HPV authority says pap tests make Gardasil vaccine unnecessary

Posted: January 19, 2010 Author: Kurt Niland Pharmaceutical

When asked if she believed the vaccine presented more to girls and women than the possibility of , Dr. , the lead researcher in () vaccine development told journalist Marcia Yerman that Gardasil has little to no benefit for women who receive .

smears are screening tests used by gynecologists to detect cervical cancer cells. Changes in the cell processes signal the development of cervical cancer and prompt the physician to start treatment.

According to Dr. Harper, “Pap smears have never killed anyone. Pap smears are an effective screening tool to prevent cervical cancer. Pap smears alone prevent more cervical cancers than can the vaccines alone.”

“Gardasil is associated with serious , including death,” Dr. Harper explained. “If Gardasil is given to 11-year-olds, and the vaccine does not last at least 15 years, then there is no benefit – and only risk – for the young girl.”

Without boosters, Gardasil vaccines remain effective for five years.

“Vaccinating will not reduce the population incidence of cervical cancer if the woman continues to get Pap screening throughout her life,” Dr. Harper added.

Dr. Harper told Yerman in a written communication that she disagreed with ’s campaign to make the vaccine mandatory for school-age girls.

“The decision to be vaccinated must be the woman’s (or parent’s if it is for a young child), and not the physician’s or any board of health, as the vaccination contains personal risk that only the person can value.”

The choice to receive the Gardasil vaccine “is entirely a personal value judgment,” Dr. Harper said.

When asked about Merck’s “one less” marketing campaign, Dr. Harper told Yerman that it “was designed to incite the greatest fear possible in parents, so that there would be uptake of the vaccine.”

“If women were participating in Pap screening, or if as a parent you educated your daughter to seek Pap screening at the appropriate age (21 years) for her entire life, then she would have been very unlikely to be at risk for being “one” and would not be “one less,” Dr. Harper told Yerman.

“She would not have been ‘one’ to begin with!”

To read the entire interview with Dr. Harper, please click here.

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  • Scseery

    While properly done Pap screens do a great job at catching early stage cervical cancer, which is generally easily treated, your argument falls short. The part of the truth that nobody seems to want to talk about is that girls in their late teens and early twenties are notoriously bad about doing things like keeping those critical once a year appointments, and as legal adults, parents don’t have the pull over them we had when they were younger. As a result, it’s not unusual in the medical clinic where I work to see a twenty-something college girl, who only has come in because she’s having “problems”. Upon examination, we’ll find that she’s missed her yearly exams for at least one or two years, she’s had multiple partners (even if it wasn’t for true intercourse) in the interim, and that she’s now scared, worried, and desperately wishing she had taken part in some preventative care. Right about then, everyone in the room thinks the patient should have had the Gardasil series-she’s the ideal candidate. Since 60% of college age women contract some form of HPV at some point, and 40% of the strains of HPV can cause some kind of genital “problems”, it only make sense that until these women are at an age where they are going to settle down into a monogamous relationship, they really need to be protected as much as possible. Furthermore, while cervical cancer IS one of the easiest to treat when caught early…well, if you don’t catch it early, it’s nearly always fatal, with a IIa or greater rated cervical cancer, the survival rate drops to 80% at 5 years; at IIIA it drops to 30%, and at IVA? Only 16%. That really is a slap in the face for all the people who think that cervical cancer is nothing to worry about. The harsh fact is that if you DON’T get a yearly exam, if you DON’T have a monogamous relationship, if you are casual and carefree and just think that HPV and cancer can be fixed with a magic wand? Well, you’re playing with fire. Gardasil wasn’t developed just because there was nothing good on TV. It was developed because there was a need to try to stop a trend of younger and younger women developing these low grade cervical cancers. The fact that it happened to be able to prevent genital warts was just a bonus. Yes, there ARE side effects, as with any vaccine, and yes, any intelligent patient should educate herself-however, I would caution her to avoid chat rooms, websites run by legal teams, churches, or any other potentially biased groups. Try peer reviewed journal articles from the library for your best source of honest, unbiased information, and discuss it at length with your doctor.

  • guest

    One more thing? The vaccine is only effective if given BEFORE someone is infected. So I wonder what Dr. Harper advises a parent who has a daughter who has hands covered in warts to do? Fact: the daughter is already a carrier for HPV. Fact: young girls masturbate. Fact: by giving the child the immunization at an early age, there’s a good chance to help minimize her chances of infecting herself with HPV that could potentially set her up for problems later on in life-because we aren’t going to take an 11 yr old girl in for Pap smears to check for cervical changes. In fact, I don’t think anyone would expect us to take her in at 14, or even 16, for Pap smears (unless she were to become sexually active, which she hasn’t to date-she’s 14 now). So tell me…what does a parent do? As the step-mother, I’ve been unable to convince her father to take action, and her mother is too paralyzed by websites like this one which help foster the sense that the immunization is worthless in every case and will only give her lupus or something else equally horrific. You must be so proud.

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