Help! The anti-vaxxers have broken into the Strategic National Stupid Reserve!

Lest you think my title is overwrought, I present exhibit A: Post-Gardasil Syndrome: The new name for the spectrum of of side effects following HPV vaccination. There is so much bad logic and misinformation in this article that I’m afraid the Republican presidential candidates might be unable to speak for the next few days because Norma Erickson has used up all the dumb.

I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll stick a pin in the article.Oooh, here’s a good one: Of the four girls described in the article, two didn’t even get the HPV vaccine! Whether or not the stories they tell about pressure and lies are true (it’s certainly possible, if somewhat unlikely), they’re irrelevant to any proposed “post-Gardasil syndrome.”

Of the two who got the shot, the list of symptoms is completely bizarre. Take the Canadian girl:

Barely two hours later, she was admitted to the hospital – another victim of Post-Gardasil Syndrome suffering fever, rash, fainting, fatigue, weakness, headaches, stomach pains, urinary infection, and abscesses in her mouth, vision impairment and oral Candida.

Seriously? Seriously? You expect me to believe she developed a UTI, abscesses, and oral Candida in two hours? As a commenter over at Orac’s place notes, it’s a good thing her parents finally stopped ignoring the fact she was sick, which they’d apparently been doing for quite a while. I hope she saw an actual doctor who treated whatever actual illness she had, because this sounds very unpleasant.

Another commenter at Respectful Insolence added up the list of “injuries” supposedly caused by this one vaccine:

peripheral neurological disorder, abnormal pupillary function and dilation, peripheral neuropathy in both legs, decreased endocrine activity and function, idiopathic epilepsy, liver function suppression, GI tract disorders, chronic Guillain-Barre-like symptoms, and hormone problems, fever, rash, fainting, fatigue, weakness, headaches, stomach pains, urinary infection, and abscesses in her mouth, vision impairment and oral Candida.

As PEI Curmudgeon notes, this is truly a powerful drug. “Perhaps it should be further developed as a form of biological warfare.” ::snort:: That’s not evidence of a syndrome connected to one vaccine, that’s a laundry list.

How about the fact most of the “evidence” for this new syndrome comes from VAERS? I know I’ve addressed the problems of using this database before. Oh yes, here it is. VAERS reports are not evidence of harm from a vaccine, they’re evidence that someone (parent or doctor or whoever) noticed that something happened at any point after a vaccine was administered.

Something happening after a vaccine was administered is not proof that the vaccine caused the thing that happened. If I’m in the process of developing a stress headache and then get a flu shot, the headache that develops within 5 minutes of the shot is not caused by the shot! It’s a coincidence.

I’m very sad that there are teenage girls with debilitating medical conditions and I hope that they have adequate medical insurance ::coughs:: and medical professionals will do their utmost to find the real cause of their illness and treat it. But so far all evidence points to those conditions being unrelated to the HPV vaccine.

If you remember only one thing I say, let it be this: If there was any evidence whatsoever that the HPV vaccine was causing serious illnesses in girls, it would be pulled off the market. Believe it or not, public health officials are in the business of making the public healthier, not sicker. (It’s even in the name! Isn’t that clever?) When the rotavirus vaccine started causing a very rare complication in a tiny number of babies, it was yanked off the market so fast, there was hardly time to say “boo!”

I hope that parents take these poor girls to real doctors rather than crooks and liars who will claim to be treating post-Gardasil syndrome but are actually making a lot of money selling the modern equivalent of those old-fashioned patent medicines that were mainly booze.

And I look forward to my children being old enough to get the HPV vaccines and avoid real illnesses like cervical cancer and genital warts.

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About mamamara

I'm a 40-something, work-at-home mother of two. I'm pro-vaccine, pro-medicine, pro-science, and an avid reader of information about all of the above, and I want to combine my love for my children with my love for science. So here we are!
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22 Responses to Help! The anti-vaxxers have broken into the Strategic National Stupid Reserve!

  1. momonamission says:

    As a mother of a 17 year old daughter that DID have an adverse reaction to the Gardasil Vaccine, I find this post offensive. I was also Pro-Vaccine, she had received everyone her DR suggested. I was so ProVaccine, that I didn’t even consider that the headaches & Fatigue could have been caused by shot #1. OR that the severe joint pain, worse headaches & worse fatigue would be caused by shot#2. So I took my beautiful daughter from her activities as a Dancer, Cheerleader, NHS, President of STCO to get shot #3. One month later she had her first seizure, followed by hundreds more over the next 2 years. We just could not figure out WHY?? One month and several ER visits later, I was calling a Dystonia Clinic on the East Coast to take her there. That was the word the DRS were throwing around. The nurse I spoke with at that clinic suggested that this was a common side effect from the vaccine, they had dealt with several girls of sudden onset of seizures in this form, common link ~ GARDASIL. So, Mammamara, understand that we, as moms, did NOT go looking to blame Gardasil. It’s real. This is the common link that has pulled Hundreds of us moms together. We don’t like it any more that you do. I can truly say, I hope your children never have to experience what my daughter has. Three years later, she is better, but missed the last 2 years of High School, due to being so sick. She had to sit on the sidelines and watch her fellow dancers dance, her fellow cheerleaders cheer. She struggles with brain fog on a daily basis. Life is not the same as it was pre-Gardasil. Not sure why she had the reaction, but she did and we’re dealing with it. Compassion goes a long way …

    • mamamara says:

      I’m very sorry your daughter experienced this illness, I really am. And I send her all the good wishes that she can recover and get her life completely back. But your one experience does NOT prove that Gardasil was at fault, simply that something occurred in the time period after getting it. If you’d been in a car accident on the way home from getting her the shot, would you blame that on the Gardasil? Of course not!

      My daughter took an antibiotic when she was about 4 years old. An hour after the first dose, she was gasping and choking and coughing. I was SURE the antibiotic must have caused an allergic reaction and I was terrified watching her struggle to breathe.

      Y’know what? She had croup. She was already sick and her immune system was unable to fight off the viruses that can cause croup. Sure, it looked just like the antibiotic was at fault, but it wasn’t.

      If science finds that Gardasil is at fault, I’ll feel bad and I’ll apologize to everyone I’ve doubted. Until then, I remain skeptical and a lot more concerned about the statistical probability of my daughter getting cervical cancer than a “syndrome” that includes every possible symptom in the book.

  2. Heather says:

    Wow, I have never read such ignorant BS in my Life, You are so uninformed, and utterly stupid. Please DONT apologize to me I dont want to hear it. My daughter is sick as well, yes the day of her damn GARDASIL SHOT, she was VERY ILL, spent 17 days in the hospita, For you to say our kids where sick before hand and we never treated them is complete BS, I would givea bout anything to slap you upside your head Your a ignorgant MF>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the side effects from this TOXIC< DEADLY, WORHTLESS PEICE OF CRAP VACCINE Are torturous for our kids, just plain inhumane and sick yeah kind of like warefar SNORT! Do some research, talk to the injured, educate your pathetic self, drop off the face of the earth for all I care. i AM SO SICK OF IDIOTS LIKE YOU SAYING THIS IS IN OUR HEADS, Gardasil is Safe!! FU its not safe or over 23,000 kids wouldnt be sick, 104 in the US would not be DEAD I have nothing left to say to you …. your pathetic and you spread BS lies, Wait let me guess, You work for the Pharmacutical co right?? worthless flesh all of you

    • mamamara says:

      Awesome! Man, you got so many logical fallacies into your short comment, I’m almost afraid people might think I wrote it myself just so I could reply. (For example, the pharma shill gambit is a CLASSIC. I’m so excited someone has finally accused me of being paid by Big Pharma! Dude…I wish! I could use the money.)

      I’ve done a lot more research than you have, as is plain from your comments. Have you ever studied medicine? Biology? Logic? I never said that the illnesses of these girls was in anyone’s heads. I said that just because B happened after A, it doesn’t mean that A caused B. It’s awful that girls are sick and I hope they all get prompt and helpful medical treatment. (Yes, including your daughter, no matter how rude you are. I really hope she’s okay.)

      I’ve read up on these cases and there’s NOTHING so far that shows that Gardasil is at fault, especially when it’s being blamed for a hundred different symptoms. (I can’t think of any medicine that causes that many different illnesses and symptoms!) I know you’re looking for someone to blame, but y’know what? Sometimes bad shit happens. Sometimes bad shit happens to nice people. But it doesn’t mean that Gardasil is to blame for every ailment to befall every teenage girl in the world.

      • Heather says:

        How would you know how much research I have done #1
        #2- Gardasil (if you have done your research) is proving to cause a multitude of symptoms in 1000s and 1000s of kids. The symptoms are all the same, there are many, If you were to take the time to talk to the Injured you would see that most all of these kids where HEALTHY the day before the vaccine, they where in school, working, running track, dancing, cheerleaders, the had jobs, they slept at night, the where not running from doctor to doctor trying to figure out why they felt like they where dying. POST Gardasil they have no quality of life. They spend most every day in bed, sick, vomiting, in horrible horrible pain, running the the ER constantly, having seizures, ovarian cyst and ovarian failure, the get rashes, there lips and eyes swell up, did I mention they spend alot of time vomiting!!!! Memory loss!!! Brain fog!!! Migraines….the list goes on. No one in thier right mind would believe that 1000s of girls all came down with numerous, identical symptoms with ONLY Gardsil as the only connection and not believe GARDASIL is to blame. Yes it is hard for some to comprehend and believe, I can see that. But until you are in the middle of it, dealing with it, researching it, talking to other injured people, talking to scientist, doctors, specialists ect you really wont get it. These girls and now some boys are extremely sick. Parents everywhere are running scared looking for answers. Its not something we all want, trust me its a living fricen hell for all of us. We dont spend time warning others because we are all Anti-vax loons. Obvioulsy our kids have had thier vaccinations. But Something is terrible wrong with this vaccine, if you look into it you will find a NEW and IMPROVED Gardasil will be hitting the market in 2012. A little fishy huh????

  3. lilacsigil says:

    I remember in primary school when we all had our Rubella vaccines and five girls fainted, one cutting her head. Oh no! Post-Rubella-vaccine syndrome! A suggestion that perhaps we should not have vaccines standing up in a hot, windowless room where we could see the other girls getting injections and fainting really helped with the next year…

  4. momonamission says:

    Okay. I agree that Gardasil does not affect every child the same way. Some of my daughters friends also got all three shots, with no problem. However, I cannot say the same for our experience. I do believe that there is something about this vaccine that is causing girls to have a reaction, some worse than others. Do you not find it odd that SO many young girls are having the same or similar issues after receiving the Vaccine? As moms we were searching the internet for any possible reason for our girls to suddenly be so ill, that is how we connected. That in itself states that there is a problem with the vaccine. OR perhaps our girls have some kind of allergy to something in the vaccine. Don’t know why.. but it has happened. Quite frankly, if it didn’t happen to us, I probably would be skeptical as well. Things like this don’t happen to us. It did. We lived 2 years of DRS, Hospitals, seizures, twitches, random jerking of her limbs, vision problems, medical bills… Yes, it happened to us. Did I mention she was a very active young girl in HS? Yes, that came to an end. I firmly believe that in time, you will see Gardasil ads similar to the Vioxx ads, you know, the ones where they admit they were causing death and medical problems. It does happen and it has happened. Just a matter of time…

  5. drrubin says:

    As you mentioned, those of us in health care certainly do not want to give anyone a vaccine that has concerning side effects. Our goal is to keep people healthy. As a pediatrician, I readily report to VAERS, even if there is minimal chance that a reaction was caused by a vaccine. The purpose is, as you nicely eluded, to monitor all reports and look for any commonality that might be due to the vaccine. That being said, I have ordered many doses of Gardasil for teenagers (at the parent’s request–I never strong arm like the article you referenced suggests some physicians have–who are these doctors? Certainly none I’ve worked with), and other than a few girls who felt faint afterwards (and this is not uncommon for any teenager who gets a shot or has blood drawn), I’ve not had one complaint of an adverse event. If I did, I would immediately report it. The last thing I want to do is give someone a vaccine that will harm them.

    At this point in time, I certainly feel the vaccine is safe. In fact, I plan on giving it to my boys at their next well visits. However, I also encourage parents to continue to report any potential adverse effects to their physicians or to VAERS directly (anyone can report to VAERS, which is good thing so that hopefully all potential adverse events get reported). Most importantly, I agree that ongoing safety studies need to be conducted for all newer vaccines, so that when clusters of adverse events are noted, such as was the case with the initial Rotavirus vaccine, the product can be immediately pulled.

    Thanks for posting on an important topic, and thanks to those who have commented for sharing their daughter’s medical issues. As with all medical interventions, I will keep an open mind on the subject and watch for any scientific evidence that would support the vaccine was responsible for these outcomes.

    • mamamara says:

      Thank you for your response! I think the majority of doctors are exactly like you: They will report any adverse events, because they want to be absolutely certain there isn’t some very rare side effect that hasn’t been seen yet. (And yeah, I’ve never encountered a doctor like the ones described in that article. I suppose it’s theoretically possible they might exist, though. Maybe.)

      I think it’s the belief that somehow we’re all part of a conspiracy to hide some terrible disease that drives me the most crazy. Why? We’re getting paid to do so? That’s just crazy. If the pharmaceutical companies had to pay off every doctor and nurse who advocated for vaccines (let alone parents like me) it would dwarf their already much-too-large advertising budgets for actual moneymakers like statins and Viagra and such.

      • Heather says:

        Heres a bit of info for you so you know how much money the pharma has. they make 7.7 million a day on just one medication!! ok with that being said, it s not alot for them to pay a doctor 2000 to do a speech pushing one of thier drugs. go to cafe pharma you will see that even the Merck employees know what is going on with Merck and Gardasil, it is sad to read how they wont even get thier kids Gardasil, and how they talk about the money merck pays out to push this toxic crap. You think they are lying to?? They talk about the many phone calls they receive from parents with sick kids, all from Gardasil. They work thier , they are not making this stuff up. Google it, research it, you will find sites that actually tell YOU what doctors get paid, from who and for doing what. Its sickening. Im sure not all doctors do it, but heck the ones that do, are helping to injure our kids. Its no secret. Pharmacutical, FDA, CDC they all go hand in hand, work together for a profit. Have big beautiful homes, vacations, nice cars and NO conscience. If doctors really did care. Wouldnt they be looking into why 1000s of kids all have the same symptoms with no diagnosis?? If its not Gardasil, what is it?? And who cares enough to figure out?? The PARENTS!!

    • Heather says:

      I would appreciate if you did look for a connection, if you want more info go to truthaboutgardasil org. you will find many many girls with the exact same symptoms all starting right after the gardasil vaccine. None of these girls are doing well, they have had thier lives stripped from the,. I truly hope it does not happen to your boys

  6. Lisa says:

    I only wish the author of this article could experience the vaccine their self and then make those types of comments. You just don’t know until you are in our shoes. I will pray for them!

    • mamamara says:

      I’m an atheist too. If you’re going to pray for me, might as well make it for a good reason. ::snort::

      I plan to give both my son and my daughter the HPV vaccine when they’re old enough, just as they get a flu shot every year (with thimerosol in it!) and they get every other vaccine that’s available.

      If the science changes between now and then, then I will change my mind. I will not change it based on anecdotes not backed up by any evidence. Sorry, but that’s just the way I roll.

  7. AnneS says:

    I had the HPV vaccine as an adult, so let me tell you about my side-effects: my arm really hurt. By far the three most painful shots I’ve ever had, excluding the anesthetic injected into my gums by a dentist. (*shudder*) Since cervical cancer would suck a lot worse than a sore arm, I considered this a reasonable trade-off.

    … and, um, that’s it. No fainting, no dystonia, no exploding organs. I have no doubt that if Gardasil was really causing dozens of different symptoms in all these unfortunate young women, the health authorities would have noticed by now. It’s not as if they don’t pull drugs that actually cause adverse events!

    • mamamara says:

      I know! It drives me crazy that people can cite the cases of all these drugs that got pulled as an example of how the system doesn’t work, when they’re the exact opposite. If the system didn’t work, we wouldn’t know there was a problem.

      I haven’t had the HPV vaccine myself but my kids’ babysitter agrees with you that they were quite painful. She’s also eager to avoid cancer, however.

      • AnneS says:

        My favourite example here is Vioxx – manufactured by the same people who make Gardasil, even! Despite their questionable shenanigans, they were forced to admit that the drug had risks they’d failed to disclose and withdraw it from the market.

        So it’s not that I doubt that Merck are capable of selling an unsafe drug. I just can’t help but notice that the system caught them last time.

    • Linda Wickett says:

      I don’t think CBS news would do stories on it if no one was noticing. My daughter was preparing to complete a triathlon when she had the shot. She was sick within one hour. It has been 8 months and she still is. No one can help her. We have been to more doctors than I can count. Some admit it is Gardasil and others don’t. She loses days in brain fog. She could not exercise without severe heart trouble for 6 months. She has lost most of her hair. She has developed an insane number of allergies that she never had before. This is real, and the saddest thing I have ever known. She is a freshman in college studying chemistry. She wants to sue Merk.

      • mamamara says:

        I’m very sorry your daughter is sick, but you haven’t any provided any proof that it was Gardasil that caused the problems. Just because something happened after she got the shot, doesn’t mean the shot caused it. If she’d gotten leukemia, the shot wouldn’t have caused the leukemia. Unfortunately, some people just get sick with cancer and other such things.

  8. Pharmacist89 says:

    Well, let’s look at things now……….Gardasil has been pulled from two countries, France and India. My daughter, too, has suffered the post-Gardasil syndrome. I am a pharmacist and am all for vaccines and just about any other medication out there. I had no idea that any of these side effects even existed and my daughter began to have them within 2 hours of the vaccine. Four weeks later and she is still suffering. We have had labs, x-rays, CAT scans, you name it…..they are all normal. The fact is that she has been poisoned by this vaccine and there is nothing to be done to decrease the suffering. All we can do is try to treat the side effects which are very debilitating. I would give my right arm to have my child be one of those who do not react to Gardasil, because I know there are multitudes of children who do fine with it. Mine, however, was not one of those, and, until this has happened to your child, you will probably continue to be a non-believer along with the rest of uninformed.

    • mamamara says:

      If you’d gotten in a car accident two hours after the vaccine, would you assume it was at fault? How about if she’d gotten a chicken pox rash two hours after? Fallen and broken her arm? Developed influenza?

      Statistically, some kids are going to get sick an hour before the vaccine and some kids are going to get sick an hour later, but that doesn’t prove a connection. That’s why public health officials collect every single bit of data they can: So they can figure out if there’s anything that *is* connected.

      I’m very sorry your daughter is sick and I hope with all my heart she gets better soon, but without some kind of evidence of a biological connection between the vaccine and the illness, there’s no post-Gardasil syndrome.

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