New York City, NY — The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on October 25 that all 11- and 12-year-old boys receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine as part of their routine preventive healthcare.
On October 30, Dr. Diane Harper, principal investigator for the HPV vaccine and Professor of Medicine and Director, Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine, stated on national television that “we don’t know enough” to be able to make this recommendation for boys.
Dr. Harper conducted clinical trials in boys that showed poor vaccine effectiveness. For nearly two in five boys, the vaccine’s protection wore off within a few years.
Dr. William Schaffner, paid Merck consultant, Chairman of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and a non-voting ACIP member appeared in the televised debate with Dr. Harper.
He acknowledged this is “a coordinated effort of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, so that the general notion is that it’s time to do this…”
The professional medical associations Dr. Schaffner mentioned receive substantial donations from Merck, which manufactures Gardasil, the only HPV vaccine now recommended for boys.
EBCALA Communications Director Rebecca Estepp said, “It is extremely troubling that Dr. Harper, the HPV vaccine’s principal investigator, is concerned there’s not enough science for this recommendation. Dr. Harper is one of the most credible and impartial voices on HPV. The ACIP, AAP and AAFP have moved forward prematurely in recommending this vaccine despite insufficient scientific research. Dr. Schaffner offered no scientific basis for his position except to say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’”
Both boys and girls must receive three doses of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine to protect against disease; each dose costs more than $100, making the HPV vaccine the most expensive vaccine ever recommended by the CDC for universal use.
Dr. Harper also criticized California’s new law, AB499, which grants children as young as 12 years old the right to consent to preventive healthcare against sexually transmitted diseases, including the HPV vaccine, without parental knowledge. Dr. Harper stated that this kind of medical interference in family health decision making is “not an appropriate thing for public health officials to be doing.”
The HPV vaccine has a troubling safety record, with more than 20,000 adverse event reports including 57 reports of deaths. All vaccines are legally considered to be “unavoidably unsafe.” Since 1986, under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, vaccine manufacturers and doctors enjoy almost blanket legal liability protection from any harm that vaccines cause. The 1986 law acknowledges that vaccines are inherently dangerous and are likely to cause death and severe injury to some.
EBCALA urges parents and caregivers to heed Dr. Harper’s warning that “we don’t know enough” for this HPV recommendation.