As a result of this cervical smear scandal, Ms. Mhathúna sued the HSE and the US clinical laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, which performed the tests. She settled in court for €7.5 million from HSE and Quest. Another US-based clinical laboratory, Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) of Austin, TX, was involved in a similar lawsuit from another Irish woman, Vicky Phelan, who also received a false negative – they settled for €2.5 million.
Although I have no poll numbers sitting in front of me, and certainly no scientific peer-reviewed research, I just have a feeling that if you scratch the surface of an anti-vaccine activist, you will find that if they could hate one vaccine, it would be Gardasil. And one of the arguments will be all about Gardasil effectiveness – they claim it doesn’t actually prevent cancer.
When you couple their false claims about the dangers of the vaccine with the claims about the lack of Gardasil effectiveness, you’d probably agree with the anti-vaccine crowd. Despite these false claims, HPV vaccine uptake has slowly grown in the US and other countries.
One of the misinformed tropes of the anti-vaccine world is that there is no evidence that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine actually reduces cancer rates. Given that the vaccine was only introduced in the last 10 years, it would take time for researchers to study this issue. But now, we have more evidence that the cervical cancer rate declined after the introduction of the HPV vaccine in the USA.
Although there is a myth that the HPV vaccine is just to prevent cervical cancer, I expect, over the next few years, there will be new research that shows reductions in other cancers, in both women and men, as a result of the introduction of the vaccine. Moreover, the effect of the vaccine on males may take longer since the vaccine was recommended for males only a few years after it was introduced.
The first cancer prevention vaccine was administered in Australia exactly 10 years ago. Since that day, the HPV cancer prevention vaccine as been sold in 130 countries across the world. As a result, HPV vaccine effectiveness has been so high, that the rate of cervical pre-cancerous lesions has been cut in half.
This should be celebrated. As I’ve said at least a few times, the ways to reduce your actual cancer risk is limited. And it does not include drinking a kale-blueberry shake every morning. The real ways to reduce your risk of cancer can be as easy as staying out of the sun to stopping smoking. But the HPV vaccine is one of the most critical tools in the “war on cancer.”
Despite it’s clear benefit to human health, the HPV cancer preventing vaccine, also known as Gardasil, is under utilized in the USA. There seems to be a lot of reasons why HPV vaccine uptake is low, but the evidence is clear that it is safe, it reduces cancer risk, and it lowers the costs of healthcare.
Unless you’re a noobie to this blog and website, you probably know I’m a big proponent of the human papillomavirus (HPV) anti-cancer vaccine, usually known as Gardasil or Cervarix. And now we have more evidence that the HPV vaccination schedule has caused a significant drop in HPV infection rates in teens.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the USA. There are more than 40 HPV sub-types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. Additionally, some HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. HPV is generally transmitted from personal contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
HPV is linked to many dangerous cancers in both men and women, such as penile, cervical, anal, mouth and throat cancers. In fact, HPV is believed to cause nearly 5% of all new cancers across the world, making it almost as frightening as tobacco for causing cancer.
Because HPV is so prevalent in adults, blocking the infection in pre-teens, teens and young adults can eventually lower the cancer rate for all HPV-related cancers. Maybe one day, it can be wiped out, like many other infectious diseases just through vaccination.
Because vaccine deniers lack any scientific evidence supporting their unfounded belief system about immunizations, they tend to rely upon unscientific information like anecdotes, logical fallacies, misinterpretation of data, or Italian provincial courts to make their case about the lack of safety of vaccines.
It’s rather easy to debunk these claims, but because of the nature of the internet, old news is recycled as “brand new,” requiring a whole new round of blog posts to discredit the misinformation. It’s impossible to recall one single instance where a vaccine refuser made a statement about vaccines that was not, in fact, rather quickly debunked. Not one.
One of the latest ones involves a so-called lead Gardasil researcher, Dr. Diane Harper, a former “consultant” to Merck (and GSK, who manufacturers Cervarix, a bivalent HPV vaccine), who apparently had some research role in the clinical trials of the HPV vaccines. But what are the facts?