Human Exceptionalism

Why Cervical Cancer Innoculations Should Not be Mandatory

Remember when the vaccine was developed to protect against the virus that causes cervical cancer? And remember the drive by Merck Pharmaceutical to make inoculations of 12-year-old girls mandatory?–a campaign assisted by by too many politicians and media commentators for what appeared to me to be political reasons involving the culture struggles over sexuality. At the time, I opposed making the cervical cancer shot mandatory for 12-year old girls on the principles that children should not be treated without parental consent and that with there always being a slight chance of side effects with any medical intervention, inoculations should only be mandatory for infectious diseases, e.g., smallpox, measles, etc.

Well, now it turns out that the shots may have caused a few deaths and serious illnesses, and moreover, that the drug may have been tested on adults only for safety–knowledge which which should have made been part of any informed consent of a patient–or the patient’s parents–taking the shots. From the story in the UK’s Telegraph:

Fears have been raised over the safety of a cervical cancer vaccine which health officials plan to give all 12-year-old girls, after it was revealed that the drug has been linked to several deaths.

Three young women are reported to have died days after the drug Gardasil was administered, while the jab is also suspected of triggering “adverse reactions” in 1,700 patients. The figures were uncovered by campaigners who made a freedom of information request in the US, where the vaccine was approved for use a year ago.

The women–aged 12, 19 and 22–suffered heart attacks or blood clots after being injected with Gardasil, which protects against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus which causes most cases of cervical cancer. [Me: 12-year-olds aren’t women, they’re girls.] Hundreds of others reported suffering what could be adverse reactions, including paralysis, seizures and miscarriages.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, which extracted the data, said: “Reports on the vaccine read like a catalogue of horrors.”

It is, of course, quite possible that the inoculations were coincidental to the deaths and illnesses, and the company strongly denies any connection. But there needs to be some more digging here, and certainly, children should not be required to take the shots. That decision should be up to parents.

It will be interesting to see whether American media pick this story up or whether they are so invested in the politics of the matter that they will erect yet another news blockade.

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