Vaccines Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Vaccines Media Articles in Major Media
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Deep inside an 86-page supplement to United States export regulations is a single sentence that bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and dozens of other viruses to five countries designated "state sponsors of terrorism." The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological warfare. Under this little-known policy, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan may not get the vaccines unless they apply for special export licenses, which would be given or refused according to the discretion and timing of the U.S. Three of those nations -- Iran, Cuba and Sudan -- also are subject to a ban on all human pandemic influenza vaccines as part of a general U.S. embargo. The regulations, which cover vaccines for everything from Dengue fever to the Ebola virus, have raised concern within the medical and scientific communities. Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they were not even aware of the policies until contacted by The Associated Press ... and privately expressed alarm. They make "no scientific sense," said Peter Palese, chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Some experts say the idea of using vaccines for bioweapons is far-fetched.
Two vaccines against cervical cancer are being widely used without sufficient evidence about whether they are worth their high cost or even whether they will effectively stop women from getting the disease, two articles in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine conclude. Both vaccines target the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus that usually causes no symptoms and is cleared by the immune system, but which can in very rare cases become chronic and cause cervical cancer. The two vaccines, Gardasil by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline, target two strains of the virus that together cause an estimated 70 percent of cervical cancers. “Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug ... wrote in an editorial in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.” The vaccines have been studied for a relatively short period — both were licensed in 2006 and have been studied in clinical trials for at most six and a half years. Researchers have not yet demonstrated how long the immunity will last, or whether eliminating some strains of cancer-causing virus will decrease the body’s natural immunity to other strains. Because cervical cancer develops only after years of chronic infection with HPV, Dr. Haug said there was not yet absolute proof that protection against these two strains of the virus would ultimately reduce rates of cervical cancer.
Sandra Levy wants to do everything she can to safeguard the health of her 11-year-old daughter -- and that, of course, includes cancer prevention. She has had her child inoculated with one shot of Gardasil, the human papilloma virus vaccine that may prevent cervical cancer. But now, she says, she has serious reservations about going ahead with the next two injections of the course. Though most medical organizations strongly advocate using the HPV vaccine, some doctors and parents, like Levy, are asking whether the vaccine's benefits really outweigh its costs. A report released in June stirred up more doubts. Although cause and effect were not proved, the report listed serious events -- such as seizures, spontaneous abortions and even deaths -- among teens, preteens and young women who had earlier had Gardasil shots. [The] analysis, released June 30 by the Washington, D.C.-based public interest group Judicial Watch, [has] raised [these] red flags. Judicial Watch obtained records from the FDA's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a voluntary system used by doctors, patients and drug companies to report side effects with vaccines to the federal agency. The report revealed that since the vaccine's 2006 approval, when girls began getting it, nearly 9,000 had bad health events after receiving Gardasil. The incidents included 10 miscarriages, 78 severe outbreaks of genital warts and six cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can result in paralysis. There were also 18 reported deaths.
Note: For many key reports on the problems with vaccines from reliable sources, click here.
They're some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit. But CBS News has found these three have something more in common - strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend. The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces. A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine - which makes $2 billion a year in sales. A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine - which made $1.5 billion a year in sales. Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too - but wouldn't tell us how much. Then there's Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He's gone so far as to say babies can tolerate "10,000 vaccines at once." In fact, he's a vaccine industry insider. Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck. And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash.
Note: An excellent report endorsed by many respected doctors and nurses reveals the serious risks of vaccines. Read an incisive list of questions regarding vaccines that are rarely raised by the media. The report accessible on this US government webpage states, "Since 1988, over 24,200 petitions have been filed with the VICP [Vaccine Injury Compensation Program] ... with 8,162 of those determined to be compensable. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $4.5 billion." Why isn't that huge price tag for vaccine injuries being talked about?
Jordan King was a typical baby. His parents called him vocal and vivacious. Then just before age 2, after a large battery of vaccinations, he simply withdrew from the world. "The real scary thing was when I noticed he wasn't looking at us any more in the eyes," Mylinda King, Jordan's mother, said. William Mead was a Pottery Barn baby model and met all the typical milestones. Then, also at age 2, after a set of vaccinations, William became very ill and he, too, changed forever. In both children, batteries of tests revealed dangerous levels of the brain toxin mercury in their systems. Their only known exposure: the mercury preservative once widely used in childhood shots. Dr. Bernadine Healy is the former head of the National Institutes of Health, and the most well-known medical voice yet to break with her colleagues on the vaccine-autism question. In an exclusive interview with CBS News, Healy said the question is still open. "I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational," Healy said. Healy goes on to say public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are “susceptible” to vaccine side effects - afraid the answer will scare the public. CBS News has learned the government has paid more than 1,300 brain injury claims in vaccine court since 1988, but is not studying those cases or tracking how many of them resulted in autism.”
Note: For a powerfully revealing article by Robert Kennedy, Jr. showing a major cover-up of this issue, click here. For another suppressed article on a published University of Pittsburgh study with strong evidence of an autism-vaccine link, click here.
The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Merck & Co. to correct numerous manufacturing deficiencies at its main vaccine plant. The agency ... released a warning letter sent to Merck's chief executive, Richard T. Clark, that states FDA inspectors determined manufacturing rules are not being followed at the plant in West Point, Pa., just outside Philadelphia. The plant, which recalled two vaccines in December over sterility problems, makes a number of children's vaccines and four for adults. The nine-page letter states FDA found "significant objectionable conditions" in the manufacture of vaccines and drug ingredients during repeated inspections from Nov. 26 to Jan. 17. According to the heavily redacted warning letter, Merck officials didn't thoroughly investigate when vaccine batches inexplicably failed to meet specifications, even if batches had been distributed, and some combination measles-mumps-rubella shots that failed "visual inspection for critical defects" were distributed anyway. Production of two vaccines made at West Point — PedvaxHIB, to prevent Haemophilus influenza type B, and Comvax, a combination vaccine for Haemophilus B and hepatitis B — stopped last year and 1.2 million doses of them were recalled after a sterility problem was discovered in October. The plant also makes ProQuad, which protects children against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox; hepatitis A, hepatitis B and meningitis vaccines for children and adults; and Gardasil, to protect young women against cervical cancer.
Note: For further revelations from reliable sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here.
One of the most vitriolic debates in medical history is just beginning to have its day in court — vaccine court, that is. Without laying blame, the independent Office of Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims — with a 20-year record of handling vaccine matters — recently conceded that the brain damage and autistic behavior of Hannah Poling stemmed from her exposure as a toddler to five vaccinations on one day in July 2000. Two days later, she was overtaken by a high fever and an encephalopathy that deteriorated into autistic behavior. At some level, the decision was a vindication for families who have been battling with the vaccine community, arguing that some poorly understood reaction to components of vaccines or their mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, could cause brain injury. Yes, vaccines are extraordinarily safe and bring huge public health benefit. But vaccine experts tend to look at the population as a whole, not at individual patients. Families are not alone in searching for a trigger that might explain why autism and autism spectrum disorders have skyrocketed; now they reportedly affect about 1 in 150 kids. The rise of this disorder, which shows up before age 3, happens to coincide with the increased number and type of vaccine shots in the first few years of life. So as a trigger, vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility. Go back 40 or 50 years. The medical literature is replete with reports of neurological reactions to vaccines, such as mood changes, seizures, brain inflammation, and swelling.
Note: For many reports from reliable sources of the dangers posed by vaccines, click here.
We've met some of the most amazing moms and dads who are forging their own path to prevention and recovery. When our son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism we were lucky enough to benefit from their knowledge and experience. Evan has been healed to a great extent by many breakthroughs that, while perhaps not scientifically proven, have definitely helped Evan and many other children who are recovering from autism. We believe what helped Evan recover was starting a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. Once Evan's neurological function was recovered through these medical treatments, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis helped him quickly learn the skills he could not learn while he was frozen in autism. After we implemented these therapies for one year, the state re-evaluated Evan for further services. They spent five minutes with Evan and said, "What happened? We've never seen a recovery like this." Evan is now 5 years old and what might surprise a lot of you is that we've never been contacted by a single member of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or any other health authority to evaluate and understand how Evan recovered from autism. When Evan meets doctors and neurologists, to this day they tell us he was misdiagnosed -- that he never had autism to begin with. It's as if they are wired to believe that children can't recover from autism.
Note: This article is written by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, actors and parents actively involved in autism-related causes. McCarthy is the author of the book Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. Don't miss a great three-minute video of McCarthy on CNN talking about her experience with vaccines and autism. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
What happened to little, red-haired Hannah Poling is hardly unique in the world of autism. She had an uneventful birth. And then, right after receiving a bunch of vaccines, she fell ill. Hannah, now 9, recovered from her acute illness but she lost her words, her eye contact and, in a matter of months, began exhibiting the repetitive behaviors and social withdrawal that typify autism. Parents of kids like Hannah have been fingering vaccines - and, in particular, the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal - as a cause of autism for over a decade, but researchers have repeatedly failed to find a link. What's unique about Hannah's case is that for the first time federal authorities have conceded a connection between her autistic symptoms and the vaccines she received, though the connection is by no means simple. A panel of medical evaluators at the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that Hannah had been injured by vaccines - and recommended that her family be compensated for the injuries. The panel said that Hannah had an underlying cellular disorder that was aggravated by the vaccines, causing brain damage with features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Note: CBS reported that the Poling family eventually received $1.5 million in compensation for the autism caused by vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy from reliable major media sources.
"My daughter, who had been completely normal until getting nine vaccinations in one day, was suddenly no longer there," said Terry Poling, mother of 9-year-old Hannah. Hannah Poling appeared to be like many children. At 19 months, her pediatrician noted she was "alert and active" and "spoke well." At that same visit, she got five shots - nine doses of vaccines. She almost immediately developed fever, seizures and severe health problems. Eight years later, the government has quietly conceded that vaccines aggravated a cell disorder nobody knew Hannah had, leaving her with permanent brain damage and autistic-like symptoms. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., is also a doctor. Weldon has long been pushing the government to aggressively work to develop ways to screen for children who might be the most susceptible to ill effects from vaccines. The government has been telling the public for more than a decade that there's absolutely no reason to be concerned about any link. "I wouldn't recommend they say something like that in light of the Poling case and the admission on the part of the government," Weldon said. A CBS News investigation uncovered at least nine other cases as far back as 1990, where records show the court ordered the government compensated families whose children developed autism or autistic-like symptoms in children including toddlers who had been called "very smart" and "impressed" doctors with their "intelligence and curiosity" ... until their vaccinations.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund. Thousands of families are seeking compensation for disabilities they attribute to vaccines and a preservative. Medical and legal experts say the narrow wording and circumstances probably make the case an exception -- not a precedent for thousands of other pending claims. However, parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others. Although the science on this is very limited, the girl's disorder may be more common in children with autism than in healthy ones. "It's a beginning," said Kevin Conway, a Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer representing more than 1,200 families with vaccine injury claims. "Each case is going to have to be proved on its individual merits. But it shows to me that the government has conceded that it's biologically plausible for a vaccine to cause these injuries. They've never done it before." Nearly 5,000 families are seeking compensation for autism or other developmental disabilities they say are caused by vaccines and a mercury-based preservative, thimerosal. It once was commonly used to prevent bacterial contamination but since 2001 has been used only in certain flu shots. Some cases contend that the cumulative effect of many shots given at once may have caused injuries. The cases are before a special "vaccine court" that doles out cash from a fund Congress set up to pay people injured by vaccines and to protect makers from damages as a way to help ensure an adequate vaccine supply.
Note: To read further highly informative reports from major media sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here.
Scores of grumbling parents facing a threat of jail lined up at a courthouse Saturday to either prove that their school-age kids already had their required vaccinations or see that the youngsters submitted to the needle. The get-tough policy in the Washington suburbs of Prince George's County was one of the strongest efforts made by any U.S. school system to ensure its youngsters receive their required immunizations. Two months into the school year, school officials realized that more than 2,000 students in the county still didn't have the vaccinations they were supposed to have before attending class. So Circuit Court Judge C. Philip Nichols ordered parents in a letter to appear at the courthouse Saturday and either get their children vaccinated on the spot or risk up to 10 days in jail. They could also provide proof of vaccination or an explanation why their kids didn't have them. "It was very heavy handed," [school mom Aloma Martin] said of the county's action. "From that letter, it sounded like they were going to start putting us in jail." Any children who still lack immunizations could be expelled. Their parents could then be brought up on truancy charges, which can result in a 10-day jail sentence for a first offense and 30 days for a second. Maryland, like all states, requires children to be immunized against several childhood illnesses including polio, mumps and measles. In recent years, it also has required that students up to high school age be vaccinated against hepatitis B and chicken pox. Several organizations opposed to mass vaccinations demonstrated outside the courthouse. While the medical consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective, some people blame immunizations for a rise in autism and other medical problems. "People should have a choice" in getting their children immunized, said Charles Frohman, representing a physicians' group opposed to vaccines.
Note: For more revealing major media reports on the complex issues surrounding vaccinations, click here.
A team of National Institutes of Health researchers has concluded that the often-touted benefits of flu shots to people over the age of 70 are highly exaggerated - there is no real proof they provide protection to the frail elderly. The conclusion published Monday in an online edition of the British journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases is unwelcome news for public health officials in the United States who are preparing to launch the annual flu shot campaign. This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes that a record 132 million doses of flu vaccine will be manufactured for the U.S. market, but the federal agency has been having a hard time boosting the number of Americans who line up for the shots. Last year, at least 18 million doses of flu vaccine went to waste. The CDC's long-standing goal is to have 90 percent of seniors aged 65 and older vaccinated against flu. The policy has made progress: In the 2005-06 flu season, 69 percent of that population was vaccinated, compared to just 15 percent in 1980. It is precisely that success that has led disease control experts in recent years to question the value of the vaccine. With such a large increase in immunization rates, a drop in flu deaths among the elderly would have been expected. But several studies have failed to show any such reduction. The report underscores growing doubts about how useful the current flu vaccines are for the elderly.
Note: Vaccines are a big profit maker for the drug companies. Can we trust that they make decisions based on what's best for our health? For many key articles on health from reliable major media sources, click here.
A year after their grandson Christian received a diagnosis of autism in 2004, Bob Wright, then chairman of NBC/Universal, and his wife, Suzanne, founded Autism Speaks, a mega-charity dedicated to curing the dreaded neurological disorder that affects one of every 150 children in America today. The Wrights’ venture was also an effort to end the internecine warfare in the world of autism — where some are convinced that the disorder is genetic and best treated with intensive therapy, and others blame preservatives in vaccinations and swear by supplements and diet to cleanse the body of heavy metals. With its high-powered board ... the charity was a powerful voice, especially in Washington. It also made strides toward its goal of unity by merging with three existing autism organizations and raising millions of dollars for research into all potential causes and treatments. The Wrights call it the “big tent” approach. But now the fissures in the autism community have made their way into the Wright family, where father and daughter are not speaking after a public battle over themes familiar to thousands of families with autistic children. The Wrights’ daughter, Katie, the mother of Christian, says her parents have not given enough support to the people who believe, as she does, that the environment — specifically a synthetic mercury preservative in vaccines — is to blame. No major scientific studies have linked pediatric vaccination and autism, but many parents and their advocates persist, and a federal “vaccine court” is now reviewing nearly 4,000 such claims.
For more than a decade, families across the country have been warring with the medical establishment over their claims that routine childhood vaccines are responsible for the nation's apparent epidemic of autism. In an extraordinary proceeding that begins tomorrow, the battle will move from the ivory tower to the courts. Nearly 5,000 families will seek to convince a special "vaccine court" in Washington that the vaccines can cause healthy and outgoing children to withdraw into uncommunicative, autistic shells -- even though a large body of evidence and expert opinion has found no link. The court has never heard a case of such magnitude. The shift from laboratory to courtroom means the outcome will hinge not on scientific standards of evidence but on a legal standard of plausibility. The decision could not only change the lives of thousands of American families but also have a profound effect on the decisions of parents around the world about whether to vaccinate their children. Advocates of the vaccine theory have argued that the increase in cases was triggered by a mercury-based preservative in vaccines that, they say, is toxic to children's brains. The law requires people claiming they were harmed by a vaccine to bring the case in the special court first, but if they lose, they can still file suit in civil courts. Scientific advocates for the vaccine-autism theory ... say fears about damaging public health programs have prompted scientists and the government to hide evidence of a problem. Many of the families believe that the medical establishment and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have conspired in a massive coverup.
An alarming number of U.S. troops are having severe reactions to some of the vaccines they receive in preparation for going overseas. "This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military," said an unidentified military health officer who fears for his job. A shot from a syringe is leaving some U.S. servicemen and women on the brink of death. Lance Corporal David Fey, 20, has dialysis three days a week. His kidneys are failing, his military career is over, and he feels like his country abandoned him. Fey said he loved every minute of boot camp and combat training at 29 Palms in California. But on Nov. 28, 2005, his life would change forever. Fey was one of a group of Marines who lined up for an undisclosed shot. "They asked us our name. We stood on these yellow footprints, and they gave us this shot, and we got the rest of the day off," he recalled. "After that shot, I started swelling up. I gained 30 pounds of water. My eyes swelled up where I couldn't see. I started snoring. I developed a rash on my hand." Three weeks later, Fey was back in Clermont County on his death bed at Clinton Memorial Hospital. His kidneys were failing, and his body was so swollen that it left stretch marks. Fey is one of a growing number of U.S. servicemen and women who are getting sick after receiving vaccines. And the ... Department of Defense medical officer who spoke with [WLWT] said that the number is up in the thousands. The symptoms range from joint aches and pains and arthritic symptoms to death. The officer said those who have claimed to have had adverse reactions to shots are treated like it is all in their heads. Asked whether servicemen and women are receiving experimental vaccines, the officer said, "I would hope to God not. But from what I've seen, I would have to say yes."
Government officials were made aware of some problems with a version of the MMR vaccine in other countries but still introduced it in Britain in the late 1980s, newly released documents show. The MMR vaccine with the Urabe strain of mumps was first used in Britain in October 1988. It was blamed for the deaths of several children after being withdrawn by the Department of Health in September 1992. Previously confidential documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show how officials gradually learned of the dangers of the Urabe strain MMR which caused encephalitis-type conditions, including meningitis. Many months before the Urabe MMR vaccine was introduced in the UK, officials were made aware of problems in America, Sweden and Canada. The first warning came when an unnamed official at a meeting of the Government's Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation in May 1987 "expressed his reservations concerning reported adverse reactions to MMR in the USA". The second came in a letter from ... Sweden in September that year, where authorities reported "52 cases of febrile convulsions probably associated with MMR vaccination". Then, a Government working party ... learned of "a report of cases of mumps encephalitis'' in Canada at a meeting in Feb 1988. The UK went ahead with its nationwide MMR programme in October 1988 in which 85 per cent of the triple-vaccinations contained Urabe.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccine risks from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
A federal advisory committee on Tuesday recommended approval of the first bird flu vaccine for humans, despite concerns about its safety and evidence that the shots won't protect most people. The panel said although the vaccine had significant shortcomings, it was safe and effective for use during a pandemic or in high-risk situations, such as military deployment to regions facing an outbreak. The government plans to buy and stockpile enough doses for 20 million people. [The] director of the FDA's vaccine office told the panel that the vaccine was a stopgap measure. "There are numerous vaccines under development that are potentially better than this one," he said. The bird flu strain known as H5N1 originated in Asia. Although it rarely infects people, experts fear a mutation could make it easily transmissible, triggering a pandemic. From the start of 2003, 167 people, mostly in Asia, have died of the virus, according to the World Health Organization. In clinical trials, a two-shot series of the Sanofi vaccine provided protection in 45% of adults who received the highest dose, according to an FDA analysis this week. No serious side effects were detected among the 450 healthy adults who participated in a clinical test. However, some panel members were concerned that the trial was too small to reveal rare side effects. Some experts also worried about possible allergic reactions to the vaccine because it requires a massive dose — 12 times that of the seasonal inoculation.
Note: Who pays for and who profits from the purchase of these 20 million vaccine doses? It's pretty clear that the taxpayer covers the costs and the big drug companies make huge profits. Fear is quite useful for driving up profits. For lots more on profiteering from the avian flu, click here.
Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday angrily defended his relationship with Merck & Co. and his executive order requiring that schoolgirls receive the drugmaker's vaccine against the sexually transmitted cervical-cancer virus. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Perry's chief of staff had met with key aides about the vaccine on Oct. 16, the same day Merck's political action committee donated $5,000 to the governor's campaign. In issuing the order, the governor made Texas the first state to require the vaccine Gardasil for all schoolgirls. But many lawmakers have complained about his bypassing the Legislature altogether. The executive order has inflamed conservatives, who said it contradicts Texas' abstinence-only sexual education policies and intrudes into families' lives. Critics have previously questioned Perry's ties to Merck. Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff, now lobbies for the drug company. And the governor accepted a total of $6,000 from Merck during his re-election campaign. Merck has waged a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to get state legislatures to require girls to get the three-dose vaccine to enroll in school. But on Tuesday the pharmaceutical company announced it was suspending the effort because of pressure from parents and medical groups. The Kentucky House on Thurday passed a bill that would require the vaccination for middle school girls unless their parents sign a form opposing it. Virginia lawmakers have also passed legislation requiring the vaccine, but the governor has not decided if he will sign it.
Note: The drug company lobby is the most powerful in the U.S., as reported by the former editor-in-chief of one of the most respected medical journals in the U.S. Click here for more.
Pediatricians, gynecologists and even health insurers all call Gardasil, the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, a big medical advance. But medical groups, politicians and parents began rebelling after disclosure of a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign by Gardasil's maker, Merck & Co., to get state legislatures to require 11- and 12-year-old girls to get the three-dose vaccine as a requirement for school attendance. Some parents' groups and doctors particularly objected because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted disease. Vaccines mandated for school attendance usually are for diseases easily spread through casual contact, such as measles and mumps. Bowing to pressure, Merck said Tuesday that it is immediately suspending its controversial campaign, which it had funded through a third party. Legislatures in roughly 20 states have introduced measures that would mandate girls have the vaccine to attend school. Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 2 issued an executive order requiring Texas girls entering the sixth grade as of 2008 get the vaccinations. Dr. Anne Francis, who chairs an American Academy of Pediatrics committee [stated] "I believe that their timing was a little bit premature," she said, "so soon after (Gardasil's) release, before we have a picture of whether there are going to be any untoward side effects." The country has been "burned" by some drugs whose serious side effects emerged only after they were in wide use, including Merck's withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. The vaccine also is controversial because of its price - $360 for the three doses required.
Note: $360 for every girl in school would amount to quite a hefty transfer of funds from taxpayers into the pockets of Merck. Could profit and campaign contributions be behind the move to make this mandatory?
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.