Cervical Cancer Vaccine Safe?
The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) issued a joint statement on Thursday, August 20th, restating the safety of the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil.
In June 2006, the FDA approved Gardasil as a cervical cancer and genital warts vaccine for young females between the ages of 9 and 26. The vaccine for cervical cancer protects against HPV types 16 and 18 which are known to be a high risk factor for certain cervical cancers and vaginal cancers. The vaccine also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 which are the main causes of genital warts in young women.
The vaccine was developed to help alleviate a growing number of young girls who become infected with HPV during their lifetime. It is estimated that 80% of women contract the virus at some point - many without even knowing it.
The CDC and the FDA are committed to providing safe, effective vaccines and they take all questions regarding the safety of the new Gardasil vaccine seriously. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the Vaccine Safety Datalink project, and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network are in place and closely monitored by the CDC and the FDA to conduct ongoing research for vaccine safety.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), along with the CDC and FDA published an article that studies the safety of Gardasil as related to the adverse effects that have been reported between June 2006 and the end of 2008. (JAMA. 2009, 302(7):750-757)
The most common side effect reported as fainting and falls associated with fainting. Health care providers have been advised to watch vaccine recipients for 15 minutes after injection to watch for fainting.
As far as death from Gardasil, there were 32 deaths reported out of 23 million doses of Gardasil administered. None of these deaths were found to be related to the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine.
The FDA and CDC stand by the safety of Gardasil as a safe and effective vaccine for cervical cancer and genital warts vaccine.