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D.C. City Council Hears About HPV Vaccine Risks

Posted: 4/22/2010 10:31:47 PM | with 6 comments

On April 21, 2010, NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher and NVIC Director of Research & Patient Safety, Vicky Debold, PhD, RN, testified about HPV vaccine risks at a Washington, D.C. City Council health committee budget hearing. For two years, NVIC has testified to urge funding of education programs in D.C. so parents can make fully informed choices about HPV vaccination, including the right to opt-out of a 2007 D.C. law requiring all sixth grade girls to get three HPV shots.

Parents, Health Professionals Testify

Emily Tarsell, whose daughter, Chris, died suddenly in 2008 following Gardasil shots, testified along with District of Columbia parents, health care professionals and HPV vaccine choice supporters, including Vanessa Dixon, Dr. Paul Levine, Chris Nidel, Brigette Rouson, Kea Taylor, Peter Tucker, Dr. Tilli Williams and others. They were aggressively questioned by the Chair of the Committee on Health, attorney David A. Cantania, who was sponsor of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination and Reporting Act of 2007.

NVIC Appeals for HPV Vaccine Education Program

Former Mayor and DC City Council Member Marian Barry was also present and expressed concern and support for HPV educational outreach programs. The 2007 law stipulated that $150,000 would be spent to educate parents about HPV vaccine benefits and risks and inform them they could decline the vaccine for their daughters. However, the promised city-wide education program has not been implemented.

“There have been about 18,000 HPV vaccine adverse event reports made to the government. HPV vaccine surveillance data is seriously compromised by the fact that the majority of all reports are submitted by drug companies making and selling HPV vaccine and nearly 90 percent of these reports are of such poor quality, they cannot be properly reviewed or followed up by federal health officials,” said Fisher in her testimony. “Please use the $150,000 appropriated in the 2007 law to produce accurate information about HPV and HPV vaccines and hold well publicized meetings in every ward to make citizens aware of how to recognize and report HPV vaccine reactions and how to opt-out of the HPV vaccine requirement, if that is their choice.”

First Gardasil Injury Report to VAERS Was D.C. Girl

Dr. Debold described the HPV vaccine reaction of a Washington, D.C. girl, which was the first adverse event to be reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after the licensing of Gardasil vaccine on June 8, 2006.

“A 14-year old District of Columbia girl was vaccinated, developed severe pain, fainted for 10-15 seconds, fell off the examining table, developed speech problems and was hospitalized. This case was described in the first of four analyses of Gardasil-related adverse events published by the National Vaccine Information Center between 2007 and 2009,” said Debold in her testimony. “Policy and lawmakers, including the DC City Council, should make sure that all citizens are informed about the individual benefits and risks and are able to work with their doctors to make individual vaccine decisions.”

Daughters Lost to Gardasil Vaccine

In her testimony, Emily Tarsell called for suspension of Gardasil vaccine use pending further investigation and research. She described what happened to her only child, daughter Christina, who was a talented artist and honor student at Bard College when she died suddenly and without explanation following a series of Gardasil shots that produced vaccine reaction symptoms.

“Chris began to develop symptoms of various kinds but, because we were never told of any adverse side effects related to the vaccine, we viewed each symptom in isolation. We never got the big picture before it was too late,” said Tarsell. “Mounting evidence suggests that she died from an autoimmune response to the vaccine, and she is not alone.”

She went on to describe other girls who have died after Gardasil vaccination: “Another young lady, Megan, died suddenly while taking a shower, as did 13-year old Sparkyl. Jessica collapsed and died in her bathroom. Amber collapsed with seizures in the parking lot on her way to work; she died in the hospital seven days later. Both Santana and Jasmine, like Chris, were found dead in their beds. What did these wonderful, healthy girls have in common? They all died shortly after receiving Gardasil and cause of death was undetermined.”

In the News:

HPV Vaccine Trials Halted in India After Deaths

Clinical trials using Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines were halted by the government on April 16, 2010 after the deaths of six tribal girls. Health activists have reportedly criticized ethics of the trials and charged that the pharmaceutical companies and PATH were conducting the pre-importation/marketing clinical trials among poor and socio-economically marginal tribes, who were being treated as "guinea pigs."

The non-profit Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) was founded in the mid-1970's as an organization dedicated to promoting contraception and population control but has since expanded its operations to include disease control.

Australia Stops Flu Shots for Children under Five

Today (April 23), the Australian Medical Association backed a government call to suspend influenza vaccinations in children under age five. The new seasonal influenza vaccine, which contains H1N1 along with two other influenza strains, has resulted in many severe reactions, including high fevers and convulsions leading to hospitalizations in young children.

Professor of Infectious Diseases, Peter Collignon, is quoted in a news report as saying "If you were infected with swine flu itself last year or had been given the swine flu vaccine, if you then get exposed again to part of the virus, you've already got antibodies and white cells that are turned on to try to fight the virus. If you get exposed to it again, you may have a brisk reaction, where you produce more antibodies and more white cells, which gives you a fever and an inflammatory reaction."

PBS Frontline Documentary: "The Vaccine War" April 27, 2010 at 9 p.m. EST

PBS Description of the One Hour Documentary: This is the vaccine war: On one side sits scientific medicine and the public health establishment; on the other a populist coalition of parents, celebrities (like Jenny McCarthy), politicians and activists. It's a war that increasingly takes place on the internet with both side using the latest social media tools, including Facebook and Twitter, to win the hearts and minds of the public."

Excerpt From a PBS Press Release: "Surveys reveal that America's conversation about vaccines is complex, involving not only medical risks and benefits but also ideological beliefs about parental choice and the limits of government."This is true even of individuals who see the benefits of vaccines as substantial," political scientist Hank Jenkins-Smith tells FRONTLINE. Government control over individual choice is another factor fueling the anti-vaccine backlash, despite the peer-reviewed science that vaccines are safe. "People now have a way to get the information they couldn't before, to communicate it to people, and to have a robust public debate that is not controlled by money or political power or by government policy," says Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center. "Physicians are going to have to get over the idea that they tell people what to do, and people are going to do it without questioning."

Posted: 4/22/2010 10:31:47 PM | with 6 comments


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