HPV vaccine, warts and all

This week I give you a Bluffer’s Guide on the HPV vaccine, which the Quebec government announced this week will be given to girls age 9 to 26.

Some resources with more information:

My take: There are some legitimate concerns about safety (no long-term studies, wasn’t tested thoroughly on young girls), but until we find evidence of some harm this could cause (which I find unlikely), I agree with the immunization plan.

That’s not to say that Merck, which sells Gardasil at a rate that makes it the most expensive vaccine ever, isn’t pushing this hard with a lot of self-interest and stands to make billions. But that’s capitalism.

3 thoughts on “HPV vaccine, warts and all

  1. Fagstein Post author

    (This comment by email):

    Nice article today about the controversy over Gardasil. One small
    thing – your open ended question is extremely leading. There is an
    epidemic of HIV and AIDS, there is not an epidemic of Cervical Cancer.
    Is it not possible that as cervical cancer rates are dropping
    significantly, that the $300 million being spent on Gardasil might be
    better used funding HIV/AIDS research?

    Then there are a couple of things you didn’t mention; as the rates are
    dropping significantly, by the time the 9 year old girls receiving the
    vaccine are of an age where they might get cervical cancer there will
    likely be only 100 deaths/year from it had no one been forced to take

    Second, while the “double-blind clinical trials” might have proved
    extremely effective, fewer than 100 9 year old girls and less than
    1,200 girls between the ages of 9 and 15 were involved in the study.
    Everyone was only followed for 18 months, so there is no way of
    knowing if there will be a need for a booster shot, or if the vaccine
    will still be effective over the long term.


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