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The HPV Vaccine: An Ethical Dilemma
Author: Tyler Collins-Blankenship
Many of Americans and people around the world are connected to global news in one way or another. The news organizations in the United States are very transparent in representing who they stand for. Even though the media is supposed to report objectively, there are still diversion techniques that can warp the way a reader comprehends a publishing. Whether or not someone wants to deny propaganda exists, the fact of the matter is that it is present all around us and influences our every thought. Which is why it is best to analyze the important information and compare it to what other news organizations are publishing about the matter. It is also good to keep in mind the motives that a news organization could have in preserving their reputation, even if that means publishing misleading stories. In class, we were discussing how the population is increasing at a dramatic rate and how as a global community we need to work together to solve the problem. We also talked about how recently, there have been a widespread plateau of birth rates, whether that being attributed to the industrialization of the work force, free access to contraceptives, women becoming more independent and less reliant on the system, or other external factors such as chronic illness and disease that affects the ability to reproduce.
Recently, while browsing through the news application on my MacBook, catching up on world events and stumbled across an article in my news feed published by The Irish Times entailing details of how in 2010, there were 650 young women hospitalized in Ireland after receiving the Gardasil vaccine. Of 690,000 doses administered, there were 1,099 reports of anadverse reaction, 648 of which were considered to be a serious health risk and required hospitalization. The symptoms these young women experienced are similar to the other symptoms of adverse reactions outlined later in this paper. According to the unnamed spokeswoman of the Health Products Regulatory Authority, “the majority of the reports we have received have been consistent with the expected pattern of adverse effects for the vaccine, as described in the currently approved product information…and that the safety of these vaccines, as with all medicines…continues to be carefully monitored”. This standpoint is based off of the European Medicine Agency’s opinion that the benefits of HPV vaccines continue to outweigh the risks (Cullen, 2017). Whether an individual agrees or disagrees with the decision to receive a vaccination or to have their child receive a vaccination, it should not be all that uncommon to raise concern over what this article describes as an ‘adverse reaction’. When looking at the medical literature published about the HPV vaccine, there are some shocking facts and statistics that aren’t commonly represented by mainstream sources.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that affects a small amount of the population and rarely is it passed on through birth from the mother. This virus has been a public concern since the 1980s, but only recently has there been a vaccine manufactured to protect against it. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 150 strains of HPV, which can be identified by the number given to its HPV type. Contrary to popular belief, HPV is not all that uncommon, it is estimated that 26% of women ages 14-69 have some strain of HPV lying dormant in their body; and in over 90% of HPV infection cases, the infection naturally resolves itself within 2 years and won’t cause any future health issues. It wasn’t until 2006 that the CDC began recommending the HPV vaccination to young women, and just five years later in 2011 they started recommending that young boys receive this vaccination as well (Fox News, 2016).
Currently, there are 3 HPV vaccines on the market licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the CDC; Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). When receiving the HPV vaccine there are 2 doses administered, with the second dose being administered six months after the first (Fox News, 2017). The different types of HPV vaccines are advertised in a similar manner stating that they protect against the 4 most common types of HPV, which can cause serious health problems later in life such as, genital warts and cancers of the anus, throat and cervix. Cervarix is a bivalent vaccination that protects against HPV types 16 and 18, while the Gardasil vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against HPV types: 6, 11, 16 and 18 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).
According to an article published by CNN, which is on par with the CDCs information; all three HPV vaccinations protect against HPV strains 16 and 18. This is significant because these strains are responsible for over 66% of cervical cancer cases (Storrs, 2016). The widespread popularity of the HPV vaccine now allow for open access to all populations who wish to be vaccinated. Even children able to consent to a vaccination without the permission from a parent or legal guardian (Farrell, 2007). The HPV vaccine used to be given in a series of three doses, which was inconvenient to parents because that meant they had to take their child to the doctor on three separate occasions; so the CDC redesigned their schedule to best fit the convenience of the parents (Fox News, 2017). Although, there are seemingly obvious and apparent benefits to receiving the HPV vaccination: like gaining immunity to future HPV contractions and preventing the development of cancer caused by certain papilloma, there are many instances and experiences that could potentially deter parents and adults away from the vaccination all together. The information presented on the CDC’s website suggests that the patient lay down for 15 minutes prior to receiving the HPV vaccine because common symptoms include: fainting, joint pain, joint swelling, redness, nausea and headaches (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). There are many doctors that will attest to the adverse effects associated with the HPV vaccine, which puts their career and reputation on the line because government agencies and the mainstream media push untrue and misleading information about vaccines, particularly the HPV vaccine.
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, D.O. is on record stating that, “the Gardasil vaccine causes so many debilitating things, in terms of auto immune conditions such as postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTs) syndrome…and has caused upward to 180 confirmed deaths…I would say that is a pretty serious side effect not mentioned by the CDC” (Bollinger, 2016). According to a study that was put out in The Journal of Vaccine in Alberta, Canada, of the 195,270 females that were tracked, a total of 19,351(9.9%) females were hospitalized within 42 days of receiving the HPV vaccine (X.C et al., 2016). Isn’t strange how government agencies are publishing literature stating that these inoculations are safe and effective and pose no risk to human health, when there are a countless reports of severe side effects and even death? If the CDC and FDA did not know about the potentially fatal side effects associated with this vaccine, then there would not be a reason to co-fund and own a database specifically designed for reporting vaccine adverse events.
When looking over the research regarding the symptoms and mortality rate surrounded the HPV vaccination, it is quite frightening to say the least. Although it is believed that most adverse reactions go unreported, there is a database that is jointly operated by the CDC and FDA called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reaction System (VAERS). In this database, there are numerous data representing each adverse reaction for each vaccination on the market. As of December 31st, 2016, Gardasil accounted for 25% of all VAERS reports. Gardasil was responsible for 43,532 adverse reaction reports, which included 250 deaths (Bollinger, 2016). In 2015, there was a lawsuit filed against the United States Department of Health (USDOH) in the Federal Vaccine Court that was based on the post-mortem autopsy report conducted by Dr. Sin Hang Lee. An expert pathologist and cancer diagnostic specialist for more than 50 years, Dr. Lee outlined the health status of the patient preceding the seconds dose of Gardasil; which indicating that the patient was in great spirits before his death, participated in after school events and was healthy up to time of the second dose of the HPV vaccine. After Joel Gomez received the second dose of the Gardasil, he had gone home and went to sleep only to be found unresponsive by his family the next morning. Dr. Sin Hang Lee concluded that “Gardasil did cause or contributed to a myocardial infarction in the descendent, and that the second dose of Gardasil finally caused a fatal hypotension in this case the day of the vaccination. There was no other plausible cause for the death of Joel Gomez” (Lee, 2013). The adverse reactions associated with this vaccination seem to go unreported by mainstream media sources, and are commonly disregarded as a coincidence, or a medical anomaly.
In 2014 there were numerous reports of mass hysteria and mystery illnesses spreading around the small town of El Carmen De Bolivar, Colombia. According to an article published by CBS, there was a steady increase of young women being hospitalized in this small town, all of which reported the same symptoms of fainting, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, and headaches. Speculations about the Gardasil vaccination arose, but were disregarded by the mayor of the town stating that “there is no evidence the vaccine, which has undergone extensive testing and regulation is to blame” (CBS, 2014). According to this statement, he is not necessarily wrong, because the clinical trials of this vaccine have been proven to have misleading conclusions due to errors in the study design.
The study design surrounding the HPV vaccine contained countless errors that would be considered unacceptable in other fields of research. While on record, Dr. Thomas discusses his concerns and opinions with the way research is presented surrounding the HPV vaccine. His opinion is that the research surrounding the HPV vaccine is tobacco science, meaning that the data had not been properly collected according to the standards of a conventional randomized control trials; and instead of using a true placebo of saline solution, the researchers used an aluminum adjuvant; which could potentially cause many errors in the study design, because aluminum is also contained within the HPV vaccine as well. These statements are supported by a review article published this year in the journal Clinical Rheumatology. Independent researchers reviewed more than 10 randomized trials and determined there were numerous study design errors performed by the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine. They looked at the data of two of the largest HPV vaccine randomized trials and determined that there are “significantly more severe adverse events in the tested vaccine group vs the comparator group (placebo)…and that this critical review of the HPV vaccine randomized controlled trials…raise several safety concerns” (Guerra-Amezcua, 2017).
The independent researchers then begin to point out that the original study failed to incorporate a true placebo before obtaining licensure, and that the 2 studies under critical review instead of using a neutral placebo, used the same aluminum adjuvant that is contained within the HPV vaccine. This type of error is not going to replicate true and valid results because the original studies did not follow the gold standard research designs set in place and regulation is to blame” (CBS, 2014). According to this statement, he is not necessarily wrong, because the clinical trials of this vaccine have been proven to have misleading conclusions due to errors in the study design. The study design surrounding the HPV vaccine contained countless errors that would be considered unacceptable in other fields of research. While on record, Dr. Thomas discusses his concerns and opinions with the way research is presented surrounding the HPV vaccine. His opinion is that the research surrounding the HPV vaccine is tobacco science, meaning that the data had not been properly collected according to the standards of a conventional randomized control trials; and instead of using a true placebo of saline solution, the researchers used an aluminum adjuvant; which could potentially cause many errors in the study design, because aluminum is also contained within the HPV vaccine as well. These statements are supported by a review article published this year in the journal Clinical Rheumatology. Independent researchers reviewed more than 10 randomized trials and determined there were numerous study design errors performed by the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine. They looked at the data of two of the largest HPV vaccine randomized trials and determined that there are “significantly more severe adverse events in the tested vaccine group vs the comparator group (placebo)…and that this critical review of the HPV vaccine randomized controlled trials raise several safety concerns” (Guerra-Amezcua, 2017). The independent researchers then begin to point out that the original study failed to incorporate a true placebo before obtaining licensure, and that the 2 studies under critical review instead of using a neutral placebo, used the same aluminum adjuvant that is contained within the HPV vaccine. This type of error is not going to replicate true and valid results because the original studies did not follow the gold standard research designs set in place by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The researchers were very critical of the 2 study designs and concluded that the placebo used was not a pharmaceutically inert substance, and that the data collected about the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine cannot be used to formulate a valid conclusion because the placebo contained harmful neurotoxic elements which naturally replicate the same side effects as the control group, which misleads the public and implies that the vaccine is safe when comparing the results of the clinical trial (Guerra-Amezcua, 2017).
In the documentary series The Truth About Vaccines, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny discusses her concerns with injecting an aluminum adjuvant into the blood stream. She states that it is extremely neurotoxic to the nervous system and it could result in severe health concerns like POTs, tachycardia and even death, which is also supported by an article published in the Journal of Toxicology which goes on to cite over 150 research studies associated with the detrimental effects of aluminum being injected into the blood stream. Aluminum induces entropy in living organisms by disrupting all levels of structure, which can damage DNA and other important cells and organ systems in the body. Aluminum toxicity has been shown to have fatal effects at any dose and can damage genetic systems, degrade metabolism, and hyperdrive the immune system directly disrupting endocrine function, especially with repeated exposures, like in instance of multiple childhood vaccines (Davidson et al., 2014).
Some individuals will argue that the side effects associated with the HPV vaccine greatly outweigh the risks of contracting an HPV infection and developing cancer. This rationalization is usually accompanied by a rebuttal utilized in the form of a poor analogy that does not properly represent the truth. Often times, the rebuttal used combat the philosophy for refusing the HPV vaccine is that having an HPV infection causes complications that interrupt a person’s quality of life; and that it is in their best interest to ‘rather be safe than sorry’ and to vaccinate for the common good of public health. This argument would hold epidemiological weight if this premise were true. Most people trust their doctor when it comes to advice about health, because their doctor is supposed to be up to speed about all of the biased epidemiological data surrounding the HPV vaccine discussed earlier. The doctor will usually go on to inform the person that the vaccine has been tested, and is proven to be safe and effective by the CDC and that there is nothing to worry about. Do you think the doctor would be as forthcoming if they understood that if an individual was injured or hurt from a vaccination (of any kind), the vaccine manufacturer assumes legal immunity under the National Vaccine Compensation Act (NVCA) of 1986, and that no they cannot be sued and that no one assumes responsibility but the parents? (Bollinger, 2016).
The NVCA of 1986 was introduced in the early 1980s because there were a series of lawsuits that targeted vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers regarding the safety and efficacy of their products and could have potentially caused a shortage of vaccines worldwide which would have “caused a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases”. This legislation is a no-fault law that incorporates a seventy-five-cent tax on each valent contained within a particular vaccine. This act also grants legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers against litigation; which means that the manufacturer cannot be held directly responsible for the incidences of a vaccine injury. So, if a multivalent (more than one vaccine in one) vaccine is utilized in a medical practice, the purchaser of the vaccine can expect to pay an additional seventy-five-cent tax per each valent that is contained within the vaccine. The taxes collected from the NVCA are put into a trust fund for future lawsuits brought forth to the United States Department of Health that justify compensation (Health Resources & Services Administration, 2017). Prior to NVCA legislation, in the early 80s, the CDCs recommended vaccine schedule was far less frequent and invasive. At this time, the CDC only recommended 10 vaccinations. Coincidentally, after the legislation of the NVCA passed, the CDC re-designed their vaccine schedule to include over 69 vaccines (Bollinger, 2016). It is almost as if our government has assisted in creating a perfect business model for vaccine manufacturers. There are taxes collected on each vaccination sold; and there is current legislation in place that exonerates all manufacturers and healthcare providers from litigation against the potentially harmful effects of vaccination. In the eyes of the legal system no one can assume responsibility besides the parent or the person consenting to receiving the vaccination. What more could a corporation ask for to make enourmous amounts of money? Every aspect of this industry pose safety concerns due to numerous amount of adverse reactions and deaths reported on the VAERS database and the mass amounts of money that is being collected. Each and every person exposed to the HPV vaccination is at risk for an adverse reaction, which is not ethical and should not be allowed on the market because if that individual was hurt by a vaccine, they would be warranted to rely on the healthcare system for the rest of their life. Which creates a money making double-edged sword.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 11 years and older receive the vaccination and go as far as stating that the HPV vaccine prevents the occurrence of HPV induced cancer(s) and genital warts. Shortly after the introduction of Gardasil vaccine in 2006, the FDA presented data to the Vaccine Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) in May of 2006, that clearly indicated that the Gardasil vaccine increases the subjects risk of cancer by 44.6% if the subject carries the same strain of HPV that they are being vaccinated for (Food and Drug Administration, 2006). Introducing the same strain of HPV to the hosts immune system may activate dormant strains of HPV in the body and accelerate the growth of cancer; which is unethical because this vaccine contraindicates itself. This is exactly what happened to Erin Crawford when she was attending the University of Louisville. Erin, a healthy student who worked in the health services office was approached by a physician who told her that there was a new vaccine on the market that helped prevent cervical cancer. Erin was eager to get vaccinated because cancer took three of her close family members. She trusted the physician’s judgment pertaining to the vaccine, so she consented and received the dose with hopes to having a greater defense at protecting against cervical cancer. It was not until later in the evening until she started experiencing an adverse reaction. She began to get sick which persisted for about 6 months until her mensural cycle stopped. Extremely worried, she went to the doctor to request diagnostic screening, only to find out that the entire time she had been sick she had been developing Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, stage 3 cervical cancer. Once the cancer began to get worse she had to have part of her cervix removed. As time went on, the cancer began to disrupt her endocrine and lymph system, she developed severe tonsillitis which warranted for a tonsillectomy and her tonsils had to be removed. To her benefit, the tonsils and part of her cervix were both saved and sent to a pathologist, which were then examined and tested. Both of which tested positive for the HPV strains 16 and 18. Coincidentally, these were the same strains that the vaccine was supposed to protect against. All of her health records indicated that prior to receiving the vaccine she had tested negative for all strains of the HPV virus; which revealed to her doctor that the Gardasil vaccine was be the only possible cause of illness because throughout this timespan it was not physically possible for Erin to be sexually active, which rules out the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted form of HPV. Despite all of Erin’s health problems that were associated with the HPV vaccine, she is still alive today and has been cancer free for 9 years. She was able to cure her cancer naturally without any other medical intervention (Bollinger, 2016).
The decisions to give vaccine manufactures legal immunity to litigation was decided by the United States Supreme Court back in the 1980s. Presently, there are many malpractice attorneys, doctors and physicians that are warning about the schemes that the vaccine have manufacturers created. Fortunately, after all of the efforts to eliminate activists, there are still people out there who are fighting back to spreading truth and awareness about this topic. In 2011, there was a lawsuit taken to the supreme court titled Bruesewitz vs Wyeth. This lawsuit a was centered around a vaccine injury that left a young female physically and mentally disabled immediately prior to receiving a proper schedule of vaccinations. The Supreme Court ended up ruling in the favor of the parents which made the case the first civil litigation to legally classify and refer to vaccinations as being ‘unavoidably unsafe’, and through this case we learn from testimonial evidence that in particular circumstances it may be necessary for the vaccine manufacturer to put a drug or vaccine on the market before adequate testing can be done in order to keep up with the demand of the medical field and CDC schedule. This Supreme Court ruling is significant because it acknowledges that every vaccination on the market has had reports of some sort of adverse reaction and has been associated with some form of chronic illness. The Supreme Courts perspective and legal ruling are parallel to all of the research presented in the previous parts of this paper (Supreme Court of the United States, 2010).
Congressman, Bill Posey has been on the record stating that, “I think every member of congress should be a co-sponsor of vaccines to prove that they’re safe. Why would we fear it? What you know is what the pharmaceutical rep tells you as they hand you your super-bowl tickets and briefly explain a dozen studies that aren’t true…If these things are 100% safe, then why has the trust fund paid out over 3 billion dollars since the start of the National Vaccine Compensation Trust fund?” (Bollinger, 2016). Although vaccinations are still being mandated to participate in certain aspects of society, there are many activists who are beginning to revolutionize the way we interpret government advice and follow through with their protocols.
The future of healthcare rests on the current generations shoulders because like the past, the mistakes of the present will inevitably be inherited by the generations of the future. In this fight against medical freedom of choice, we face problems that have been forced onto us from previous out dated recommendations and protocols of the past. We are beginning to neglect the very foundation that science is based off of, in attempts to make the most money as possible (Bollinger, 2016). The judgement and opinions of many doctors around the world have been misled into thinking vaccination is a public health concern and it is the governments job to mandate vaccines, which is simply not true. The information has been misrepresented and fraudulently produced and there are countless review articles analyzing the clinical trials that detail these crimes. The model of our healthcare system has been allowed to operate on the basis of a competitive business model; which is not ethical because it allows for society to put a price on a life. We have allowed for an empirical design of research to be influenced by money which has allowed the medical field to evolve into a pyramid scheme that is meant to profit off of the treatment and development of disease which deters the focus from finding the cures and proper prevention to disease.
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