Troubling outcomes continue to plague Merck’s Gardasil vaccine

On any given day at any given pediatrician’s or family physician’s office, you’re likely to find several young adults—tweens and teens—popping in for a Gardasil vaccine, which is intended to prevent infections from four strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). These visits take just a few minutes of a nurse’s time. Then, since fainting is a common side effect of the vaccine, the patient is supposed to sit or lie down for 15 minutes to avoid injuries. Whether a practice follows this U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observation guideline or not is usually up to the provider.

But now, a dozen lawsuits that have been filed in federal court allege that Merck, the vaccine’s manufacturer, failed to warn patients of the risks of the Gardasil vaccine adequately. These risks, according to the lawsuits, include autoimmune problems and neurological injuries.

The plaintiffs contend that Merck was negligent in the way it conducted its clinical trials to get the vaccine approved in the first place and then deliberately downplayed the vaccine side effects and ignored postmarket safety signals.

“Merck misrepresented and overemphasized Gardasil’s efficacy while concealing Gardasil’s serious risks,” the plaintiffs wrote in a statement.

Among the highly troubling—and sometimes lethal—side effects that Merck has ignored are chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, premature ovarian failure, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

“The entire issue is about choice,” Bijan Esfandiari, a pharmaceutical products liability attorney based in Los Angeles, California, and a co-lead of the Gardasil multidistrict litigation, told The Epoch Times.

“Our contention is that Merck knew through clinical trials that Gardasil was linked with serious autoimmune injuries. If you’re going to be injecting a 13-, 14-, or 15-year-old with this vaccine that has purportedly all these benefits, you have to also inform the patients and the parents about all the risks associated with the product,” Esfandiari said.

What’s more, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, the vaccines are not as effective as the manufacturers contend.

“The vaccine has never been shown to prevent cervical or any other cancer,” Kim Mack Rosenberg, a lawyer based in New Jersey who is also involved in the lawsuits, told The Epoch Times. “When you break down the epidemiological studies, they are seriously flawed and many of them are industry-funded.”

What Is HPV?

HPV is a very common sexually transmitted virus. Passed from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact, oral sex, and deep kissing, even people who aren’t sexually active or only have one partner throughout their lifetime can get infected with it.

Scientists have identified more than 150 different strains of HPV. The majority of sexually active people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives.

While this sounds worrisome—and much has been made of the “dangers” of HPV infections—most people who carry some strain of the virus in their bodies experience no ill health effects. In fact, the virus will self-resolve in two years with no treatment at least 90 percent of the time, according to the CDC.

However, like with other infections, some viral strains are more pathogenic than others. While this is often not a problem, we also know that HPV infections can lead to painful genital problems, including warts, as well as cancers of the anus, cervix, penis, and vagina. The virus has also been implicated in 70 percent of the cases of oropharyngeal cancer (cancer in the back of the throat), according to the CDC.

What About the HPV Vaccine?

The vaccine against HPV has been used widely since 2006 in several countries around the world, including the United States and Canada. Other industrialized nations soon followed suit.

In the United States today, the CDC recommends the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 for both boys and girls, though it can be given to children as young as nine. If you missed the vaccine as a child, the CDC further recommends anyone up to age 26 get the shots. It’s given as a series of either two or three injections.

For sexually active adults over 26 years old, the vaccine is not recommended because they have likely already been exposed.

As the new documentary film, “Under the Skin: What Does Aluminum Do in Vaccines?,” explored, the marketing blitz surrounding the HPV vaccine was tremendously successful.

Parents in countries around the world were bombarded with television advertisements and state-sponsored campaigns to “prevent cancer.”

Many of these appeals were done by beautiful tweens and teens looking directly into the camera and asking their parents some version of the question, “You don’t want me to get cancer, do you?”

Serious Safety Concerns From the Start

But what was not revealed in the aggressive rollout of the different iterations of the HPV vaccine (it was updated to include more strains after the initial vaccine was found lacking), was that this “miracle” vaccine against cancer had serious safety concerns right from the beginning.

On Feb. 5, 2015, these safety issues were detailed in an outstanding original investigation published in the Toronto Star, “The Dark Side of Gardasil.”

According to that investigation, between 2008 and 2015, at least 60 Canadian girls and women had convulsions or developed disabling joint pain and other debilitating conditions after their shots.

After Kaitlyn Armstrong received her third HPV vaccine, the 13-year-old experienced pain throughout her body.

Natalie Kenzie, also 13, developed lumps the size of eggs on the bottoms of her feet, her joints swelled, and her limbs began twitching uncontrollably.

Another girl had an even more severe reaction. Annabelle Morin, 14, died two weeks after her second vaccine. She drowned in the bathtub on Dec. 9, 2008. The Quebec coroner listed the cause of death as drowning, but also said that Gardasil might have played a role and that Morin’s death warranted further investigation.

Safety Concerns Censored

Due to pressure from the medical establishment, the Toronto Star expunged its 2,600-word article from the internet.

A search for the article comes up with several headlines, among them: “Science shows HPV vaccine has no dark side” and “How the Toronto Star massively botched a story about the HPV vaccine—and corrected the record.”

In 2009, Japan joined other countries in recommending the HPV vaccine (in this case, GlaxoSmithKline’s bivalent vaccine) to tweens and teens. In 2011, Merck’s quadrivalent shot was approved.

But in 2013, concerned about debilitating and ongoing side effects, the Japanese government suspended its recommendation for the universal use of the HPV vaccine.

An advisory panel concluded that the real side effects reported by Japanese women and girls, which included chronic and debilitating pain, convulsions, and excruciating headaches, did not justify the theoretical benefits of the vaccine. After the recommendation was changed, HPV vaccination rates in Japan declined from nearly 70 percent to less than 1 percent, according to Science magazine.

Other countries, including the United KingdomDenmarkIreland, and Colombia, have been flooded by reports of side effects.

However, on April 1, 2022, Japanese health authorities resumed the vaccination program, again recommending that girls (only girls) ages 12 to 16 get vaccinated.

Still, many in Japan remain concerned. This change, Masumi Minaguchi, a lawyer helping vaccine-injured women and girls sue the Japanese government, told Science, “is without any scientific basis and is wrong as public health policy.”

Bad Medical Advice

If the HPV vaccine is so reactogenic, why is it still being recommended? Esfandiari said many of the families his firm is representing that are dealing with HPV vaccine injuries were actually advised to continue to get HPV vaccines even though their first shots damaged their health.

“Most of the medical community is not well informed when it comes to these injuries,” he said. Doctors, Esfandiari told us, are not connecting the dots.

“They’re given the very product that is causing them harm because the family had no idea that what they’re suffering from was a result of the vaccine,” Esfandiari explained. “Had they been better informed, they would’ve known not to get the second or third vaccine. By withholding this information, Merck is creating unnecessary risk when the whole point of vaccines is to promote health, but here it’s causing harm.”

Mack Rosenberg, the lawyer representing one of the vaccine-injured plaintiffs and who has also co-authored a 2018 book about the history of the HPV vaccine, said that HPV vaccine injury is much more widespread than people realize.

“There have been thousands of injuries that individuals and their families believe have been caused by HPV vaccines around the world,” Mack Rosenberg told The Epoch Times. “These lawsuits just represent the tip of the iceberg.”

Dr. Yuhong Dong, a medical doctor who earned a doctorate in infectious diseases and is the chief scientific officer and co-founder of a Swiss biotech company, conducted an independent investigation into the science behind the HPV vaccinations for The Epoch Times. You can read her analysis here.

About the Author: Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and author of “Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family.” A Fulbright awardee and mother of four, she has worked on a child survival campaign in West Africa, advocated for an end to child slavery in Pakistan on prime-time TV in France, and taught post-colonial literature to non-traditional students in inner-city Atlanta.

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