2014: A Productive And Controversial Year For The Gardasil HPV Vaccine

2014 has been an eventful year for the Gardasil HPV vaccine. It has been a year of development and controversy, according to media reports from the year.

In June 2014, the European Commission approved the Gardasil vaccine to be allowed to be used “for the prevention of anal precancerous lesions and anal cancers causally linked to oncogenic HPV types,” according to a press release. Other great news for Gardasil’s manufacturers: The European Commission also granted Gardasil marketers permission to promote two-dose Gardasil for children between the ages of nine and 13-years-old, according to BioProcess Online.

As 2014 came to a close this month, Sanofi Pasteur MSD (an equally-owned European joint venture between Merck and Sanofi Pasteur) was given another green light: in December 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a press release recognizing the approval of the Gardasil 9 vaccine, an updated version of the HPV vaccine, which covers five more types of HPV than the earlier Gardasil vaccine was created to protect against.

The new Gardasil 9 could potentially prevent about 90 percent of all anal, cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers, according to a report in Clinical Leader about the release of the new Gardasil vaccine. The FDA approved the Gardasil 9 vaccine for females between nine and 26 years old and for boys between nine and 15 years old. Karen Midthun, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said that the new approval will provide greater protection against these cancers, calling the vaccine a “critical health measure.”

Still, 2014 didn’t bring all good news for the Gardasil team. 2014 also brought Gardasil into an unflattering spotlight on a few occasions.

Bernard Dalbergue, a former physician for Merck, was interviewed in April 2014 by the French magazine Principes de Santé and presented an ominous opinion of the Gardasil vaccine. Dalbergue’s interview statements were, according to Judicial Watch, “the most disturbing inside information exposed about the vaccine.”

“I predict that Gardasil will be the biggest medical scandal of all time. Because at one time we will prove by A + B that this vaccine for technical and scientific prowess it has no effect on cervical cancer and that many cases of effects undesirable that destroy lives and even kill, are there for the sole benefit of the laboratories,” Dalbergue warned in the interview with the French magazine, as translated by Google into English. Inquisitr covered the details of Dalbergue’s controversial statements when the story first broke earlier in 2014.

In August of 2014, Gardasil rumors ran rampant for a little while after reports spread that 200 girls in Cambodia came down with a mysterious illness after receiving Gardasil vaccines, though CBS reported that officials speculated the illness was possibly a case of mass hysteria. Symptoms that were reported at the time included fainting, numbness through the hands, and headaches.

Another blow in 2014 to Gardasil’s marketing successes was a statement issued by a member of the European Parliament this past spring.

“Today in Europe, many young women, aged 18-24 years without medical history, are affected with very debilitating diseases that could be attributed directly to vaccination.” (Translated from French)

Michèle Rivasi, representing southeast France in the European Parliament, requested a moratorium and implored the Minister of Health to establish transparent and independent studies of the safety and efficacy of the Gardasil vaccine, according to Lyon Capitale, which claimed Rivasi was especially moved by the opinion of a Canadian neurologist on the effects of the Gardasil vaccine when she issued the statement earlier in 2014.

“Aluminium, a potent neurotoxin present in the vaccine, passes the brain barrier,” neurologist Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia said, according to Lyon Capitale, as translated into English by Google.

Shaw and co-author Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic wrote in a paper published previously in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics that said that while “conflicts of interest do not necessarily mean that the product itself is faulty, marketing claims should be carefully examined against factual science data.” The pair stated that Gardasil was fast-tracked in its approval process and that Gardasil marketers are making unproven claims about the vaccine’s ability to actually prevent cancers.

According to the Lyon Capitale report, Austria refused to include Gardasil in their national vaccine schedule, purportedly due to controversy. In September 2014, the Inquisitr reported that Japan was also still debating the Gardasil issue a year after it was removed from the list of required vaccines in the country.

Given that in 2014 Gardasil still made headlines with news of both progress and controversy, has your opinion of the vaccine changed in any way?

[Photo by Jan Christian]