Signs and symptoms of an adverse reaction to Gardasil

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes. While the majority of the nearly 200 known types of HPV cause no symptoms in most people, some types can cause warts (verrucae), while others can – in a minority of cases – lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women or cancers of the anus and penis in men. It is a remotely common virus that is spread through sexual contact. Most of the time HPV has no symptoms so people do not know they have it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a vaccine for adolescents in order to prevent the virus once they become sexually active. The HPV vaccine works by preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is given as a 3-dose vaccine. There are actually 2 options for this vaccine, Cervarix and Gardasil. For this article, let’s look at the later of the 2.

According to federal law, Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine. Federal law requires that VISs be handed out whenever (before each dose) certain vaccinations are given. The following information was taken from the HPV Gardasil VIS.

According to the CDC, this HPV vaccine has been used in the U.S. and around the world for several years and has been very safe. However, any medicine could possibly cause a serious problem, such as a severe allergic reaction.

They state, “The risk of any vaccine causing a serious injury or death, is extremely small. Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it would be within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. Several mild to moderate problems are known to occur with HPV vaccine. These do not last long and go away on their own.”

The “recognized” reactions stated on the VIS, are reactions in the arm where the shot was given: that resulted in pain in about 8 people in 10, redness or swelling in about 1 person in 4, a mild fever in about 1 out of 10, a moderate fever of 102° F or more in about 1 person in 65.

Other “recognized” problems are a headache (about 1 person in 3) and fainting. In regards to the fainting, they state, “Brief fainting spells and related symptoms (such as jerking movements) can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after a vaccination can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by falls. Tell your doctor if the patient feels dizzy or light-headed, or has vision changes or ringing in the ears.”

As stated, this information is provided to the public by the VIS’s. These are the “recognized” adverse reactions by the CDC and the federal government. However, it is important that anyone considering this vaccination be fully informed and this statement, unfortunately leaves out some pertinent information.

There have been several studies and research concluded that has proven this vaccine to be linked to autoimmune disorders, as well as nerve damage, not to mention the risk of death. Before choosing this vaccine, one should have the opportunity to consider all the potential risks, and just because these are not “recognized” by the CDC, does not mean they should not be taken seriously.

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