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January 31, 2007

Gardasil and Autoimmune Disorder Risk

I was interested to see that Dr. Dave at CafePharma pointed out that there was a slight increase in autoimmune problems in study participants receiving the vaccine.

The only significant concern that I appreciated in terms of the safety data was a slight absolute increase in potential autoimmune phenomena (e.g., inflammatory arthritis) in the vaccination group. This will be something to keep an eye on.

CafePharma is a place where people in the pharmaceutical industry can talk to each other about drugs and vaccines in a casual and open way. View the full thread with Dr. Dave here.

Here are the study results he was referring to. The ages of participants ranged from 9 to 26:

In one study involving 11,813 Gardasil recipients, 2 recipients developed rheumatoid arthritis, 5 developed arthritis, and 1 developed reactive arthritis.

In the control group receiving a placebo containing aluminum, 1 recipient developed lupus and 2 recipients developed arthritis.

Out of a total of 21,464 study partipants, there were 17 deaths that Merck says were unrelated to the vaccine. The deaths were broken down as follows:

Out of those who received Gardasil:

4 motor vehicle accidents
1 overdose/suicide
1 pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis
2 cases of sepsis
1 case of pancreatic cancer
1 case of arrhythmia

In the control group receiving an aluminum placebo:

3 motor vehicle accidents
2 overdose/suicides
1 pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis
1 case of asphyxia

Both the Gardasil vaccine and the placebo contained aluminum.

To read the results of the clinical trials yourself, visit this page.

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