Merck Researcher Admits: Gardasil Guards Against Almost Nothing

On the morning of 2 October 2009, one of us (Joan) joined an audience of mostly health professionals and listened as Dr. Diane Harper, the leading international developer of the HPV vaccines, gave a sales pitch for Gardasil. Gardasil, as you may know, is the new vaccine that is supposed to confer protection against four strains of the sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Dr. Harper came to the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination to prove to us the real benefits of Gardasil. Sadly, her own presentation left me (Joan) and others filled with doubts. By her own admission, Gardasil has the doctors surrounding me glaring at a 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.

As I sat scribbling down Merck’s claims, I wondered why such mass vaccination campaigns were necessary. After all, as Dr. Harper explained, 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.

Dr. Harper further undercut the case for mass vaccination campaigns in the U.S. when she pointed out that “4 out of 5 women with cervical cancer are in developing countries.” (Harper serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) for HPV vaccination in the developing world.) Indeed, she 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.”

If this is the case, I thought, then why vaccinate at all? From the murmurs of the doctors in the audience, it was apparent that the same thought had occurred to them.

In the U.S. the cervical cancer rate is 8 per 100,000 women.1 Moreover, it 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 women.2 The American Cancer Society (ACS) notes that “between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by 74%” and adds that “the death rate from cervical cancer continues to decline by nearly 4% each year.”3

At this point, I began to wriggle around in my seat, uncomfortably wondering, is the vaccine really effective? Using data from trials funded by Merck, Dr. Harper cheerfully continued to demolish the case for the vaccine that she was ostensibly there to promote. She informed us 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.”

It is hard to imagine a less compelling case for Gardasil. First of all, it is highly unlikely that 70% or more of the female population will continue to get routine Gardasil shots and boosters, along with annual PAP smears. And even if it did, according to Dr. Harper, “after 60 years, the vaccination will [only] have prevented 70% of incidences” of cervical cancer.

But rates of death from cervical cancer are already declining. Let’s do the math. If the 4% annual decline in cervical cancer death continues, in 60 years there will have been a 91.4% decline in cervical cancer death just from current cancer monitoring and treatment. Comparing this rate of decline to Gardasil’s projected “very minimal” reduction in the rate of cervical cancer of only 70 % of incidences in 60 years, it is hard to resist the conclusion that Gardasil does almost nothing for the health of American women.

Despite these dismal projections, Gardasil continues to be widely and aggressively promoted among pre-teen girls. The CDC reports that, by 1 June 2009, over 26 million doses of Gardasil have been distributed in the U.S.4 With hopes of soon tapping the adolescent male demographic, Merck, the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the vaccine, and certain Merck-funded U.S. medical organizations are targeting girls between the ages of 9 and 13.5 As CBS news reports, “Gardasil, launched in 2006 for girls and young women, quickly became one of Merck's top-selling vaccines, thanks to aggressive marketing and attempts to get states to require girls to get the vaccine as a requirement for school attendance.”6

Just as I began, in my own mind, to question ethics of mass vaccinations of prepubescent girls, Dr. Harper dropped another bombshell. “There have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15 years,” she told us.

Merck did study a small group of girls under 16 who had been vaccinated, but did not follow them long enough to conclude sufficient presence of effective HPV antibodies.

If I wasn’t skeptical enough already, I really started scratching my head when Dr. Harper explained, “if you vaccinate a child, she won’t keep immunity in puberty and you do nothing to prevent cervical cancer.” But it turned out that she wasn’t arguing for postponing Gardasil vaccination until later puberty, as I first thought. Rather, Dr. Harper only emphasized to the doctors in the audience the need for Gardasil booster shots, because it is still unknown how long the vaccine immunity lasts. More booster shots mean more money for Merck, obviously.

I left Dr. Harper’s lecture convinced that Gardasil did little to stop cervical cancer, and determined to answer another question that she had largely ducked: Is this vaccine safe?

Here’s what my research turned up. To date, 15,037 girls have officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These adverse effects include Guilliane Barre, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots, brain inflammation and many others. The CDC acknowledges that there have been 44 reported deaths.7

Dr. Harper, who seems to specialize in dropping bombshells, dropped another in an interview with ABC News when she admitted that “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”8 This being the case, one might want to take one’s chances with cancer, especially because the side effects of the vaccine are immediate, while the possibility of developing cancer is years in the future.

In the clinical studies alone, 23 girls died after receiving either Gardasil or the Aluminum control injection. 15 of the 13,686 girls who received Gardasil died, while 8 died among the 11,004 who received the Aluminum shot. There was only one death among the group that had a saline placebo. What this means is that 1 out of every 912 who received Gardasil in the study died.9, see p. 8 The cervical cancer death rate is 1 out of every 40,000 women per year.10

The numbers of deaths and adverse effects are undoubtedly underestimates. Dr. Harper’s comments to ABC News 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.”11 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.12

Given the severity and frequency of Gardasil adverse reactions, I definitely wasn’t the only one in Dr. Harper’s audience who winced when she dismissed most Gardasil side effects as “easily just needle phobia.”

Due to the young age of the trial participants and the short duration of the studies, the effects of Gardasil on female fecundity have not been studied. I did discover, in my post-conference reading, that Polysorbate 80, an ingredient in the vaccine,13, see p. 12 has been observed in a European clinical study to cause infertility in rats.14 Is this an additional concern? Time will tell.

I do 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.

To me, however, this seems a rather slim promise, especially when weighed against the deaths and side effects caused by the Gardasil campaign. Should millions of girls in the United States, many as young as 9, be put at risk, so that sexually active adults can have less “relationship tension” about false positive HPV results? Is the current rate of death, sterility and serious immune dysfunction from Gardasil worth the potential that in 60 years a minimal amount of a cervical disease (that is already decreasing on its own) may perhaps be reduced?

But what I really wanted to know is why Merck is so eagerly marketing such a dangerous and ineffective vaccine? Aren’t there other ways they could make a profit? While Merck’s behavior is probably adequately explained by the profit motive, what about those in the Health and Human Services bureaucracy who apparently see Gardasil as medicine’s gift to women? What motivates them?

I (Steve) 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.

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Reply to comment | Population Research Institute

There is definately a great deal to know about this topic. I love all of the points you made.

The vaccine against the HPV is the fraud of the century

From its inception until the appearance of uterine cervical carcinoma (UCC) takes a average of 20-30 years; the research of this vaccine have begun in 2000. It is evident that the scientific efficacy of this new vaccine will be determined the years 2025 – 2030.
HPV not causes definitely the (CCU); at the onset of this disease involves multiple risk factors, including the suspected HPV, but scientifically is proven by epidemiology and statistics that the sex is what generates this disease. Nix in 100.000 nuns found not any UCC.
To accept that a virus or a bacteria causes a infection disease must unfailingly fulfill the five Koch's postulate
1 - The agent must be present in every case of the disease and absent from healthy.
2 - The agent must not appear in other diseases.
3 - The agent to be isolated in pure culture from disease lesions.
4 - The agent of causing disease in a susceptible animal being inoculated.
5 - The agent must again be isolated lesions in experimental animals.
Consequently, HPV not fulfill not any principle of Koch's postulate. by not meeting this postulate, that is accepted as dogma in medicine, scientifically we must be ensure that the HPV is not the causative agent to the UCC..
Until May 2013 Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Syntem (VAERS) published that the vaccines against the HPV caused only in Unites States 138 muertes and 30020 adverse events; 947 disabled: 12 males, 924 females and 11sex unknown; 4050 advers graves: 106 males, 3883 females and 57 unknown sex; 527 abnormal PAP smears, 214 dysplasia cervical and cervical cancer 214. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System secure that only the !% to 10% are denounced
The Vaccine efects advers reactions (VAERS) ensures that only complaint between 1% to 10% of the adverse effects produced by this evil vaccine;this figures shown are calculated according to the statements of the VAERS: to 10%.
Dr. Harper, who contributed to the development of the vaccine by Merck, reports that the vaccine was not investigated in children under 15 years and the vaccine given to children under 11 years is a big public experiment.
The vaccine was approved to give girls uncontaminated with HPV, Dr. Howenstinc ensures that the women are vaccinated with HPV contaminated, have the possibility to acquire a 44.6% CCU / Howenstine/james170.htm.
Merck did not disclose that the vaccine was transgenic, the Sane Vax has discovered, which is transgenic because it has been found that the vaccine is contaminated with DNA recombinant vaccine Gardasil (DNArPVH) and has raised its concerns to the president of the FDA Margaret Hamburg. The FDA replied that the vaccine will not cause any damage transgenic
A vaccinated child was ill with rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. 24 hours after vaccination and found that the aluminum adhered to DNArPVH, two years after vaccination and in autopsy 6 months after death in a New Zeland girl Jazmine Renata which had recibed this deadly vaccines
Management time to get market approval of a drug the FDA is at least three years, it is a drug for cancer 15 years, but the authorization Merck had only six months and the European Medicines Agency (EMA in English) only 9 months: To introduce the vaccine are using the marketing of fear
HPV is ubiquitous; lives in wild and domestic animals, pollute us from birth, is on the doorknobs, on towels, on nails, on fomites, in gloves and specula of gynecologists,. sexual intercourse is not the only means of contamination.
HPV also lives in the 400 nm outermost of our skin and mucous membranes. ,
If you live in our skin, our immune system produces cellular and humoral immunity is acquired or that our body is self vaccinatinge by PVHs living on our skin and mucous ..
The PVHs is not distributed uniformly worldwide. It has been found that in Canada HPV 18 only reaches 3%; is more often HPV 31, in my country Peru no studies have determined that HPV types predominate; Gardasil contains 225 mcg. aluminum and Cervarix 500 mcg, that produce the Alzheimer, Parkinson and autism, produce too neurotoxic and immune system disorders (Blaylock 2012) and Polisorbato 80, a powerful contraceptive, that in experimental animals produces sterility, atrophy of the testicles and disturbance organic and funtional of the organs of the reproduction; is carcinogenic and mutagenic; also contains sodium borate considered poison unused in medicinal preparations (NLM)
Have been discovered to date 200 types of HPV; HPV is not infectious, contagious; the intercourse is not only that the persons is contaminated
On 22-11-2010 FDA approved Gardasil for males aged 9 to 26 to prevent warts and cancer to the anus, is overkill
For the reasons from deep Peru Huancayo, I believe that this vaccine is a fraud?, a robbery?, a swindle?, a rough joke?, a crime?, a shame?, a scam?
The HPV is not scientifically proved for the moment that produce the UCC its effectiveness shall be verified just the years of 2025-2030.
Dr. Godofredo Arauzo
E mail:

An interesting article, thank

An interesting article, thank you.

Teaching abstinence is wise and if followed affords almost absolute protection against most STI. Running oppositional to the efficacy of abstinence is Piaget's theory of how adolescents think. According to his theory adolescents believe that they have the power to "control" what happens to them. Many adolescents have no fear because, in their minds--nothing wrong can happen to them.

Back in the '80's I was Historical Society President for the small town of Lempster, NH. My Vice President taught at Brown University and used our historical data (+ diary's, Dr. Notes etc. in our rather amazing set of historical documents) to research historical rates of unwed pregnancies. She gave a talk in the local Library and I assume also at Brown. The fascinating part was that the rate of unwed pregnancies in the late 1800's were the same as today. Yet abstinence was not only taught--it was quite soundly pounded into the brains of youth at that time.

I enjoyed the discussion on Guardasil--it makes me think and question and I shall investigate more. I too do not trust Big Pharma and could enumerate many specific reasons for that. Yes abstinence teaching is essential, especially teaching girls that they are "gatekeepers," not the "boy." (Intersperse women/men as you wish).

There is some evidence that I've read that indicates "abstinence" is being perceived as non-vaginal intercourse leading to a potential future increase in HPV throat cancers in both sexes. Still it would seem, based upon your numbers that Guardasil may be imperfect. I was surprised at the rate of deaths in the aluminum hydroxide "blanks." Perhaps this indicates a problem in the delivery method.

With vaccination, though I'm often "told/suggested" otherwise, I present facts as I know them and respect individual decisions. Thanks for the "food for thought."

VAERS is a reporting tool

VAERS is a reporting tool only for any symptom after a vaccine was given. Anyone can report any symptom to VAERS. Entering a symptom post vaccination does not mean that the symptom came from the vaccine. The Immunization coalition looks at trends to determine if there are recurring symptoms that require further investigation. Most people do not know this about this tool.
As to the HPV, this virus is one of the leading causes of head and neck cancer and is transmitted through oral contact. Oral experimentation often starts at 12 years old with kissing or other contact. Furthermore, a study published this month showed that 100% of infants with intractable seizure disorder who died have HPV in their cerebral tissue samples. All mothers were HPV positive at birth. The good news is that this terrible condition has now finally been diagnosed. The bad, these children received an STD from their mothers.
Saying all this, I believe that HPV is a virus that needs to be treated aggressively, but I do have some concerns over the additives and recombinant DNA used in this vaccine. In the end, it is up to the parent as to which roulette wheel they want to turn.
On a personal level, I have lived with the consequences of HPV and pre-cervical cancer and breast cancer of unknown origin. HPV is one of the potential players of triple negative breast cancer. Yes, I am one of the unlucky ones, but had I the opportunity to get the vaccine, I would have taken it.

Reply to comment | Population Research Institute

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You have provided some very useful information. However, if you are truly interested in the VAERS process, you should follow through on your research to inquire who keeps track of those reports. You will find the manufacturers once again involved. So let's see. In the case of the Gardasil vaccine ... Merck (manufacturer) funds Researcher(Kaiser) who submits reports for the FDA to approve. Then we have an individual who tries to report to Kaiser an adverse reaction. To which they reply the FDA has found it to be safe. That same individual tries to report to the FDA and the FDA will inform them that a research study has proven the vaccine safe. Merck of course will inform you of both the other parties. But Merck also knows this vaccine is not safe and Merck has priors on releasing unsafe vaccines to the public also. But the last time they were caught they had to pay out of their own pockets. Now it's they taxpayers that ultimately pay the cost of settlements for adverse effects. The manufacturers are no longer responsible. So if they pay a large sum of money for research to a second party and want positive results.......Remember Kaiser works heavily on donations as does many other hospitals which have training or student campuses on the property. Why is there so little involvement by outside sources? Why is the manufacturer involved in every process? Why aren't the manufacturers held accountable?

I keep hearing people

I keep hearing people downplay the deaths and adverse reactions reported on VAERS because "anyone can report any symptom" - what people don't take into account is the fact that the vast majority of reports are sent in by vaccine manufacturers (37%) and health care providers (36%). The remaining reports are obtained from state immunization programs (10%), and vaccine recipients (or their parent/guardians, 17% - only when the doctor refuses to report the incident). The majority of these reports are legit and should be taken seriously. The numbers are staggering - especially since it is estimated that only 10% of symptoms are reported to VAERS.

VAERS reporting

Thank you for informing the public of these figures. If you have reactions to Gardasil and you are a patient or "study" of Kaiser, your complaints about Gardasil will be dismissed as they are Mercks researcher for the vaccine. Not only will they not address the issue but you will have a very hard time obtaining lot #s for your vaccine. Theses lot #s are very important when reporting to VAERS as an individual.

Great post I found it really

Great post I found it really interesting.

guarding against Guardisil?

While we all need to welcome critical analysis of any mass public health initiative, your report does seem a little biased. I would like to add a couple of things - yes - we should explore the reasons behind the deaths of girls who received Guardisil or the aluminum liquid ( which in itself probably gives a strong hint as to the answer). Yet you seem strangely unconcerned by the fact that 1 girl died following SALINE PLACEBO? Really???? STOP ALL LUSE OF SALINE NOW!!!!! Mortality figures without examination of identifiable causes are meaningless hype. Give me some REAL data. Now, from a personal perspective. I was infected with genital herpes and HPV as a result of date rape when I was 20. I underwent extensive cervical, vaginal and labial diathermy treatment at the time. It was really, really traumatic (I remember the painful debilitating post operative infection to this day, some 27 years later!) I have insisted on annual Pap smears ever since, as being an RN, I was only too aware of the increased incidence of cervical cancer with this infection. I have scaring on my cervix, which, luckily my homebirth midwives helped to stretch and facilitate dilation during labour. Had I been in a hospital, I probably would have had Caesarian section deliveries for failing to progress. Anyway, 2 years ago, I felt a small lesion in my anterior vaginal wall and was referred to a gynaecologist. That lesion proved insignificant, but she found a labial lesion which proved to be VIN3 on biopsy. Yes - a consequence of that nasty HPV infection imposed on me so long ago. Just imagine all the trauma, pain, distress, anxiety, cost, drain on services etc. that could have been avoided if Guardisil had existed when I was 15 and I had been vaccinated! Yes - lets please question the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Can the aluminum be removed to increase safety? Piblic campaigns have resulted in mercury being removed from most routine childhood vaccines. Lets keep working on ensuring this valuable tools of modern medicine don't use dangerous substances as carriers or preservatives. Then lets move past mass acces to high risk populations and work on developing targeted schedules based on individual needs. That's the responsibility of general practitioners to give quality, personalized care. You know, take some responsibility for YOUR part in the action. You should be counseling parents on their health pre-conception, immune boosting actions for babies during pregnancy and then planning staggered immunisation programmes for infants and children with known or high risk immune/allergy profiles which include dedicated use of supplements to support immune system function, promoting natural delivery, breast feeding etc. to ensure the child's system is strong enough to cope with the burden of a vaccine on their bodies. It's not a one way street, and benefits aren't always restricted to the obvious. I am a clear case in point.