Flawed HPV vaccine fizzles

A great source of excitement for me has been blogging on the pharma industry’s lucrative idea earlier this year, which foolish legislators – almost all liberal – ran with, to mandate the HPV vaccine for all 11- and 12-year-old girls. The New York Times even disparaged one of my HPV posts, which is always a badge of honor.
fizzle.bmpWhen the red flags raised became too numerous to count, MSM quietly quit hyping the vaccine, as did those legislators, who it turns out were admitted tools of big pharma.
But here are we, conservative bloggers, continuing to drive nails in the HPV vaccine mandate’s coffin by relaying news you’ll only find in 9 pt. font in MSM newspapers….

First, a story about the guy who started all the flak back in February. Reported Kaiser News on May 9:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday announced that he will not veto a bill (HB 1098) that will prevent mandatory human papillomavirus vaccination for middle school girls in the state until 2011, allowing the measure to become law without his signature….
Perry on Feb. 2 issued an executive order mandating that all girls entering the sixth grade beginning in September 2008 receive an HPV vaccine.

Perry really had no choice. The House and Senate both passed the slapdown measure by a veto-proof majority.
More importantly came this news, from the Los Angeles Times, May 10:

New data on the controversial HPV vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer have raised questions about its efficacy, researchers are reporting Thursday, undercutting efforts in many states to make vaccination mandatory.
Although the Merck vaccine, called Gardasil, blocked nearly 100 percent of infections by the two HPV strains it targets, it reduced the incidence of cancer precursors by only 17 percent overall.
Part of the reason was that many of the teenage girls and young women in the three-year study already had been exposed to the virus, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
But the data also hinted that blocking the targeted strains may have opened an ecological niche that allows the flourishing of HPV strains previously considered to be minor players, partially offsetting the vaccine’s protection….
Overall, the new results indicate that the vaccine is not living up to its initial prospects. The findings show that 129 women would have to be vaccinated to prevent one precancerous lesion….

77 thoughts on “Flawed HPV vaccine fizzles”

  1. I was just thinking about the HPV vaccine while standing in the checkout line at a natural foods market last weekend. Two of the health/natural living magazines featured front pages warnings against the vaccine, which echo what has been circulating among the “naturalist” circles the past few months – its a dangerous vaccine, and just another example of the grip that pharmaceutical corporations have on the American government.

  2. In recent months, blogger Mark Shea has come up with a new meme to describe the Two Phases of History:

    1. What could it hurt?
    2. How were we supposed to know?

    Hubbub over the HPV vaccine is a perfect example.

  3. I was on the HPV vaccination bandwagon initially, even wrote a mandatory vaccination article. Then I started to notice the brand name “Gardasil” popping-up repeatedly as glorified public awareness commercials dressed-up like feminism/women’s health activism…. put a bad taste in my mouth. In this case, the liberals, me included, were tools. Unlike our anti-sex counterpart-tools however, most of us have no problem stepping back, reconsidering with new evidence in hand, and moving on (e.g. best evidence indicates

  4. Cameron, I’ve noticed something interesting about you.
    Most of us are fairly transparent with our personal lives. This goes for people on either side of the abortion debate. Yet you allow nothing of yourself to be known.
    Why don’t you tell us something about yourself?

  5. Cameron:
    I am still wondering why America is teaching it’s youth abstinence only education? Research has proven that it doesnt work (the average age of losing one’s virginity to in the U.S. is 14.5). And yet, no one will admit that this practice is flawed and wont change it. I just dont understand.

  6. Midnite, I may be remembering incorrectly (if so feel free to tell me) but from what I recall “abstinance” is simply no MORE effective than “comprehensive”.

  7. Cameron, what does that mean? I really am curious about atheists. Are you an atheist? If so, what does the atheist believe. I’m open for learning.

  8. Well Midnite… let me start by telling you how much I appreciate the question ;-) I think they believe that anything short of telling people not to have sex is akin to telling them to go have sex…. and to do so with many people over or short period of time, in a variety of positions, and with complete abandonment of jesus… cuz we all know god abhors sexual gratification without some sort of economy or karmic balance. Which is why I think we need to teach self-flagellation techniques along side abstinence only programs if we really expect them to work.

  9. Jill,
    I was right about Hal, he is Cameron using two different computers. Just look at Hal’s earlier posts.
    Hal is a straw man and Cameron uses him to set us up.
    I would ban both of them.
    Cameron, what do yo call your imaginary friend Hal? Hal Smith, Hal Brown, or Hal Johnson? Oh, I know it’s Hal Jones, right?
    You waste your and everyone else’s time. Just go away.

  10. “….I recall “abstinance” is simply no MORE effective than “comprehensive”.”
    That’s actually correct, but…. comprehensive kids have a lower rate of pregnancy and STD’s… imagine that? Tell them why and how to use protection, and, while they’re pretty much going to have sex one way or another, at least the ones that know something are better off for it.
    Favorite flower: Stargazer Lilly MMmmmmmm!

  11. “Cameron, do you see teen sex as a problem?”
    It certainly can be, and it also can be rewarding and important developmental feature. In short teen sex in general is not a problem or a panacea.

  12. No Lauren, you are remembering correctly, but I am bot talking about an education program that teaches abstinence is the only way. Explaining to adolescents about proper BC methods, HIV/AIDS, STD’s, etc. And it doesnt lower teen sex rates, but it does help prevent pregnancy and the spread of STD’s.
    I am a Libra if anyone cares.

  13. His Man,
    I can give Jill some credit here, and I think Jill knows better.
    Gestator of 3,
    Upon reviewing the weekend threads on monday, I realized I owe you an apology. In my dyslexia, I missread, or was thinking of something else I’d just read, the the accompyaning article regarding how long the girl endured incest.

  14. I’m a cancer as wwell. I just realized what Cameron was saying by that. I was reading way too much into it. I thought he was trying to induce some sort of reaction from us. Now I just know he was probably born in July.
    Sorry, I just don’t think about astrology very much.
    Anyways Cameron, do you think that we should use any measures to prevent teen sex, seeing as though you feel it is a neutral activity?

  15. I am not Cameron. I would have posted a less acceptable comment about mocking god then he/she did. But I refrained, out of respect for Jill’s site. I’m sorry but “God is not mocked” is perhaps the most ridiculous posting yet.

  16. Lauren:
    I dont think teen sex is something that can be prevented. It is wishful thinking (like wishing either side [pro or choice] will ever have 100% approval from the public). It is something that is just going happen. People have sex, people experiment with drugs. We might as well give them the education and tools necessary to make an informed and safe choice (regarding sex). But, alas, that is just my opinion.

  17. His Man, Cammie and Hal are two different people, at least as far as IP addresses go. And I’ve grown fond of them both, actually. Cammie is much better behaved since his time out. And Hal has moments of delightful wit. So does Cammie, come to think of it, although he’s more often like fingernails on a blackboard.
    Nevertheless, both these guys keep us sharp, and I smile thinking that something(s) we say must sink in, causing huge battles with their ids.
    So hope springs eternal they’ll post conversion stories here someday.

  18. “Anyways Cameron, do you think that we should use any measures to prevent teen sex, seeing as though you feel it is a neutral activity?”
    Good question!
    I think the measures required to prevent teen sex would most likely be either ridiculous or ineffective. I would however, suggest that we talk about it more in the realm of health, as opposed to morals, and do our best to play some role, beyond that of complete opposition, when and if they should explore and have some questions or need support.

  19. “Cameron, Are you saying that you believe in a supreme being? If so, who/what is it?”
    I have no particular supernatural beliefs, and when confronted with them, I’m comfortable in the acknowledgment that we know very little. I like to think there’s something more than this physical world, but I recognise that it’s something I’d “like” to think and may not be true.

  20. Cameron, I see.
    Do you think that comprehensive sex education does this?
    Honestly, I find CSE a bit contridictory. “Don’t do this, but if you do use this”. It seems a bit like saying “don’t smoke, but if you do smoke lites”.
    I think both types of programs are missing the mark a bit. The truth is, biologically and historically we should be engaging in sex sometime around puberty.
    Our society has changed and young people are no longer at the same place of maturity at 14 as their predecessors.
    We need to take into account the fact that a 14 year old today has the same biological capacity as one in 1854, but none of the sociatal maturity.
    I honestly don’t know what the answer is, but I know it isn’t to encourage a promiscuous lifestyle.

  21. Lauren:
    I dont think he is encouraging a prmoiscuous lifestlye. Its giving the youth of today the education/tools needed to make an informed decision on their own. Telling a teenager not to do something is going to make them want to do it more. If you say, “hey, if you do end up doing this, follow these steps (CSE)”. More than likely they wont be that “curious” to what it is and want to do it.

  22. Midnite, I wasn’t saying that he was encouraging a promiscuous lifestyle. I was just saying that doing so was not a good idea.
    I know from personal experience that having information does not make a person less likely to engage in sex. Prior to having information and after obtaining it, my sexual desire was about the same. In fact, because of the availibity of condoms/contraceptive I decided to become sexually active. I never would have engaged in sexual activity had I not believed myself to be “safe” because of pills and condoms.

  23. I didnt think you were Lauren. I was just pointing that out. And I agree, I only had sex when I knew that is was the right time for me, I was on BC, and knew the risk(s) of sex. Alot of youth in America today dont know these things. They will engage in risky sexual behavior, and that is not something that any of us want (life or choice side). I believe they should have access to BC, CSE, and know the risks (STD’s etc). Then they can have “safe” sex if they so chose.

  24. September 25th, close to being a virgo, which is why I have some of their tendencies, but I mainly act like a Libra…

  25. I like kids, I would like to have my own.. one or two (something in harmony with down-road voluntary extinction ;-)). While I imagine myself raising them, I do not imagine a mother though… which many former lovers found amusingly appropriate, as they generally did not want kids, or want to raise kids.

  26. Cameron,
    In this case, the liberals, me included, were tools.
    I got news for ya…it ain’t the first time. What do you think we’ve been telling you. First they lied about how many illegal abortions were done. Then they used the word “choice” to defer the actual issue, “abortion”. Then they told you it would be rare. Then they told you partial birth abortion was necessary to save women’s lives. Then they told you they “care” about women. Now they tell you there is no breast cancer/abortion link, and that there is no such thing as post abortive stress disorder…(if they truly cared about women they’d be all over that one), then they tell you they are for “choice” except they don’t offer prenatal care, adoption sources, or help bringing your baby to term (so the only choice they are really interested in is the choice to abort…) and now gardasil…
    Open your eyes. They’ve been using you as tools from day one. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  27. Hal is married and has 2 kids…think about it. Nobody in their right mind would marry Cameron let alone have his children.
    Hal and Cameron are not the same people. Alas, they are just like thinkers. Or as Diana would say, the have the same “intuitions”.

  28. This came up a while ago before. We thought Hal and Cameron were the same person. I’ll admit, it can get confusing at times. Just like some people thought momof4 was me. It wasn’t. I even accused Hal of being Cameron once before. This was a comparison Hal claimed he did NOT appreciate. I told him that I didn’t blame him. Okay, I think I’ve got it now. Hal, sorry about the mistaken identity.

  29. MK,
    The pharmaceutical company wasn’t lying to us about abortion. You’re such a tool!

  30. Cameron,
    You wish you had one! I think you might have a few screws loose…all puns intended. Just wanted to keep it PG-13 (so you could understand)

  31. “September 25th, close to being a virgo, which is why I have some of their tendencies, but I mainly act like a Libra…”
    Libra, here :).
    I was born on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, though I have more Libran traits.
    The boyfriend is a Virgo, and acts every bit like one.

  32. Heather B. I like our sign. I think you may agree that we are very fair and very nice until………[Jaws music plays] you pi** us off. Then, look out! Am I correct?

  33. Being a Libra also allows us to at least attempt to see both sides of the issue. I do have some Scorpio traits, though, notably my short temper.
    My best friend’s a Libra. I think that’s why we get along so well; we know how the other thinks.

  34. “Being a Libra also allows us to at least attempt to see both sides of the issue. ”
    And by that I mean we’re supposed to be the most diplomatic of the signs.
    I don’t necessarily believe in the whole astrology deal, I just find it rather interesting that I actually do have the traits that are associated with my astrological sign.

  35. To summarize this published medical journal article:

    1. In the FUTURE I trial, GARDASIL demonstrated no clinical efficacy among the general subject population for overall reduction in the rates of grade 2 and grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and adenocarcinoma — the only recognized precursors to cervical cancer.

    2. In the larger FUTURE II trial, GARDASIL demonstrated no clinical efficacy among the general subject population for overall reduction in the rates of grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and adenocarcinoma — the strongest (and many would argue only valid) precursors to cervical cancer.

    3. Extrapolating from GARDASIL’s very limited clinical “success” (in the FUTURE II study only) against grade 2 cervical dysplasias (40% of which regress spontaneously), 129 women would be have to be vaccinated (at a cost of about $60,000) to prevent a single grade 2 cervical dysplasia.

    4. GARDASIL’s protection against cancer associated HPV strains 16 and 18 appears to cause a disproportionate increase in of pre-cancerous dysplasias associated with other HPV strains associated with cervical cancer “raising the possibility that other oncogenic HPV types eventually filled the biologic niche left behind after the elimination of HPV types 16 and 18.”

    5. Even if look only at the FUTURE II results (in which for some reason GARDASIL performed better among the general female population), we are talking about just a 17% decrease in all high grade dysplasias — many of which would spontaneously regress without treatment. So we would have vaccinate 129 women (at about $500 for the three shot regimen) to avoid a single, eminently treatable dysplasia. That’s about $60,000 per dysplasia prevented.

    This is all directly from the article linked above.

    I myself would add that we currently have only 3 years of follow up to go on in terms of both GARDASIL’s safety and efficacy among the 16 to 26 year female population, no data concerning its efficacy among 9 to 12 year old girls and only 18 months of follow up on less than 600 total preteen girls in terms of safety data about GARDASIL within its targeted population.

    Also see: The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Wall Street Journal

    It appears that the vaccinated cohort sees a 20%+ increase in high grade cervical dysplasias caused by cancer-associated HPV strains other than HPV 16 and 18. One possible explanation is that HPV 6 or HPV 11 infections are antagonistic to more dangerous HPV infections.

  36. I envy all of you for your straightforward signs. I’m born on the dividing day between Libra and Scorpio. As a good friend of mine put it, I’m indesisive and angsty about it. Absolutely true, sigh.

  37. Apparently I spoke too soon: I’m not the only Libera/Scorpio here. I’m a nearly equal balance between the two signs; its incredibly frustrating/exhilerating.

  38. While I no longer adhere to astrological beliefs, I would like to point out that there is no such thing as being born “on the cusp”. Upon closer inspection, you will find that you are either one or the other. You’ll need your time of birth, exact location and someone that can do your chart. Your rising sign might be the one that you are calling your “cusp”. Again, you’d need someone to do your chart. Astrology is actually very complicated. Simply being a Libra or a Capricorn actually means very little…

  39. MK, I’ve done my entire star chart before, and I’d disagree. All the books I’ve ever used have referred to it as being on the cusp.
    Heather, the 22nd.

  40. I feel like Heather B. about it [astrology] I feel that there may be something to it, but I don’t bank on it. It’s mainly for fun. However, I do see similarities in like signs.

  41. Well Less,
    You can disagree all you want, but the fact remains the at the minute you were born the “sun” was somewhere and it was either in one sign or another.
    The word cusp is used to mean very close to another sign. Without doing an extensive chart it is impossible to tell which sign it was in and is then referred to as “the cusp” but it is in fact in one sign or the other…
    Many believe that you will still retain traits of the sign you are leaving or the sign you are entering, but the cusp itself is 0 degrees.
    It doesn’t really matter. Just a bit of trivia.
    Again, there are 12 houses, 12 signs and all of the angles that the planets provide…All of this combined is what gives you your “personality” or Natal chart…Your sun sign is only one very small part of this.
    Personally, I stay away from it, as I believe that while it has merit, the place from which it derives it’s power is questionable at best…
    Funny that you have a hard time believing in God, but have no problems believing that your entire “self” can be determined by the placement of the stars.
    So much for free will and choice.

  42. MK, have I said a word about my belief in astrology? I don’t have a hard time believing in God: just in the Christian God. I have absolutely no doubt that there is some higher power, and I have never said otherwise.
    I know what a natal chart is; as I’ve said, I’ve charted my birth before. All the books I have ever used to do so have used the term cusp. As my birth certificate is German and my certificate of naturalization does not list my exact birth time, I didn’t get very far charting myself. It was absolutely impossible. Thus, I am a cusp.

  43. Less,
    As I stated, you have to do an intensive chart to know your sun sign when you are born “CLOSE TO” the cusp. The cusp is and will always be 0 degrees. Since you don’t know your time of birth you have no way of knowing whether you were on the 0 degree or not. Therefore you have no way of knowing whether you were born on the cusp or not.
    Again, call it what you want, but you’re wrong.
    This so much reminds me of the abortion argument.
    You want desperately for abortion to be kept legal so you ignore certain facts in order to support your view. You won’t say you’re pro-abortion. You claim you’re pro-choice.
    Life begins at conception. You don’t believe it.
    A cusp is 0 degrees and the chances of you being born on said cusp are slim to none. But you want to believe that you were and so you claim that you are.
    Perhaps you meant “therefore I have no way of knowing my sun sign so I claim to be born on the cusp”…but you most likely weren’t.
    Reality is what reality is.
    It’s incredible really. It’s like you are unwilling to listen to anything that any one of us has to say on any subject whatsoever simply because it is us saying it.
    Guess what? The sky is blue. You want to argue about it just because I said it?

  44. MK,
    I don’t believe in astrology (and horoscopes hold even less meaning as they’re so vague they can be interpreted to mean anything, and generally aren’t given any meaning until after something has happened). I simply find it interesting.
    And the information you’ve given regarding the cusp is intriguing. I’ll have to read up on it as I’ve never heard anything about it relating to the TIME one was born.

  45. Mk, I don’t live in Germany, you’re mixing someone else up with me.
    I’ve never said life doesn’t begin at conception: sperm cells and egg cells are alive as well. That budding life, however, is not as important as the life of the already born woman.

  46. Sorry Less,
    Ingrid lives in Germany.
    Or maybe you do live in Germany, but just wanted to argue the fact? lol

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