Usually, when I see links to "Gardasil Causes Death!" articles, they link to something like www.homeopathy.org or some obviously biased website with an agenda. So when I saw a link to an article by WebMD that says "Gardasil Linked To Nerve Disorder", I perked up and paid attention.
Then I read the article.
This article makes the claim that some researchers are reporting an association between Gardasil and Guillian-Barre Syndrome, a particularly nasty, although very rare, nerve disorder. The article then goes on to cite several quotes from the CDC and others that there IS NO LINK BETWEEN GARDASIL AND GBS.
This pisses me off. This is a respectable website with usually trustworthy articles. But here it uses shock tactics to frighten people into thinking there is a link between Gardasil and GBS when that information has not been proven.
Here's the summary. Between 2006 and 2008, 53 cases of GBS were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is managed by the CDC and the FDA. VAERS's job is to research whether these reactions are coincidentally timed to the vaccine they just took, or are caused by the vaccine they just took. In EVERY SINGLE CASE, it was decided that the GBS was not caused by the vaccine.
Yet, this article follows up immediately with a quote from a researcher that says: The fact that so many cases occurred in the first few weeks after vaccination strongly suggests that “some cases are caused by the vaccine".
So, let's look at the data. According to this article, the general population's chances of getting GBS are about 5 in 10 million. According to this one study, the chance of getting GBS within 6 weeks after getting Gardasil are 30 in 10 million. That's a 6-times increase. That's pretty significant, although the chances still remain ridiculously low - way lower than even getting cancer caused by HPV (which is, admittedly, pretty low).
So, there appears to be an incidence increase after getting the shot, which suggests the shot has something to do with it, right?
Well, then the article goes on to quote the following inconsistencies:
- Overall, the vaccine does not raise the odds of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a disorder of the peripheral nervous system, says Nizar Souayah, MD, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. “But there is clear evidence from our database of an increased incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome in the first six weeks, especially the first two weeks, after vaccination,” he tells WebMD.
- the CDC says that “the data do not currently suggest an association between Gardasil and GBS.”
- “The FDA and CDC have reviewed the reports of GBS that have been submitted to VAERS. To date, there is no evidence that Gardasil has increased the rate of GBS above that expected in the population.”
- Gorson says much more study is needed before any conclusions regarding Gardasil and GBS can be made. Plus, the chance of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, regardless of whether you’re vaccinated, is extremely low, he says
How can there be simultaneously "increased incidence" and "does not raise the odds"?
So, it's clear that continued study and research should be done on Gardasil, but no one who is in favor of the vaccine argues with that. It wouldn't do us any good to promote a vaccine designed to prevent cancer only to have that same vaccine cause death in another way.
But what pisses me off about this article is that, over and over and over again, the evidence strongly points to no link between Gardasil and GBS, but articles continue to get written with shocking headlines and contradictory statements. If Gardasil really did increase your chances six-fold, then we should have seen an increase in the total number of cases that matches that increase. Yet we haven't.
Instead, what we have here is an article that says "Dude, Gardasil gives you GBS, some guys researched it! The data doesn't support it, cases haven't gone up at all, and even the guy who researched it says your chances haven't gone up, but it's totally linked!"
We do know that certain illnesses can kick-start GBS, but we're not really sure *why* these illnesses kick-start it. Apparently, certain vaccines can also kick-start GBS, or at least the article implied that a swine flu vaccine in 1977 did, but, again, no one really knows why. So it's plausible that this vaccine could have something to do with GBS.
What I want to know is, do people have a genetic pre-disposition for GBS and it ony sits around, quietly, until a trigger is introduced, like the flu or a surgery? If that's the case, then, until we know exactly how this trigger works and we develop a way to shut off the reaction to the trigger, then avoiding Gardasil won't necessarily prevent GBS, it'll just wait around for some other trigger, like getting the flu, or having surgery for your cervical cancer that you didn't prevent because you avoided the vaccine.
And is it possible that this is another case of coincidental timing like the autism link? Does GBS typically not show up until the age range that these girls just happen to be when they get this shot?
The bottom line is that there is *still* no conclusive data linking Gardasil to anything and the chances of developing GBS after receiving Gardasil are *still* absurdly low even if there was a link. And ... we don't really know what that link could be - is it causal? Is it correlation? Is it a trigger mechanism for something already in place?
But even respectable, science, trustworthy sources are not immune to shocking headlines and "journalism" that includes missing facts, contradictory statements, and stories that imply something scary while the author sits behind his "both sides of the story" psuedo-impartiality.
If there is a link, by all means, research it, find it, report on it. But please do not run a headline that says "Vaccines Cause Death!" and then follow it up with an article that does not actually support that claim. That does nothing but cause panic and prevents people from getting the medical treatments they need and causes distrust of the medical community and provides fodder for the conspiracy theorists.