23 February 2007

HPV vaccine problems denied

Although there are more than 500 cases of mostly minor side effects involving a new HPV vaccine, US health officials say there's no need for additional warning labels.

Although there are more than 500 cases of mostly minor side effects involving a vaccine that could prevent cervical cancer in girls and women, US health officials say there's no need for additional warning labels on the vaccine, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The report preceded a meeting in Atlanta Thursday, at which experts were to present side-effects data on the vaccine, Gardasil, to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many of the side-effect reports involve fainting, but fainting is a common side effect among teens who get any vaccination, experts told the wire service. "There is absolutely no reason to think that there is anything in this vaccine, as opposed to another vaccine, that's going to make people more likely to faint," CDC immunisation safety official Dr John Iskander told the AP.

Gardasil is Merck & Co.'s three-dose vaccine approved for females ages nine to 26. It protects against strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that have been shown to cause cancer of the cervix.

Safety not proven?
On Wednesday, a Virginia-based group called the National Vaccine Information Centre issued a statement describing side effects of the vaccine. The statement also argued that not enough research had been done on the vaccine to prove that it was safe.

The AP said it had obtained data showing 542 reports of adverse side effects of the vaccine, ranging from fainting and injection site swelling, to fever and nausea. There also have been three reports of Guillian-Barre syndrome, a debilitating condition that has been associated with other vaccines, the wire service said.

Earlier this week, Merck said it would end a campaign to persuade states to require the vaccine for adolescent girls attending public school, the AP said. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Cancer shot maybe even better
Texas enforces cancer vaccine

February 2007


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