News


Deadly cervical cancer can be prevented, says survivor

'Move past of the stigma of HPV,' she urges

The biggest drawback to eliminating cervical cancer is the stigma, Tamika Felder told the Lunch and Learn crowd at a recent meeting at Roche Molecular Systems in Pleasanton.

The human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted, causes more than 99% of cervical cancers worldwide.

"We need to move past the stigma of HPV," said Felder, founder of Tamika & Friends, which raises awareness about cervical cancer. "We have to get all women access to the latest and best resources."

Felder added a touch of humor as she talked about her diagnosis in 2001 at age 25 when she was a television producer in Washington, D.C.

"To talk about cervical cancer we have to talk about sex, right?" she started off. "And pap smears are not fun. I'm going to let you in on it -- yes, during your lunch."

She'd neglected having regular pap smears, she said, partly because she was busy interviewing presidents and producing her show. Also her body image kept her away from the doctor.

When diagnosed with cervical cancer, Felder immediately sought other opinions.

"Then a doctor said my cervix looked like it was chewed up meat," she related. "My life completely changed. I couldn't think of booking guests on my show anymore. All I could think of was having a radical hysterectomy and then chemotherapy, losing my ability to have children, my life's goals pulled like a rug out from under me."

HPV was seldom mentioned 10 years ago, and Felder found out about it on the Internet.

"When I asked my doctor why she didn't mention HPV to me, she said because everybody gets it," she recalled.

Some strains of HPV clear up by themselves while genotypes 16 and 18 cause about 70% of cervical cancer. A vaccine approved by the FDA in 2006 protects against these two types, and the vaccine is recommended for girls ages 11 through 26 and is also approved for boys.

"Although HPV infection is seen in all age groups, it tends to be highest in the younger age groups and decreases with age," said Dr. Catherine Behrens, director of Clinical Research at Roche Molecular Systems, in a later interview. "The high prevalence in younger women is likely due to the fact that they have more sexual contacts; fortunately, though, they tend to clear it more quickly than do older women."

Eventually Felder tried to get on with her "new normal."

"I created Tamika & Friends so no cervical cancer survivor will ever feel alone," Felder said.

The nonprofit organization educates about cervical cancer and its link to HPV, spreading the message that through prevention and treatment, it can be entirely eliminated.

Roche Diagnostics developed and manufactures the only HPV test that is FDA-approved, which identifies genotypes 16 and 18 as well as 12 other high risk HPV genotoypes, said Behrens.

"I want to remind you that behind every test, there's a woman," Felder told the Roche employees.

Tamika & Friends encourages House Parties of five to teach women about the HPV virus.

"We play games until we feel comfortable enough to ask them to pledge to get a pap test," Felder said. "Then they're empowered to go to the doctor."

Games include HPV bingo and one Felder invented based on Pictionary that is called Sex-ionary.

The group also provides financial assistance for women coping with cervical cancer.

"When I was 25 I had great insurance and a great salary," Felder said. But even the little expenses added up until a friend left a check for $500 on her dresser.

"She wouldn't let me pay it back so I'm paying it forward," Felder said.

Last January, Tamika & Friends converged on Washington, D.C., for Cervical Cancer Day on the Hill. Forty women from all around the country talked about ending the disease and lobbied for more funding to raise awareness. Now January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

"A woman came to the event and said she'd never shared her story, she was so ashamed of her HPV," Felder recalled. "One thing we all had in common was that somehow cervical cancer came into our lives."

Cervical cancer causes 288,000 deaths every year, she said.

"No one should die for this disease," she said. "Thank you and every one of you for what you do.

"Your message was very emotional and very inspiring," an employee told her during a question-and-answer period that followed her presentation. "This type of thing makes us want to come to work."

He said his two pre-teen daughters received their first of the three HPV immunizations but were reluctant to continue. Felder noted that her website, www.tamikaandfriends.org, also has G-rated games for young girls to become comfortable with the process.

The treatment even for early stages of cervical cancer is a radical hysterectomy, Behrens said, although in young women, the ovaries may be spared.

"The treatment for pre-cancerous changes, on the other hand, is much less radical," she added.

It entails removing the abnormal cells by a surgical excision procedure or destroying them by an ablation procedure, such as a freezing or electro-cautery laser.

"Although relatively benign, these treatments are very effective - and this is why screening for pre-cancer is so essential," Behrens said.

"The war on this cancer could end," Felder emphasized. "We have the tools to do it."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Warning!
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

This is an ad for Big Pharma and their profits. Cervical cancer accounts for less than ONE percent of all cancer deaths. Is this vaccination truly worth combating one of the LEAST concerning cancers with what's been shown to be an unusually dangerous vaccine?
It's important to realize that while Gardasil has not been proven to actually prevent cancer in the long term, there is mounting evidence showing it carries tremendous long-term health risks, including: Bell's Palsy, Guillan-Barre syndrome,Seizures,Cervical dysplasia,Blood clotting and heart problems, including cardiac arrest as well as Miscarriages and fetal abnormalities amongst pregnant women who received the vaccine.
… Nizar Souayah, MD, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, says he and his colleagues found "clear evidence from our database of an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the first six weeks, especially the first two weeks, after [HPV] vaccination."
Results from clinical trials are not encouraging. Vaccinated women show an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18. "
Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown causes" have all occurred in girls shortly after they've received the Gardasil vaccine. These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer someday down the road. And for boys, these are profound risks to prevent the spread of HPV to girls, and to potentially prevent 300 anal cancer deaths a year…
According to the CDC more than 6 million women contract HPV annually, yet less than 3,900 women will die from cervical cancer out of those 6 million. This is because, in 90 percent of all cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection on its own. Furthermore, the infection is primarily spread through sexual contact, so it is behaviorally avoidable.
The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, both for girls and boys, and a major waste of money. Of course, you need to do your own careful research. There are far better ways to protect yourself and your sons and daughters against HPV infection, and all potentially related cancers. There is a lot of evidence, just be sure NOT to go to sites sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Companies. Protect yourself and your children. They are our future.




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Posted by No to Gardisil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

A friend of mine gave her daughter the vaccine, and her daughter developed Guillain-Barre syndrome. I have decided not to vaccinate my children. I read that the human papilloma virus does not always develop into cervical cancer and that most people who get the virus successfully fight it without ever developing cervical cancer.

The percentage of women who develop cervical cancer after being infected with HPV is very small.

Besides, you can only get HPV from unprotected intimate contact. And with unprotected intimate contact you have other diseases to worry about, like AIDS. This vaccine (Gardisil) only will give women a false sense of protection and it is not effective against all strains of HPV


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:21 am

Topics like these frequently bring the crazies out of the woodwork. Please ignore anything posted by people like the above. There is no scientific basis to what she is saying at all. The anti-vaccine crowd is doing the public a terrible disservice.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

Please ignore posts like the above. There is no scientific basis to them at all. The anti-vaccine crowd is doing the public a terrible disservice.


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

you need to use your own judgment when it comes to vaccines. My kids have all the required vaccines except for Gardasil. My friend's daughter developed paralysis about two weeks after the Gardasil vaccine, her doctor said it was Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS), and it was reported to VAERS, which is where you report side effects with vaccines.

There have been various reports of GBS after the Gardasil vaccine, and although the companies continue to state they do not find that the vaccine is the cause, the still record the data on their websites. The CDC warns about it as well as a potential but rare side effect.

When you have an illness like polio, where your only protection is vaccination and where the vaccine is very effective and very safe (these days the virus they use is dead), it is a no brainer and you should vaccinate.

But when you have a vaccine like Gardasil that can cause serious problems like GBS, and it only protects against 4 strains of the HPV, and knowing that most people who get infected with HPV will not develop cervical cancer, and knowing that it is transmitted via unprotected intimate contact, the choice is not so clear, and I personally choose not to take the risk for my kids.

The majority of people infected with HPV fight the infection and do not develop cervical cancer (see the information on the center for disease control), and the vaccine does not prevent all types of hpv, and it is not a guarantee against cervical cancer.


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Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm



There are several assumptions about HPV vaccines and their ability to protect against cervical cancer that are suspect, namely: that the HPV vaccine is effective, safe, necessary; that there are no alternatives; that there are no uncertainties; that the manufactures and regulators are worthy of trust and of course would accept liability for their actions; that any harm to individuals would be offset by the gain of the greater good; that the makers are more motivated by altruistic concerns for society than profit.

EFFECTIVE AGAINST CERVICAL CANCER ? UNPROVEN !!

Merck, the manufacture of Gardasil has been forbidden by the FDA to market this vaccine as a anti cervical cancer vaccine. It is marketed as a vaccine for HPV. There are no clinical trials which would establish efficacy as a treatment for cervical cancer. Why ? Because a clinical trial would take decades . as Girls inoculated with the vaccine would have to be tracked though about age 60, as cervical cancer does not show up early. Any claim that the HPV vaccine is a cervical cancer vaccine is based on ignorance, or gross speculation.

SAFETY

In 2009, Dr. Diane Harper, lead researcher in HPV at University of Minnesota Gynecological Cancer Prevention Group went on record stating that the rate of serious adverse reactions to the HPV vaccines was greater than the rate of cervical cancer. These reactions include death ( so far over 60 reported ) and permanent sever disabilities ( over 300 reported ) ( numbers are for the U.S. ) In other words, there are more problems caused by the vaccine than cervical cancer. Treatment of cervical cancer, according to the CDC, has a success rate of about 75 percent. There is no known treatment for death caused by this vaccine.

ADDITIONAL UNCERTAINTIES, A FEW OF WHICH
The affect of this vaccine on fertility is unknown, and likewise, it is unknown if this vaccine itself could cause cancer in humans.

ALTERNATIVES
Testing a potential partner for STD is an alternative not generally suggested. There is an assumption that HPV infections are inevitable.

TRUSTING FDA, MERCK ? MAKERS PROTECTED FROM LAWSUIT

In the last 25 years, one quarter of all pharmaceutical products have been recalled. Why ? Because they either kill people or are ineffective. Take Merck's Vioxx for example. Vioxx was allowed to be on the market for five years, killing at least 35 thousand people. That is about 3 times the death rate for cervical cancer. Promoting unnecessary, costly vaccines is a great business plan for Merck because unlike their drugs, they cannot be sued for problems ( death and disability ) caused by vaccines ( thanks to our government ). Now we are supposed to trust Merck and the government that the deaths associated with HPV vaccines are purely coincidental ? Does the Leopard change its Spots ?

CONCLUSION

Just say no the the unproven, unsafe, and unnecessary HPV vaccines that are promoted to be cervical cancer cures. Taking an unproven cure from a disease that may be occur thirty five years later is unprecedented. Why risk death and disability of the youth ? This promotion of the HPV vaccine as a 'cure ' for cervical cancer assumes there will be no advancements in medicine in the next thirty five years, so go with this risky, unproven treatment we have today. This is pure nonsense.

I think its ironic, that the mainstream medical industry holds the double blind, controlled clinical trial as the gold standard for proving efficacy, and would condemn any alternative that doesn't provide this scientific testing ( and a list of ingredients ) as snake oil or quack medicine, but does not hold the HPV vaccines to the same standard.

There is much more to this story. Google "Medical journal openly questions science, ethics of HPV vaccinations" for more info.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Some credible, verifiable information about HPV vaccines can be found here:

Web Link

"How common are the health problems caused by HPV?
HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. There are about 12,000 new cervical cancer cases each year in the United States. Cervical cancer causes about 4,000 deaths in women each year in the United States. There are about 15000 HPV-associated cancers in the United States that may be prevented by vaccines each year in women, including cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers.

About 7,000 HPV-associated cancers in the United States that may be prevented by vaccine each year in men, and oropharyngeal cancers are the most common."


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 7:46 am

From the link provided by John above, but on a different area of the website:

"In most cases, the body fights off HPV naturally and the infected cells then go back to normal"

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jaycee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:22 am

Sorry John, we're not lining up to get our children every latest and greatest vaccine that comes along.

But you can! :-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:55 am

More from the website posted by John above:

"Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the body's immune system clears HPV naturally "

So 90 percent of the time, the body fights off the virus (HPV), and it does not go on to develop into cervical cancer.

Why, John, would you suggest that someone gets the HPV vaccine?

From John's link once again:

"There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females"

Vaccinating someone against only 4 (out of more than 40) strains of a virus (HPV) that 90 percent of people clear on their own, if infected, without major problems, seems like a dumb idea to me.

And let's not forget that this is a sexually transmitted virus. Again from John's link:

"HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact."

When you have unprotected sex, there are bigger diseases to worry about, like AIDS.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:24 am

"Why, John, would you suggest that someone gets the HPV vaccine?"

Because, as the article says:

"Cervarix and Gardasil are licensed, safe, and effective for females ages 9 through 26 years. CDC recommends that all 11 or 12 year old girls get the 3 doses (shots) of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against most genital warts, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina and anus. Girls and young women ages 13 through 26 should get HPV vaccine if they have not received any or all doses when they were younger.

Gardasil is also licensed, safe, and effective for males ages 9 through 26 years. CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years, who did not get any or all of the three recommended doses when they were younger. All men may receive the vaccine through age 26, and should speak with their doctor to find out if getting vaccinated is right for them.

The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with men) and men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger."

The people who worked hard in school, learned their science and mathematics, toiled away for hours in labs and in front of computer screens have studied it and come to the above conclusion. While others were puttering around in malls of goofing off and not learning their science and math, don't understand the difference between anecdote and statistical significance, post these inane anti-vaccine rants without understanding a bit about what they are talking about. It isn't at all surprising that many of the people saying this nonsense (for example Michelle Bachmann) also believe the world was create 6000 years ago, and that dinosaurs coexisted with man -- and they want that taught in schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

"Sorry John, we're not lining up to get our children every latest and greatest vaccine that comes along."

"But you can! :-)"

I am getting the vaccines that the CDC recommends, as you should. Why would you feel more qualified than these scientists and doctors to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diane
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:34 am

John - it's not anti-vaccine ....it's anti-THIS vaccine!! And I'm just wondering, why do YOU care so much? You are free to do as you wish with your own children. Do you work for Merck??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Be my guest
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:36 am

Drink the kool-aid, John!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:12 am

Oh John, but your website also states:

"In 90% of cases, the body's immune system clears HPV naturally "

and that there are more than 40 types of HPV and the vaccine only covers four strains.

And here is some more information for you:

"A 2009 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) pointed out several flaws of Gardasil that should be considered. Of the 15 oncogenic, or cancer-causing, HPV strains, Gardasil only protects from infection by two of them (HPV types 16 and 18). Consequently, receiving the vaccination does not preclude someone from being infected with a HPV strain and developing cancer (Haug, 2009). Furthermore, since genital warts and lesions are not solely caused by HPV strains 6 and 11, Gardasil does not provide complete immunity from those lesions"

"the median age of cervical cancer diagnosis is 47 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Cervical Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity"). However, Merck has not of yet demonstrated whether receiving Gardasil at an age between 9 and 26 can reduce cervical cancer rates in women of that age group. Furthermore, of the 79% of women who will be infected with HPV, about 90% of women will not develop cervical cancer due to the strength of their natural immune response"

Web Link

I suggest you read and understand on your own, John, rather than letting someone do the understanding for you. They are, after all, providing you with data that if read and understood, would lead most people to conclude that the HPV vaccine is a dumb idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

"would lead most people to conclude that the HPV vaccine is a dumb idea."

Yet the experts who actually study this stuff and took the trouble to get to do their homework and study their math and science come to exactly that conclusion. Again, what are your qualifications to dispute that conclusion. What is your scientific field of expertise?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:39 am

"And I'm just wondering, why do YOU care so much? You are free to do as you wish with your own children."

Because people who don't vaccinate put other people at risk.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

"Yet the experts who actually study this stuff and took the trouble to get to do their homework and study their math and science come to exactly that conclusion"

No, the people who are trying to make money came to the conclusion that they would try to scare people into getting this vaccine. They know that some people do not bother to read the data and just skip ahead to the "summary" portion written by the "experts." They know that people like John will ignore statistics such as how 90 percent of people will fight the HPV infection on their own, how the average age of diagnosis is 47 but the vaccine is given between 9 and 26, etc. They count on people like you, John, to make money off of unnecessary vaccines.

"Because people who don't vaccinate put other people at risk."

That is true for vaccines such as polio or measles which can be spread by simply being in a room with an infected person.

HPV is transmitted through intimate contact, and bigger risks like AIDS exist for people who carelessly engage in sexual activity without proper protection.

People with HPV cannot spread the virus by simply being in public. Intimate, sexual type contact is needed in order for the virus to be spread.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:14 am

"Intimate, sexual type contact is needed in order for the virus to be spread."

Yes, and unless you can guarantee that both you and your spouse will be celibate until marriage, than you can also spread the disease.

"and bigger risks like AIDS exist for people who carelessly engage in sexual activity without proper protection."

Which is completely irrelevant. How could that possibly be relevant?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:32 am

Let me repeat this again, John:

No one with HPV can infect you, unless you choose to have intimate contact with that someone and are dumb enough to do so without proper protection. Simply being next to someone in public does not put you at risk of catching HPV.

"t. How could that possibly be relevant?"

Let me try to make this as simple as possible: if two people have gotten their HPV shots and foolishly think they are now protected (they're not because the vaccine does not cover all types of HPV), they still have to worry about other diseases for which there is no cure and no vaccine, such as AIDS. Therefore, they need to be careful and not engage in unprotected intimate contact, which is the only way HPV is transmitted. Does that make sense?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

"Does that make sense?"

No, it would be crazy to conclude that if inoculated against other infections such as HIV.

"dumb enough to do so without proper protection."

What is "proper protection" for HPV? What is proper protection for HPV, do you know? HPV is much more easily transmitted than HIV. Condoms are not sufficient protection against HPV. You have to make certain that you and are partner are both celibate before marriage to protect against HPV.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

"No, it would be crazy to conclude that if inoculated against other infections such as HIV."

A little clearer.

It would be crazy to conclude that if inoculated against HPV, one was inoculated against other infections such as HIV.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Wow. Non-scientists and professional anti-vac conspiracy theorists debating the effectiveness of Gardasil, and using singularly sourced snippets and anecdotes to reach their respective conclusions. I will show this thread to my medical students to demonstrate what not to do when conducting research. And my colleagues and I at the #1 Hospital in the US will continue to advise all vaccinations - it's up to you (and perhaps your public school systems) whether you choose to have your children innoculated. Good luck.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Some further questions:

Why would anyone risk death or severer injury of a child to protect the child from a potential injury that occurs on the average at age fifty? Especially when the means of protection, in this case the HPV vaccines have not been clinically proven to be effective against cervical cancer ? When the rate of death and sever injury from HPV vaccines is equal to the rate of cervical cancer? Why is the only information available in the doctor's office was authored by Merck, ( the manufactures of Gardasil ) and reprinted by the CDC? If the cervical cancer vaccines are not based on scientific evidence, and their ingredients are kept secret, isn't this really Quack Medicine ? Isn't Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil under a lot of economic pressure to generate profits to pay off the lawsuits of the thousands killed by its banned drub Vioxx? What better way than to stampeded people into using their vaccine product, of which they are protected from liability.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

To "john wagoner",
Because the risk from the vaccine is extremely small and the risk from the disease is much higher.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

"Because the risk from the vaccine is extremely small and the risk from the disease is much higher. "

According to www.gardasil.com (site of the manufacturer):

"The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your health care professional."

"Tell your health care professional about:

* swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin)
* joint pain
* unusual tiredness, weakness, or confusion
* chills
* generally feeling unwell
* leg pain
* shortness of breath
* chest pain
* aching muscles
* muscle weakness
* seizure
* bad stomach ache
* bleeding or bruising more easily than normal"

"Contact your health care professional right away if any of these symptoms concern you, even several months after getting the vaccine."

"GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types"

"HPV will affect an estimated 75% to 80% of males and females in their lifetime. For most, HPV clears on its own"


"a Pap smear, is part of the gynecological exam and helps detect abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have a chance to become precancers or cervical cancer. Pap tests (cervical cancer screenings) will play a key role in protecting your daughter's health as she gets older since GARDASIL does not protect against all types of HPV. Pap tests are proven to help save lives by looking for abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become precancers or cancer."


Hmmmm, why would anyone want to get the HPV shots, given the information about the vaccine? Even the manufacturer (see their site) admits that the vaccine is limited in the protection it gives, may not work for everyone, has many side effects, has only been approved for ages between 9 and 26 even though average age of diagnosis is 47, the manufacturer does not know how long the limited immunity the vaccine offers actually lasts (vaccine is only about 6 years old), and most important: MOST PEOPLE WILL CLEAR THE HPV VIRUS ON THEIR OWN.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

These comments are directed to anyone who hasn't already made up their mind about this issue. The last comments of ' john ' are just dead wrong, and that is the problem. The rate of cervical cancer is very low. The rate of serious side affects of the HPV vaccines is about 2.7 times the rate of cervical cancer, according to WHO. If ' john ' has his mind so completely made up that no amount of fact and reasoning can dissuade him, that is his problem. I urge people to look up the facts themselves. Here is a good place to start: HPV Vaccine Policy: At Odds With Evidence-Based Medicine?

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

To "John Wagoner",

I hope you know that all drugs/vaccines have similar lists of side effects. Here are some for aspirin:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; severe or persistent stomach pain; unusual bruising; vomiting.

One important thing you left off was the frequency of the various side effects. When scientists (real scientists who spend years in the laboratory, not comedians like Jim Carrey) study vaccines and make recommendations, they compare the risk of the vaccine to the risk of the disease. That is what they do. Scientists from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the Mayo Clinic, and many others have studied this.

You also forgot to mention a side effect of HPV that occurs in over 3000 people per year -- Death.

"If ' john ' has his mind so completely made up"

It sounds as if your mind is made up.

I'll ask again, what kind of scientific background do you have? You haven't presented any kind of rigorous statistics or scientific evidence or analysis.


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Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

john,

you state that HPV infections kill 3000 people per year? That is news to me !! Please provide a link. I just googled ' HPV death , and ' death caused by HPV ' and got no information. Are you sure you are not making that one up?

And yes, I do agree with you that aspirin also has serious side affects. And when you Google ' death caused by aspirin ' the first hit is an article about 40,000 deaths caused by aspirin and other .... . SO please provide that link or quit making it up as you go.

The basic point you continue to ignore is that the HPV vaccines are causing more human misery, inflicted on helpless children, than cervical cancer itself. Furthermore there is no clinical proof what so ever that the vaccines will prevent cervical cancer. That cannot be known until a group of women are tracked for forty years, and it doesn't take a rocket scientists to figure that one out.


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:20 am

Cervical cancer is not that common, and in fact, according to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), the rates of cervical cancer decreased by 70 percent between 1998 and 2002 (a period they studied) thanks to pap smears, which allowed women to detect abnormal cells before they became cancer.

Cervical cancer was already declining prior to the vaccine being available, and it was thanks to routine use of pap smears.

And according to the CDC at www.cdc.gov: (google rates of cervical cancer)

"In 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 12,280 women in the United States were told they had cervical cancer, and 4,021 died from the disease."

Those are very low numbers, considering we have millions of people in the United States. And by the way, HPV did not kill all of these 4,021 people. Lack of access to pap tests played a role (according to both the American Cancer Society and the CDC). Nor will vaccines prevent those deaths: according to the cancer society and CDC, HPV shots will not prevent cervical cancer for everyone, and the key to cervical cancer continues to be pap tests, in order to detect and treat abnormal cells before they become cancer.

The CDC (see www.cdc.gov) also states:

"All women are at risk for cervical cancer, but it is rare in women younger than 30 years of age. The median age at diagnosis (the age at which half of all reported cases were older and half were younger) is 47 years."

Let's see: the vaccine is approved for people ages between 9 and 26, it is rare that a woman younger than 30 gets cervical cancer, and the median age of diagnosis is 47.

Gardasil, with the data we have so far, does not seem to prevent cervical cancer. Why? Because of the median age of diagnosis vs when people get the shot, and also taking into account that we do not know how long the limited immunity lasts (vaccine is only 6 years old)


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

"There are about 15000 HPV-associated cancers in the United States that may be prevented by vaccines each year in women, including cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers."

The deaths are caused by cancers associated with HPV. A causal relationship has been established to the satisfaction of all the major, credible medical institutions, such as the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the Mayo Clinic, and many others.

"The basic point you continue to ignore is that the HPV vaccines are causing more human misery, inflicted on helpless children, than cervical cancer itself."

You have provided no evidence of this. None whatsoever. Furthermore, I can't see where you've provided the death rate from these vaccines.

"..and it doesn't take a rocket scientists to figure that one out."

Science is not easy. While you were puttering around malls, slurping on sodas and goofing off, those people who were busy doing there math and science homework and going off to college to learn molecular biology, organic chemistry, stochastic methods, epidemiology, and statistics have the background and experience to study vaccine efficacy and safety. You have clearly come to a false conclusion. Again, what is your scientific background? Are you a trained scientist and mathematician?

When I google some of those phrases that you provided above, I find a lot of links to religious fanaticism and pseudoscience. Could you have some ulterior motive to opposing HPV vaccination?


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

"SO please provide that link or quit making it up as you go."

"There are about 15000 HPV-associated cancers in the United States that may be prevented by vaccines each year in women, including cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers."

The deaths are caused by cancers associated with HPV. A causal relationship has been established to the satisfaction of all the major, credible medical institutions, such as the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the Mayo Clinic, and many others.

Web Link


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:28 am

"john" continues to ignore the entire data presented by the CDC and focuses only on the Q&A/summary which is meant to reassure people and get them to ignore all the facts in order to get them to blindly accept the vaccine.





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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

What "facts" am I ignoring? I'm not ignoring any "facts". You haven't presented anything that would cause me to come to any other conclusion.

I'll ask again, what scientific and mathematical background do you have? Do you understand the methodology for establishing causation from correlation in medical studies, or any kind of studies? It isn't trivial, and it can be counterintuitive.

And again, when I google those phrases provided by "Wagoner", I find lots of links to religious extremists, and organizations promoting, among other things, such deeply flawed pseudoscience as young earth creationism. Are you associated with one of these groups?


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Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:51 am


Thank you ' john '. Your comments make such a good foil, and so far you have refrained from name calling. For anyone reading this with an open mind here are some links:

.

HPV Vaccine Policy: At Odds With Evidence-Based Medicine?

Web Link

Think Twice Before Saying Yes to the HPV Vaccine

Web Link

Here is the abstract of a peer review article published in Annals of Medicine written by real scientists.

Annals of Medicine
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine policy and evidence-based medicine: Are they at odds?

Posted online on December 22, 2011. (doi:10.3109/07853890.2011.645353)


Lucija Tomljenovic1 & Christopher A. Shaw1,2
1Neural Dynamics Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia,
828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8
, Canada
2Program in Experimental Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC
, Canada
Correspondence: Lucija Tomljenovic, Neural Dynamics Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia,
828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8
, Canada. E-mail: lucijat77@gmail.com


All drugs are associated with some risks of adverse reactions. Because vaccines represent a special category of drugs, generally given to healthy individuals, uncertain benefits mean that only a small level of risk for adverse reactions is acceptable. Furthermore, medical ethics demand that vaccination should be carried out with the participant's full and informed consent. This necessitates an objective disclosure of the known or foreseeable vaccination benefits and risks. The way in which HPV vaccines are often promoted to women indicates that such disclosure is not always given from the basis of the best available knowledge. For example, while the world's leading medical authorities state that HPV vaccines are an important cervical cancer prevention tool, clinical trials show no evidence that HPV vaccination can protect against cervical cancer. Similarly, contrary to claims that cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, existing data show that this only applies to developing countries. In the Western world cervical cancer is a rare disease with mortality rates that are several times lower than the rate of reported serious adverse reactions (including deaths) from HPV vaccination. Future vaccination policies should adhere more rigorously to evidence-based medicine and ethical guidelines for informed consent.


Read More: Web Link

Let me clarify one point. I am comparing cervical cancer rates and sever ( disability and deaths ) reactions to the HPV vaccine for the United States only, which I think is valid.

I doubt that these would be good enough for ' john ' because he has already made up his mind. What ' john ' implied is that there were fatalities caused by the infection of HPV, not by the cancer it produces, which apparently is a figment of his imagination.

Any person who can read an abstract or article can make a reasonable conclusion and voice their opinion, which I have. One doesn't have to have credentials to use their own mind, which is what ' john ' seems to imply. I prefer to do my think for myself. ' john ' and his established authorities figures exhibit the phenomena of continuity over reality. In other words, it is more important to reinforce a consistent stand in order to shore up their authority, than except the reality and change their positions. Medical dogma is infamous for its failure to readily accept evidence based concepts that are contrary to their established beliefs.

What is really going on is a very cleaver business scheme by Merck. Panic people to accept a vaccine they don't need, make enormous profits, all the while being protected from liability by the U.S. government, and casting a blind eye to the harm they have done. This will generate the money Merck needs to pay of the tens of thousands wrongful death awards caused by their now banned drug Vioxx.


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

"What "facts" am I ignoring?"

You are ignoring facts presented by the websites you believe are credible (CDC for instance). One of the main facts you are ignoring is that HPV does not kill people. In fact, 90 percent of people who are infected with HPV clear the virus on their own, without further problems, without developing cancer (a fact you can easily find in many credible sites such as the Mayo clinic, FDA and CDC websites).

As for the 4,021 deaths reported by the CDC in the year 2007 due to cervical cancer, you are ignoring the fact that these people may not have died if they had had access to good preventive medicine, such as pap smears, which would have allowed them to detect abnormal cells before they had the chance to become cancer. In fact, it is thanks to the pap test (not the vaccine) that cervical cancer declined between the studied years (by the CDC and FDA) between 1998 and 2002

You are ignoring the fact that the vaccine is very new and therefore no scientist or entity (CDC, etc) can tell you how long immunity lasts.

You are ignoring the fact that the median age of diagnosis is 47 and the recommended ages for the shots are between 9 and 26.

You are ignoring the fact that the vaccine offers limited immunity against HPV given that not all types are covered, and that the limited immunity is not even obtained by all who are vaccinated (fact stated in websites such as CDC and FDA)

etc





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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

"One of the main facts you are ignoring is that HPV does not kill people."

Obviously it doesn't kill every person who gets it, but in those people in whom it causes cervical or other cancers, it leads to death in a large number of cases. I am not ignoring any fact here.

Varicella zoster virus only kills a small fraction of the people who get it as well, but I wouldn't skip the chicken pox vaccine in my children either, would you? The vaccine has side effects, but the effects of the disease are worse.

"...no scientist or entity (CDC, etc) can tell you how long immunity lasts."

That was true for many decades for the tetanus vaccine also. Was that a reason not to get the vaccine? Of course not.

"In fact, 90 percent of people who are infected with HPV clear the virus on their own"

You could make a similar, though not precisely the same argument in the case chicken pox. Would you also concluded the parents skip chicken pox vaccination for their children?

"You are ignoring the fact that the median age of diagnosis is 47 and the recommended ages for the shots are between 9 and 26."

I'm not ignoring that. That is consistent with the recommendations of the CDC and others.

"You are ignoring the fact that the vaccine offers limited immunity against HPV given that not all types are covered, and that the limited immunity is not even obtained by all who are vaccinated (fact stated in websites such as CDC and FDA)"

I'm not ignoring that. Limited immunity is better than no immunity. The same is true of the diphtheria.

And again, when I google those phrases provided by "Wagoner", I find lots of links to religious extremists, and organizations promoting, among other things, such deeply flawed pseudoscience as young earth creationism. Are you associated with one of these groups?


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

"Any person who can read an abstract or article can make a reasonable conclusion and voice their opinion"

They can, of course, voice their opinion but that doesn't mean it will be a well grounded or reasonable opinion. There is no substitute for scientific rigor. We have a peer review for a reason. Years of study and lab experience teach us the scientific method. Epidemiologists, microbiologists, and chemists train for years. People who haven't studied science, much less probability and statistics, frequently come to very wrong conclusions when attempting to draw conclusions from raw scientific or statistical data. That is something students frequently learn in freshman probability and statistics classes. Since you didn't answer directly, can I conclude that you don't have a scientific or mathematical background? Are the conclusions of people with such backgrounds valuable to you?

I googled some of those phrases you posted earlier and found many links to religious extremists whose sloppy thinking leads them to conclude that the world was created 6000 years ago instead of having formed from a cloud of gas over 4 billion years, as real scientists conclude. I'll ask again, are you associated with these groups? Their reasoning is completely unscientific and wrong.


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Posted by John Wagoner
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

john, john,john......... You don't have the guts to read and comment on the article " Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine policy and evidence-based medicine: Are they at odds?" do you ??? How can you ignore the published works of white coated scientists ?

Its been fun baiting you, but I think I have made my point, so, so long .


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

"Obviously it doesn't kill every person who gets it, but in those people in whom it causes cervical or other cancers, it leads to death in a large number of cases. "

4,021 deaths from cervical cancer according to the CDC (2007 data). Those deaths, according to the CDC and FDA could have been prevented if they had had the preventive pap smear and detected the abnormal cells before they had the chance to become cancer. An annual pap test is what we need for every female in the US.

"Varicella zoster virus only kills a small fraction of the people who get it as well, but I wouldn't skip the chicken pox vaccine in my children either, would you?"

It is different. Chicken pox is highly contagious by being in a public place with an infected person, HPV is not. Also, there are no tests to detect abnormal changes in one's body to prevent the development of chicken pox. There is however, a test (pap) that will detect abnormal changes in the cells.


"That was true for many decades for the tetanus vaccine also. Was that a reason not to get the vaccine?"

It is different. People who got tetanus had serious problems. 90% of people who get infected with HPV clear the virus on their own (that does not happen with tetanus). Of the unlucky 10 percent who do not clear the virus on their own, not all go on to develop cervical cancer, and those who get their routine pap test each year, would be able to detect abnormal cells and treat them before they have the chance of developing into cancer.

The deaths in 2007 due to cervical cancer were 4,021, a very small number given the millions of people in the US. And those deaths could have been prevented with pap tests.

The only way to prevent tetanus is through the vaccine because even with strong hygiene of wounds, you could develop tetanus if not vaccinated. People who get the tetanus illness do not develop immunity since it is a bacteria. You can prevent cervical cancer by other means: protect yourself and know your partners before engaging in intimate contact, and get the routine, annual pap test which would allow you to stop the abnormal cells before they develop into cancer.


"You could make a similar, though not precisely the same argument in the case chicken pox. Would you also concluded the parents skip chicken pox vaccination for their children?"

The chicken pox vaccine is a bad example. For one thing, chicken pox booster shots can be given at any age wheras gardasil has a limited age group it is approved for. The chicken pox shot is a live virus, so all you are doing is infecting the vaccine recipient with an atenuated version of the illness. The side effects are very mild and not at all comparable to the awful side effects of Gardasil. The benefits vs. risk analysis does not justify the use of Gardasil. Cervical cancer is an illness that you can get with or without the Gardasil shot, and one that can be prevented with or without the Gardasil shot.


"I'm not ignoring that."

Yes you are. Think: the vaccine is only approved for those between the ages of 9 and 26, yet the median age of diagnosis is 47. No one (not even scientists) know how long the vaccine offers immunity to those who get the shot. As of today, no scientist can tell you that vaccinating a 9 year old with Gardasil will prevent an HPV infection when she becomes sexually active, or a cervical cancer diagnosis when she is 47 (the median age for such a diagnosis). And Gardasil does not have booster shots like other vaccines, because again, it has been approved only for a certain age group.


"I'm not ignoring that. Limited immunity is better than no immunity. The same is true of the diphtheria. "

Wrong. Gardasil offers limited immunity to an illness (HPV) that most people clear on their own, and those who do not, can prevent cervical cancer by getting routine annual tests.

Diphteria, on the other hand, does not have a test you can perform to see changes in your body that can indicate the presence (beginnings) of diphteria in order to treat it before it develops into something serious.

According to sites such as the CDC, prior to diphteria vaccinations, 15,520 annual deaths from diphteria were reported. There are no deaths reported from HPV. The 4,021 deaths reported in 2007 were due to cervical cancer, not HPV. Such deaths could have been prevented by annual tests that would have shown the presence of abnormal cells and would have allowed people to treat them before they developed cervical cancer. Two different things altogether. Getting infected with HPV does not mean getting (or dying from) cervical cancer. Getting infected with the diphteria bacteria means developing the illness for sure.

"Are you associated with one of these groups?"

I do not know what you define as "these groups." If you are asking about my religion: I do not go to church. If you are asking about my political affiliation: I am an independent and support democrats and republicans alike, depends on the candidate. If you are talking about vaccines: I choose which vaccines are worth the risk (polio, measles, etc) and which are not (gardasil) based on the data, not the summary or recommendation of the "experts."

Yes, there are extreme groups out there, but they are not the only ones against this Gardasil vaccine.

And there are also people who will get every shot there is (swine flu shot comes to mind), without thinking about it and just accepting what they are told. That is just as bad as the extreme groups that won't even vaccinate for polio or measles.


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

john:

Since you pay attention to what the experts say, please research Dr. Diane Harper, a scientist who helped with the Gardasil trials. She explains how not enough is known about the long-term (or lack of) immunity given by the shots, that the risk of side effects from Gardasil could be worse than the risks of developing cervical cancer (given we have the pap test), etc. Here is what she said in a 2009 article:

"Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It's highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved. "

"Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine's risk-versus-benefit profile. "

"This raises questions about the CDC's recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. "If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... we've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit," says Dr. Harper. "The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.""

" She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings."

"According to Dr. Harper, assessing the true adverse event risk of Gardasil, and comparing it to the risk of cervical cancer can be tricky and complex. "The number of women who die from cervical cancer in the US every year is small but real. It is small because of the success of the Pap screening program." "

"Dr. Harper agrees with Merck and the CDC that Gardasil is safe for most girls and women. But she says the side effects reported so far call for more complete disclosure to patients. She says they should be told that protection from the vaccination might not last long enough to provide a cancer protection benefit, and that its risks - "small but real" - could occur more often than the cervical cancer itself would. "

"She also worries that Merck's aggressive marketing of the vaccine may have given women a false sense of security. "The future expectations women hold because they have received free doses of Gardasil purchased by philanthropic foundations, by public health agencies or covered by insurance is the true threat to cervical cancer in the future. Should women stop Pap screening after vaccination, the cervical cancer rate will actually increase per year. Should women believe this is preventive for all cancers - something never stated, but often inferred by many in the population-- a reduction in all health care will compound our current health crisis. Should Gardasil not be effective for more than 15 years, the most costly public health experiment in cancer control will have failed miserably.""


And another doctor is also quoted in the article:

"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.""

Web Link


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Posted by No to Gardasil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

It is important for everyone to know that AB 499 was signed by Governor Brown:

"Asssemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) sponsored AB 499 with the aim of providing young people with timely preventative treatment, including the human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccine "

""this bill is dangerous because it expands a faulty law which assumes that children know better than their parents and because it will allow minors access to HPV vaccines which may cause them permanent harm.""

Web Link


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

To "No to Gardisil",

" But she says the side effects reported so far call for more complete disclosure to patients. She says they should be told that protection from the vaccination might not last long enough to provide a cancer protection benefit, and that its risks - "small but real" - could occur more often than the cervical cancer itself would."

I agree. I don't have a problem with that.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

To "John Wagoner",

"You don't have the guts to read and comment on the article "

You didn't provide a link. I was happy to google that, and as I said, many links appeared, and many contained a great deal of pseudo science.

"Its been fun baiting you, but I think I have made my point, so, so long . "

Playing pranks on the internet may be fun for you, but you should remember that we are talking about real lives here, and someone who might be casually reading these threads might be mislead.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

"It is important for everyone to know that AB 499 was signed by Governor Brown"

We agree again. I don't like that bill either.


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Posted by Allen
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:19 am

I have Guillain-Barre Syndrome and still vaccinate against flu, pneumonia and other things. I do this as there is no evidence that vaccine causes GBS. I would certainly encourage my children to vaccinate to protect their health and life.


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