The HPV vaccine has jumped into the news again as the UK reports their first death following a vaccination.

The US (and western world in general) has already been struggling with vaccines, and this could make things more difficult in the UK. With all the claims of vaccines linked to autism, Jenny McCarthy's wild-ass claims, and Muslims stopping the distribution of the polio vaccination -- there's a lot of pseudoscience, superstition, and urban legends up against vaccines.

Then there is the religious angle against the HPV vaccine. Because the human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease, the abstinence-only proponents think giving a girl this vaccine gives her the go-ahead to be promiscuous.

It will be interesting to see what kind of media attention resurfaces from this; but I can already see the email or Facebook posts flying around again, claiming how bad this vaccine is, and possibly how bad all vaccines are. So in an attempt to arm you with knowledge before you even get that email or see someone post it on Facebook, here are some facts for you to counter with.

  • As of 01 June 2009, over 25 million doses had been administered in the US. Of those, 14,072 (0.05%) reported side effects; meaning 99.95% were free of side effects.
  • Of those with side effects, 13,087 (93%) were non-serious (like fainting, pain and swelling at the injection site, headache, nausea, and fever); all common side effects of any injection.
  • Of those with side effects, 985 (7%) were serious, and of them 43 deaths were reported. This means of the 25 million vaccinated, 0.00172% died after receiving the vaccination (not necessarily because of the vaccination).
  • Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year.
  • At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates 11,070 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. in 2008.
  • HPV-related cancers (estimates from 2008):
    • 3,460 women diagnosed with vulvar cancer
    • 2,210 women diagnosed with vaginal and other female genital cancers
    • 1,250 men diagnosed with penile and other male genital cancers
    • 3,050 women and 2,020 men diagnosed with anal cancer
  • According to a 2002 study, approximately 4500 deaths per year in the US, and over 200,000 deaths world wide are results of or linked to a form of cervical cancer.

In the US the CDC and the FDA continue to recommend the Gardasil vaccination, because it does prevent 4 types of HPV; and because the risk of adverse side effects is very low.

"As of June 1, 2009, there have been 43 U.S. reports of death among females who have received the vaccine. Twenty six of these reports have been confirmed, 9 are still under investigation, and 8 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. Confirmed reports are those that scientists have followed up on and have verified the claim. In the 26 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine."

Besides the links above, I also pulled information from here, here, and here.

What do you think? Any thoughts? Personal stories? Rants?

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The Jenny McCarthy anti-vacc people drive me nuts. It's another example of sensationalism over science.

First, there is no scientific proof that vaccines cause retardation/death;
Second, even if there is correlative suspicion by the aforementioned crazies that it might, the odds are infinitesimally small;
Especially compared to the risks of contracting measles/disease; and
Considering that they are putting the rest of society at risk by not vaccinating.

There was an article in the NYTimes the other day about the US govt's collection of complications data for the swine flu vaccine. The point of doing this immediate, broad study is to show that all of the coincidental heart attacks/deaths following vaccination are coincidental.
Natalie Morton, the schoolgirl who died after receiving a vaccine as part of a national immunization campaign, died from a large malignant tumor in her chest.
It's sad that she died.

I wonder though, if it's already become urban legend that the cervical cancer vaccine caused her death.

Related: What do ya'll think about vaccinating boys with the cervical cancer vaccine? If boys were vaccinated, it would reduce the spread of the virus further, and be give women an extra layer of protection. It would also reduce genital warts in boys.

I think the FDA is going to review the vaccine for use in boys, and i know some people are already vaccinating their sons off label for the above reasons.
I'd be fore it. Any disease should be prevented if the means are available.
I was talking to one of my friends the other day who is convinced his son has autism because of vaccines. He said his child started acting differently and exhibiting signs of autism the day after he got his vaccinations as a toddler - something my friend only realized until years later right after he heard about the supposed autism/vaccine connection... -sigh-
*sigh* Right up there with the satanic rituals of the 80s.
C0nc0rdance on YouTube just put out two great videos on the vaccine controversy:
Part I
Part II

The vaccine controversy exposes the extension of intractable faith devoid of critical thinking beyond the borders of religion. It is disturbing how many people are willing to accept medical advice from a farting ex-Playboy bunny rather than the entire medical science community. Even more alarming is how many of these vaccine crusaders will hypocritically condemn the evils of organized religion whilst remaining completely unaware of their own reliance upon faith.

This article written by Jenny McCarthy in 2006 prior to Evan's autism diagnosis extinguishes any lingering doubts regarding her utter disconnect with reality.
Great addition! Thanks Shine.
Another great video debunking vaccine myths from YouTuber Nykytyne2. This one specifically pertains to H1N1 conspiracy theories, although much of the fearmongering is borrowed from the general vaccine hysteria.
I've always wondered why people think that getting a vaccination will overrule a lifetime of religious learning if they're worried about this vaccine "promoting" sex. Have you really taught your children so poorly that they'll completely forget everything they've learned and run out and have sex because they got a vaccine? What kind of idiot are you?!

Believe me, we don't want your children breeding any more than you do, so trust us. We have everyone's best interests in mind and would never, ever suggest that your child have sex. Ever. For their entire life. I would be the first to support abstinence for idiots. Really, I really don't want your child having sex Mr. Psycho Religious man. So drop it already.


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