October 2009 Interview
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
October 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A researcher with Merck Pharmaceutical who helped develop the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, has revealed that the controversial drugs will do little to reduce cervical cancer rates and may cause more illness than the disease they are intended to prevent.
Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, and lead researcher in the development of the two vaccines, made these remarks during an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2-4.
Dr. Harper has on several occasions warned that the vaccines were being “over-marketed” and the research on their potential side effects not properly carried out.
Dr. Harper told CBS News on August 19, 2009 that “young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine” and that a girl is more likely to die from an adverse reaction to Gardasil than from cervical cancer.
A report by Steven W. Mosher and Joan Robinson of the Population Research Institute (PRI), who attended Dr. Harper’s presentation at the Conference on Vaccination, states that although her talk was intended to promote the vaccine, it left many of the health professionals wondering if the drug should be given at all, considering its “poor promise of efficacy as a vaccine married to a high risk of life-threatening side effects.”
Gardasil, Dr. Harper explained, is promoted by Merck, the pharmaceutical manufacturer, as a “safe and effective” prevention measure against cervical cancer. The theory behind the vaccine is that, as HPV may cause cervical cancer, conferring a greater immunity of some strains of HPV might reduce the incidence of this form of cancer. In pursuit of this goal, tens of millions of American girls have been vaccinated to date.
However, “I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn’t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,” said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.
Robinson added that she “did not wish to give the impression that Dr. Harper presented, even inadvertently, a consistently negative view of her own vaccine. She did tout certain ‘real benefits,’ chief among them that ‘the vaccine will reduce the number of follow-up tests after abnormal PAP smears,’ and thereby reduce the ‘relationship tension,’ ‘stress and anxiety’ of abnormal or false HPV positive results.
Dr. Harper Indicates Vaccine “will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US”
Dr. Harper also explained, however, that 70% of HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment in one year. After two years, this rate climbs to 90%. Of the remaining 10% of HPV infections, only half coincide with the development of cervical cancer.
“Indeed,” Robinson continued, Dr. Harper “surprised her audience by stating that the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is so low that ‘if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.’”
At this point Dr. Harper said that “with the use of Gardasil, there will be no decrease in cervical cancer until at least 70% of the population is vaccinated, and in that case, the decrease will be very minimal. The highest amount of minimal decrease will appear in 60 years.”
In the US, the cervical cancer rate is 8 per 100,000 women, and is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. The current death rate from cervical cancer is between 1.6 to 3.7 deaths per 100,000 cases of the disease and is steadily declining due to traditional PAP tests and treatment.
The PRI report points out that the most recent records from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) indicate 15,037 girls have officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil in the US, and that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that there have been 44 reported deaths linked to the vaccine.
Less Than 10%, Maybe Even Less Than 1% of Vaccine Side Effects Reported
Of even greater concern is the probability that numbers of deaths and adverse effects are underestimated.
Dr. Harper’s comments in an ABC News report concur with the National Vaccine Information Center’s claim that “though nearly 70 percent of all Gardasil reaction reports were filed by Merck, a whopping 89 percent of the reports Merck did file were so incomplete there was not enough information for health officials to do a proper follow-up and review.”
The PRI report notes that “on average, less than 10 percent – perhaps even less than 1 percent – of serious vaccine adverse events are ever reported, according to the American Journal of Public Health.”
PRI’s Steven Mosher concluded the report on Dr. Harper’s revelations by offering some thoughts on the intense promotion of Gardasil by not only the manufacturer of the vaccine, but by state and country government agencies.
“I think that they see Gardasil as what one might call a “wedge” drug. For them, the success of this public vaccination campaign has less to do with stopping cervical cancer, than it does with opening the door to other vaccination campaigns for other sexually transmitted diseases, and perhaps even including pregnancy itself.
“For if they can overcome the objections of parents and religious organizations to vaccinating pre-pubescent – and not sexually active – girls against one form of STD, then it will make it easier for them to embark on similar programs in the future.
“After all, the proponents of sexual liberation are determined not to let mere disease – or even death – stand in the way of their pleasures. They believe that there must be technological solutions to the diseases that have arisen from their relentless promotion of promiscuity. After all, the alternative is too horrible to contemplate: They might have to learn to control their appetites. And they might have to teach abstinence.”