(NaturalNews) One of the foremost researchers whose work led to the development of the two existing human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines, now warns that as currently used, those vaccines have not been proven safe or effective.
“About eight in every ten women who have been sexually active will have HPV at some stage of their life,” said researcher Diane Harper of the University of Louisville. “Normally there are no symptoms, and in 98 per cent of cases it clears itself. But in those cases where it doesn’t, and isn’t treated, it can lead to pre-cancerous cells which may develop into cervical cancer.”
But for women in the Western world with access to cervical cancer screening via yearly Pap smears, the risks of the vaccine are likely to outweigh the benefits, Harper warns.
Vaccine as risky as the cancer
The key factor, according to Harper, is that cervical cancer rates in the United States and other Western countries tend to be very low to begin with. Even if the HPV vaccine does prevent cervical cancer, and not just HPV infection – an outcome that has never been proven – this is unlikely to have much effect on cancer rates. In addition, cervical cancer is highly treatable if detected early, via a yearly Pap smear.
In contrast, Harper says, the rate of serious side effects for the HPV vaccine is relatively high. One key study, conducted by CDC researcher Barbara Slade, and published in theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found 3.4 serious adverse events – including death – per 100,000 doses. Yet this article under-reported the risks of the vaccines by as much as five-fold, Harper says.
“Parents and women must know that deaths occurred,” Harper said. “Not all deaths that have been reported were represented in Dr. Slade’s work, one-third of the death reports were unavailable to the CDC, leaving the parents of the deceased teenagers in despair that the CDC is ignoring the very rare but real occurrences that need not have happened if parents were given information stating that there are real, but small risks of death surrounding the administration of Gardasil.”
The combination of a relatively high vaccine risk, and a relatively non-dangerous cancer, mean that in Western countries, the risk of the HPV vaccine is very similar to the risk of the cancer that it claims to prevent, Harper has said.
These warnings do not apply, she has said, in poor countries where women do not have access to regular Pap smear tests and to high-quality cancer treatment.
Untested vaccine used on children
Harper has expressed particular concern about moves to make HPV vaccination compulsory for children. She notes that no safety or effectiveness tests have been performed on children younger than 15, yet the vaccine is being recommended for girls as young as nine.
She also opposes vaccinating younger children, because there is no evidence yet of how long the vaccine’s protection lasts. This means that it may wear off before a woman even becomes sexually active.
“If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn’t last … we’ve put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit,” Harper said. “The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.”
Harper also emphasizes that even women who have been vaccinated still need to get yearly Pap smears, as the vaccine does not protect against all cancer-causing HPVstrains. In addition, a woman already infected will gain no benefit from the vaccine.
Thus, the widespread misconception that the vaccine makes women immune to cervical cancer may actually lead to falling screening rates, and an ultimate rise in cervical cancer deaths.