Amber Kaufmann. That name might not mean anything to you right now—it didn’t mean anything to me a month ago either. But now I can’t get the sad story of this beautiful 16-year-old child out of my head—and soon you won’t be able to either.
You see, Amber could have been your daughter or granddaughter. Or mine. But she was Teri Collins’ daughter, and that mother has to wake up each morning wondering if drug company greed caused the premature death of her daughter.
“Dr. Douglass, I wish I had seen your article on…dangerous vaccines before my daughter, Amber, received the Gardasil vaccination,” Ms. Collins wrote to me recently. “She passed away a year ago today. She collapsed within 72 hours of receiving her second shot of this awful vaccine. Sadly to say, I am not the only parent out there who has lost their daughter to Gardasil.”
No, Ms. Collins, you are not. As of December 2008, the Centers for Disease Control reports that 32 girls…young ladies with their entire lives before them…died after receiving Gardasil, the so-called cervical cancer vaccine. Eleven of these deaths occurred less than a week after the girls received the shot. Seven occurred in less than two days. The most common cause of death was blood clots.
More than 11,000 other kids, some as young as 9 years old, have reportedly experienced some type of adverse event after getting inoculated with Gardasil. And these “adverse events” aren’t just a little pain or swelling around the injection spot. There have been 38 reported cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an illness that affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis.
There are thousands of mothers like Teri Collins who, if they had to do it again, wouldn’t let their children within a mile of a syringe containing Gardasil. But that might be easier said than done, because…
Big Pharma wants to make this deadly vaccine mandatory
Merck, the maker of Gardasil, has been pushing the vaccine so heavily that more than half the states in America are considering requiring it. This is so counter-intuitive, I knew there had to be some sort of back-room conspiracy behind it.
So I started digging around and asking questions about how a vaccine like Gardasil could be unleashed on some of the most vulnerable members of our society—and how politicians could remain so oblivious. I uncovered a nearly unbelievable tale of bad science, misdirection and big money that is leaving a trail of dead and debilitated little girls—girls who had no idea they were taking part in a medial experiment of a size nearly unprecedented in American history.
Big Pharma experiments on little girls
When discussing Gardasil, it’s important to start by explaining what it is—and what it most definitely is not. Many of the people I speak with have been led to believe (usually through flowery Merck commercials) that Gardasil is some sort of wonder vaccine that prevents women from ever getting cervical cancer.
Truth is, Gardasil is not a cancer vaccine at all. It’s designed to protect against certain strains of HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can potentially lead to cervical cancer. Here are a few other things that you’ve probably never been told about Gardasil:
- It will not treat existing HPV, and in fact, may even cause outbreaks in women already affected.
- It is only effective against FOUR of the over 30 strains of HPV. In other words, it has no effect on 87 percent of existing HPV strains.
- It has not been tested to determine whether it’s safe to use with other vaccines.
- It has NOT been evaluated to see if it is potentially carcinogenic.
- No one knows whether it exhibits any long-term effectiveness.
- It is still in the testing stages and will not be fully evaluated for safety until September 2009.
The fact that Gardasil is so unproven is almost excusable—I mean, it is new. But the fact that millions of families are being led to believe that Gardasil is some type of cervical cancer vaccine is not excusable. And the research process Merck used to get Gardasil approved—a process that may have been designed to hide the drug’s dangers—is unforgivable.
Gardasil is safe…compared to a “poison placebo”
Merck researchers conveniently used an aluminum-based placebo when testing the safety and effectiveness of Gardasil. I say “conveniently” for two reasons. First, the vaccine itself has 225 mcg of aluminum in it. Second, aluminum itself has been known to cause side effects, such as nerve damage.
The National Vaccine Information Center says, “A reactive placebo [aluminum] can artificially increase the appearance of safety of an experimental drug or vaccine in a clinical trial.”
You see, when you use an aluminum-based placebo, you know it’s probably going to make some of the test subjects sick. Then, when your vaccine also makes people sick, you can say it was about as safe as the placebo. It’s like testing poison against poison—and it worked. Once Merck had a placebo-controlled study, no one asked too many questions.
And that’s not the only irregularity Merck slipped under the radar. After receiving the vaccine, dozens of women who already had HPV broke out in warts in the genital area, as well as on their face, hands, and feet. The same thing could have happened to the women in Merck’s study…but we’ll never know what reaction they may or may not have had because their reactions to the vaccine weren’t included in the study results. Why? Because Gardasil isn’t designed to treat HPV, so the reaction of study participants who already had HPV got tossed out with the trash. Convenient loophole, don’t you think?
Instead of asking tough questions about the safety and effectiveness of Gardasil, the FDA approved it through its “priority review process,” a fast track for drugs that meet an urgent medical need.
The FDA did the same thing in 1999 for another Merck drug—Vioxx. Five years later, Vioxx was pulled off the market after 100,000-plus adverse events had been reported. Even the FDA admits that the drug may have contributed to 27,785 severe side effects, such as heart attacks and sudden cardiac death.
By the time Gardasil is pulled from the market—and that might not happen for years, but I predict it will happen—it’s going to make the Vioxx mess seem like a day at the beach. Here are three reasons why:
1. A vaccine for children has the potential to become a mandatory part of the vaccination program—millions of healthy little girls everywhere will get this vaccine.
2. Children’s drugs automatically get an extra six months on the patent, so Merck will continue marketing aggressively.
3. The drug will benefit from already-low cervical cancer rates. Millions of girls will get the vaccine, and when they don’t develop cervical cancer (and the overwhelming majority of these girls will never get cervical cancer), people will assume the drug worked. Pretty convenient, right?
Gardasil is already huge—and it’s only going to get bigger. And a disturbing trend is developing, where younger and younger children get the vaccine. That’s a disaster waiting to happen, because…
No one knows how Gardasil interacts with other vaccines
According to Merck’s own documents, the company only tested Gardasil with the Hepatitis B vaccine. Never mind the numerous other shots kids these days are required to get—booster shots for measles, mumps, and rubella, Hepatitis A shots, and Menactra (for meningitis).
In fact, the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) from July 2007 to March 2008 shows 220 cases of adverse effects from administering Gardasil and Menactra at the same time. The adverse effects include fainting, nausea, dizziness, seizures, spontaneous abortions, and even Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Merck has no idea about Gardasil’s long-term effectiveness or safety. Believe it or not, the FDA permitted Merck to begin distributing Gardasil before it had time to rule out the possibility of any long-term side effects in a controlled environment.
Instead, they instructed Merck to track the girls who received the vaccine to determine whether Gardasil is truly safe or not. That’s right…
Your daughters and granddaughters are Merck’s experimental guinea pigs
The FDA required Merck to track 44,000 vaccinated girls for 60 days to determine short-term safety (they’ll look at emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths) and to follow up after six months to gauge long-term safety.
That’s right—their idea of a long-term study is to see if your daughter or granddaughter suffers a seizure, becomes paralyzed, or even dies after getting the shot.
With all we do know about Gardasil—plus all we don’t know yet—it’s criminally premature to mandate this vaccine. We’re playing Russian roulette with our children.
I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to play games with the health of these little girls. As it turns out,
Gardasil’s own researcher cautions against making the vaccine mandatory
Dr. Diane Harper spent more than 20 years working on an HPV vaccine. In fact, she was one of the lead researchers. She said, “The vaccine has not been out long enough for us to…really understand what all the potential side effects are going to be…To put a process in place that says you must have this vaccine means that you must be part of a big public experiment and so we can’t do that” (emphasis mine).
I’ve got news for you: They can do that—and they did.
The FDA approved the vaccine for use in girls 9 to 26 years old, and legislation has been introduced across the country that would make the vaccination mandatory for 11- and 12-year-old girls. But according to Harper, the vaccine was never tested for effectiveness in girls that young.
She also believes it gives girls a false sense of security. Gardasil may encourage even more teenagers to practice unsafe sex because they think they’re protected against STDs.
On top of that, taking away the fear of developing cervical cancer will likely encourage girls to skip their routine Pap smears, a tragic decision that I’ll talk more about in a minute.
Harper said she tried for months to get the media to cover her side of the Gardasil story. “No one will print it,” she said.
Well, I will. I’m not afraid of a little backlash for speaking the truth. In fact, I’m not afraid to tell you that…
I’d rather have my daughter take her chances with cervical cancer than Gardasil
With all the hoopla over this vaccine, you’d think cervical cancer would be one of the “Big 3” threats to women. Here’s a newsflash: It isn’t even in the top 10. Truth be told, 3,700 women die from cervical cancer each year, and that number drops about 4 percent annually. Between 1955 and 1992, there was a 74 percent decrease.
Trust me—through Pap smears and early detection, we were winning the war on cervical cancer long before Gardasil came along.
Now, we’re talking about exposing millions of young girls to the unknown risks of an experimental drug in order to potentially protect them from a cancer that’s very treatable when it’s caught early. It’s not only tragic and unnecessary—its price tag could put you in the poor house.
Gardasil would literally double the cost of vaccine programs
Do you know who foots that bill? You do.
The government pays for 55 percent of all the children who get vaccinated. Medicaid alone provides vaccines for 40 percent of kids under 19. In 2000, Medicaid spent $500 million on vaccines. Now it’s over $2.5 billion. Now double that and you’ll start to get a small picture of the Big Profits Big Pharma stands to make from this one drug. The FDA reported that, as of February 2009, 23 million doses have already been distributed in the U.S. No wonder Merck hurried it through the approval process.
So the big question is…Is it worth it?
If it truly protected against cancer….maybe. If it didn’t force unnecessary health risks on innocent young girls…maybe. If its protective effects lasted for longer than three or four years…maybe.
But the answer to all of those questions is a resounding NO.
Dr. Harper said, “To mandate now is simply to Merck’s benefit.”
There are simply too many question marks for this vaccine to have ever reached the market in the first place—and the notion of mandating it is ridiculous. Don’t stand for it.
Here’s what I’m asking all of my readers to do: Go online and sign a petition by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) requesting the government to investigate Gardasil.
The petition, called “Investigate Gardasil Risks NOW!” asks President Obama, his administration, and Congress to look into the FDA’s rush job of the vaccine’s approval, as well as to consider the potential consequences of recommending it to so many women and young girls. In part, it asks them to take action to “protect the lives of Americans who trust the government to ensure that vaccines licensed for public use are safe, effective and necessary.”
At the moment, NVIC has gathered almost a fourth of their goal of 30,000 signatures. You can do your part in this battle by putting your name on this important petition—and by telling all of your friends to do so as well.
Go to their website, www.nvic.org, and click on “sign a petition.”
There are lots of Amber Kaufmann’s in the world who need protecting. Maybe one is your daughter, granddaughter, or niece. Let’s do what we can to keep them safe.