HPV Vaccine Gardasil.

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icemaiden | 13:19 Thu 13th Sep 2012 | Body & Soul
7 Answers

My daughter came home yesterday with a consent form regarding the vaccine. I have been reading up on Gardasil for a few months now and I still havent decided what to do. Gardasil is relatively new, and I understand that this September it will be used in the HPV programme.

My concern is that with the last vaccine Cervarix it wasn't known what the effects were until atleast two years after giving the vaccine. So with Gardasil, effects will not be known yet.

Has anyone out there any advice, knowledge of this? Has your Daughter had the vaccine? or not? If not, why? if you don't mind me asking?

I have spoken to our GP and he has said that there are no side effects that they know of.....Yet.




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Difficult one this....LazyGun is the AB expert in this field.

What does the vaccine suppose to do? is effective in 2 types of HPV which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers.

What are the side effects? advice is to Google them.

What is the truth? in all contentious issues, particularly medical controversies one can surf the internet and pick any scientific paper to support your argument.

Would i be happy to have my daughter vaccinated against HPV?

Question Author
Hi sqad. Thanks for your answer.

Very difficult yes. Reading up on side effects has me saying a definate no. But then she did have the MMR and that also had a lot of controversy surrounding it.
They do not know how long exactly the protection will be for and that itself makes me worry.
Hi IceMaiden,

General -Gardasil and Cervarix Vaccine
Gardasil would be regarded as an improvement over the cervarix vaccine. Cervarix is designed to protect against HPV strains 16 and 18, whilst Gardasil does the same, but has the added benefit of being protective against HPV strains 6 and 11, which are a common cause of genital warts.

Not entirely sure where you are getting your information from regarding Cervarix and "not knowing what the effects were" until at least 2 years after the vaccine.Do you mean safety data or efficacy data, or adverse reactions data? Would probably need more detail to comment directly on that specific claim.

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?
Whether to immunise or not comes down to a reasoned analysis of the risks presented to the individual. On the one hand, you have the risk of becoming infected with a particular organism and becoming sick. Against this is the risk of an adverse reaction from the vaccine process itself. Please remember that the vast, overwhelming majority of reported adverse reactions are either local. being a transient redness or soreness at the injection site, or general,such as a transient headache, or muscle ache, or fatigue, or syncope (fainting) subsequent to the injection.

Severe adverse reactions to any of the commonly used vaccines are extraordinarily rare.

Background to Cervical Cancer
As to the specifics of the cervical cancer vaccine, either cervarix or gardasil could be used. Gardasil has the benefit of offering protection against genital warts, but Cervarix appears to offer immunity for a longer period - up to 7 years. The disease they are protective for,Cervical cancer, is unpleasant.HPV induced Cervical Cancer account for over 90% of all cases of cervical cancer. It can lead to bleeding, pain, loss of appetite,fatigue, loss of appetite. It can reduce the chances of having children. There is a risk of metastatic spread to other organs. At its worst it is life threatening.This is a serious disease.

However, it is almost entirely preventable. HPV is mostly transmitted through sex, and of course, most people will indulge, sooner or later. To prevent risk it makes sense to educate and introduce the preventions early. Safe sex using condoms can prevent the infection, but is not for obvious reasons entirely reliable. The screening programme (pap smears) is useful, looking for early stage pre-cancerous cervical cell changes, but the test can be difficult to interpret and does not stop the infection in the first place.It is also important to remember that these vaccines prevent the commonest HPV strains, 16 and 18 - it is still important to attend the screening programme.

So what you have to weigh up are the relative risks - on the one hand of being susceptible to the HPV through sex and all the potential downsides of contracting such an infection. On the other, there is the small risk of an transient and relatively trivial adverse reaction to the vaccine, and the exceptionally rare risk of a serious adverse reaction.

Safety and Efficacy Data.
Gardasil has been in use since it was approved for use by the FDA in 2006. It has been extensively tested for efficacy and safety, with very good results for efficacy and safety data similar to other vaccines in the market.
Gardasil usually requires 3 shots, and is considered protective for around 4-6 years. Cervarix was licenced for use in 2007. Since then, there have been millions of doses administered. The safety of these vaccines is very good.
Safety Data

Unlike Sqad, were it my daughter, i would vaccinate no question :)
Just in case that was unclear.

Both vaccines require a course of 3 shots - 0,1 and 6 months ( from memory)
Studies and trials have demonstrated that Gardasil can be considered protective for 4-5 years, so boosters every 4 years or so.
Studies and trials have demonstrated that Cervarix can be considered protective for up to 7 years, so boosters every 6 years or so.
\\ The disease they are protective for,Cervical cancer, is unpleasant.HPV induced Cervical Cancer account for over 90% of all cases of cervical cancer.\\\

I agree with Lazygun....cervical cancer is a nasty disease.

His statement of 90% of cases of cervical cancer being due to HPV is exaggerated....the true figure is nearer 70%
So 30% of cervical cancers will not be prevented by vaccination.

What are the chances of getting cervical cancer if you are not vaccinated?

The chances are 99.09% of the female population will not get HPV induced cervical cancer.

Side effects?....well i do agree with Lazygun.....however, the usual medical dilemma, some will say that the effect of the side effects are exaggerated and some will say they are played down.

Difficult eh?
Question Author
Wow. Thank you both for your very informative answers. I will read and digest when I have a quiet moment.
yes sqad, still difficult. :0/
@ Sqad - I dont think I am exaggerating the incidence of cervical cancer caused by HPV.Not sure you have properly absorbed the numbers :)

From the National Cancer Institute
"Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections, with just two HPV types, 16 and 18, responsible for about 70 percent of all cases"

As I said in my first post - HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for around 70% of those cervical cancers caused by HPV - but the incidence of cervical cancer as a consequence of an HPV infection is over 90%.
And to underline the seriousness of the cervical cancer, again from the US National Cancer Institute...

"Estimated new cases and deaths from cervical (uterine cervix) cancer in the United States in 2012:

New cases: 12,170
Deaths: 4,220"

And to reinforce the message that HPV is virtually the exclusive cause of Cervical Cancer, please reread my first link, quoted in the post above.
From Wiki
"Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection appears to be a necessary factor in the development of almost all cases (90+%) of cervical cancer"

This is a disease for which there is a vaccine that offers very good protection with minimal risk.From a purely medical perspective, it is difficult , in my opinion, to make a case against giving authorisation for this vaccine...

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