merck knows this, Harper said. “To mandate now is simply to Merck’s benefit, and only to Merck’s benefit,” she said.
Dr. Harper said, she’s been trying for months to convince major television and print media to listen to her and tell the facts about the usefulness and effectiveness of this vaccine. “But no one will print it,” she said.
Something is very wrong with this commerically driven frenzied marketing which all those who shape public policy and public opinion were caught shilling for Merck.
Independent advocates need to take to the streets to protect our children from irresponsible pharmaceutical companies whose financial largesse buys public officials, government agencies that are supposed to protect us from potentially harmful drugs and vaccines, and the uncritical transcribers of hype in the press!
Dr. Scott Ratner and his wife, who’s also a physician, expressed similar concerns as Dr. Harper in an interview with CBS News last year. One of their teenage daughters became severely ill after her first dose of Gardasil. Dr. Ratner says she’d have been better off getting cervical cancer than the vaccination. “My daughter went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis. I’ve had to ask myself why I let my eldest of three daughters get an unproven vaccine against a few strains of a nonlethal virus that can be dealt with in more effective ways.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE from CBS News: