Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bioethics and Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

"Human Papillomavirus Vaccination — Reasons for Caution"


Charlotte J. Haug, M.D., Ph.D.

August 21st, 2008

The New England Journal of Medicine

Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer. Several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, and two vaccines directed against the currently most important oncogenic strains (i.e., the HPV-16 and HPV-18 serotypes) have been developed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown.


Full text

The efficacy of this drug is unproven despite Merck claiming thousands of clinical trials. In this case, where it takes decades for cervical cancer to become manifest, this may be a "cash cow" marketing wonder where even some states are making mandatory vaccinations. And too boot, serious sides effects are common including reported deaths.

I would not give this drug to my daughter.

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