I have said this before, and I am becoming slowly convinced of my opinion on the matter – the anti-vaccine religion has a particular hatred for the HPV vaccine, usually Gardasil, that far exceeds its abhorrence of most other vaccines. Recently, Slate, generally a reliable source for vaccine articles, published an anti-vaccine screed against Gardasil that seems to be based on a claim of faulty HPV vaccine clinical trials.
As a result of some expected negative comments made about the article, Slate took the unusual step of trying to explain itself. I am not sure that they have gotten very far, even if the author of the explanation claims that they would get the Gardasil anti-cancer again. But they really have concerns about the HPV vaccine clinical trials.
Well, I do not have those issues regarding the HPV vaccine clinical trials. First, the author of the original article is simply an amateur about science, clinical trials, and statistics. The author was trying to create doubt about the Gardasil vaccine based on misunderstanding, at best.
Second, the author fails to grasp that vaccines are constantly monitored by post-marketing studies that often include huge numbers of patients, which can find very rare instances of adverse effects. In these studies, nothing was found that tied Gardasil to anything serious, short of fainting by patients after getting the shot, a common occurrence with patients.
Third, the author relies on anecdotal evidence, which has zero value in scientific understanding. This is a serious issue that should have cause Slate to back off from the article.
Here we go again – another lightweight “science paper” attacking Gardasil vaccine safety. Now, I have to spend time debunking it because we all know that this new article will be used as “proof” that Gardasil is dangerous.
Anecdotes are a fundamental part of the anti-vaccine propaganda machine. We have a tendency to overstate the importance of anecdotes, because they usually have an emotional appeal to them. Anecdotes are not data, not even close. At best, they are observations, but they give no indication of temporal correlation, let alone causality.
HPV vaccine anecdotes have become part of the discourse about Gardasil and other HPV vaccines. It has become full-time job just to debunk the myths that arise from a handful of anecdotes.
I have written on a number of articles about the HPV cancer-prevention vaccines, Gardasil, Cervarix and Silgard. These vaccines prevent infection by up to 9 different types of genital and oral human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the USA.
The virus is generally transmitted from personal contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex. It is very easy to transmit, and according to the CDC, roughly 79 million Americans are infected with HPV–approximately 14 million Americans contract HPV every year.
HPV is believed to cause nearly 5% of all new cancers across the world, making it almost as dangerous with regards to cancer as tobacco. Most individuals don’t even know they have the infection until the onset of cancer. And about 27,000 HPV-related cancers are diagnosed in the USA every year.
Genital human papillomavirus (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 cancers in men and women, and because there are so many subtypes, research has established which HPV types are related to which cancers. Because HPV is sexually transmitted, most of the infections occur near the mouth, throat, anus and genital areas–and most HPV related cancers begin there.
HPV is believed to cause nearly 5% of all new cancers across the world, making it almost as dangerous with regards to cancer as tobacco. According to the CDC, roughly 79 million Americans are infected with HPV–approximately 14 million Americans contract HPV every year. Most individuals don’t even know they have the infection until the onset of cancer. About 27,000 HPV-related cancers are diagnosed in the USA every year.