Let\’s talk about HPV vaccine

In October 2010, the Swiss Italian TV aired a fantastic investigation service on Gardasil, anti-HPV vaccination and HPV in general, which can appreciate the important parts in the attached movie in a rare example of journalistic investigation which was also attended by the well-known oncologist Franco Cavalli.

The recent news concerning the first requests for compensation for the side effects produced by the Gardasil vaccine against human papilloma virus in France ,  rekindled the controversy about the safety of this vaccine for which not only has already started testing in Puglia   but you He is pushing for even administer it in males .

The history of the HPV vaccine is simple, if you will, is always the same one that concerns many other vaccines in production: it finds a virus, it is scary to people, funds are raised, you make a vaccine and then you sell it.

It does not matter if the virus will show its worst effects:

– Once in ten thousand
– only compromised immune conditions
– just over 30 years

… The virus is scary, then take him out. And here\’s Gardasil: the most expensive vaccine in history (3 injections, 500 euro).

In America there is an organization called Judicial Watch which describes itself as \” nonpartisan foundation that promotes transparency, credibility and morality in government, politics and law .\” In his statement of intent refer highest ethical and moral standards in American public life to avoid the bailiffs can abuse their position to the detriment of the private. He speaks little in Italy, or is quickly mentioned, but this organization has already achieved several successes in the US: we will say much the case of Terry Schiavo.
Judicial Watch was the organization that allowed this story to go around the world and was also the organization that revealed the family escape plans Bin Laden after the events of September 11.

Judicial Watch has put under his magnifying glass the HPV vaccine that is not just the Americans. This thing can also affect us, our loved ones and our lives. And very closely …

Judicial Watch for some time is carrying out a project to make the Gardasil HPV-business more transparent. One wonders, why this need for transparency?
Obvious: they do not say things that can save our lives. They make us die like animals. In the name of their dividends.

On 30 June 2008 it published a report in which we learn that, from September 2007 to May 2008 (9 months in total), administration of Gardasil has caused these consequences:
– 10 women who died ( the source here )
– 140 women with severe side effects ( here the source ), 27 of which are life threatening
– 10 spontaneous abortions ( the source here )
– 6 women who contracted Guillain-Barre ( the source here )

… .. And so on up to the September 2010 report shows that 3589 adverse reactions in both sexes ( the source here )

The message I want to give is not to ignore the disease itself, but inquire before subjecting one\’s body and one\’s life to such a risk. There are other forms of prevention, just as effective.

In fact, there are strong commercial pressure from the manufacturers Companies, both at the political level and in the media, to promote mass vaccination campaigns against papillomavirus, but scientifically there are major doubts, doubts and concerns about the real risk / the benefit of this vaccine (as shown in the movie).

– Infection with HPV is common, but the risk of developing cancer is exceptional, requires decades and can be highlighted early by regular and harmless Pap test that in any case must also be carried out in vaccinated because the vaccine only covers against 2 of the 15 strains with high tumor risk.

– There longitudinal clinical studies conducted by independent researchers from Industry pharmaceutical efficacy of the vaccine.

– There are correct and comprehensive information on the real side effects of this vaccine and are becoming increasingly numerous reports of serious damage from the vaccine.

– There are fully information on duration of protection and the real ability to prevent precancerous lesions but not really carcinoma of the cervix.

– Do not you know how to alter the numerous types of HPV vaccination in response to a stimulus: the other virus types not covered by the vaccine will become even more carcinogenic?

– There are marketing efforts by pharmaceutical Industry to exaggerate this disease and create false needs in order to justify the purchase of your medication?

Nothing seems to upset us more than cancer, including all diseases that afflict us. Despite the progress, and a reassuring science, so we have now learned that must be distinguished in several kinds of different severity, cancer remains in the collective imagination, the black beast that we would like to keep it as far away as possible.
No wonder, therefore, the relief with which is welcomed news that, at least for the invasive carcinoma of the cervix, overlooking the promise of a new weapon at hand for those who want to use it. It is, indeed, a vaccine (against human papilloma virus), which is a form of treatment that collects vast merits for centuries throughout the world. The vaccines evoke the eradication of authentic scourges, such as smallpox. Even prevent the onset of the disease that can not, so, manifest with all its accompanying anxieties and sufferings. This time, however, the vaccine would not have to protect us from an infectious disease, but from a cancer that develops after many years ( average 25 ) since the viral infection against which the vaccine protects. This fact, in itself, raises several concerns in the international scientific community is divided between those for and against its use, highlighting also the intricate network of conflicts of interest that surrounds the health services on a global scale.

In such a complex scenario and in the face of these hypothetical solutions, parents of twelve year olds in our country (as has happened in many other countries) have already been invited by the then Minister Livia Turkish to join a mass vaccination campaign HPV virus.

But how to decide consciously in the presence of so many contradictory information, without falling victim to the advertising of medicinal sirens?

Exist in most parts of the world most significant and updated studies of the scientific literature that, for example, the nostrano  EPICENTRO proposes to place the individual in the conditions to make a decision meditated and rational.

There are many items suitable to inform the decision:

a) it must, first of all, think about the nature and role of the virus, which is a risk factor for cancer of the cervix;

b) is then considered the problem of cervical cancer, its natural history, risk of ammalarne or die, the protection already afforded by the Pap test and, if necessary, by the addition of testing for HPV;

c) it must finally take into account not only the supposed benefits, but also risks and costs associated with the new vaccine, whose teenagers are called en masse to test the efficacy hypothesis, in what could be called the the largest phase 3 trial.

One might wonder why, despite all the uncertainties about its effectiveness, the HPV vaccine does not only being marketed, but also in many countries of the industrialized world, is offered free to girls of twelve through mass vaccination campaigns, in which they are always accomplices and fertile school institutions.

To answer this question it is not enough to take into account the powerful lobbying activities they are capable of the pharmaceutical companies that produce it. You should also know that the EMEA and the FDA, respectively the European and American agency for registration and trade in drugs, especially in oncology, are much more concerned to delay the marketing of a product that potentially beneficial to record something useless or harmful.

The same position within the EMEA community organization appears in itself strange, since the European agency depends on the general direction of Industry and not pertains, however, to the health sector, where it would be more appropriate to insert it: the the drug appears to affect more as a consumer good that as a health tool, and perhaps also because of this, in may this year  the European Parliament has rejected the EMEA budget .

Apart from this, then, it is appropriate to recall the initial reflections on the seductive power of a vaccine that is supposed able to prevent cancer. Faced with this almost miraculous properties, all other considerations in danger of becoming irrelevant.

The political class, which is responsible for the decision to implement mass vaccination campaigns, is in fact particularly sensitive to \”sirens\” of this kind. Anyone who is able to control events acquires power and prestige .

The imperative to contain the collective anxieties, which is just who\’s in charge, is combined with the common feeling, so you are likely to believe in what consoles. Thus become negligible other facts that might suggest far more thoughtful decisions.

The doubt about the HPV vaccine has been clearly expressed also on the New England Journal of Medicine , one of the perhaps most influential medical journals in the world, and the question changes greatly: it is no longer the doubt expressed by a single researcher can, but a judgment supported by mainstream science ( Kim JJ et al, N Engl J Med 2008 Aug 21; 359 (8): 821-32 ).

In short the careful analysis published in the journal describes the economic benefit of vaccination in terms of cost per year of life gained, corrected in an appropriate manner for the evaluation (Quality-adjusted life year or QALY). On average it is acceptable a cost of $ 50,000 (USD) per life-year gained, and cost more than $ 100,000 is considered socially higher. In the computation of this calculation we are including the health and social costs of the disease, its diagnosis and its treatment, or the costs resulting from the non-treatment and then by health economic effects resulting therefrom. Then, referring also to other jobs that keep the limit of $ 50,000 the cost per year of life gained, the article clarifies dramatically that the cost may remain exclusively on this level if you prove true these conditions:

– If the effect of the vaccine will last indefinitely over time (but already it is assumed revaccination after 10 years)
– if the vaccine, which is currently active against strains 16 and 18 non-select other disease virus strains (and as was the case for meningitis seems you are already selecting new active virus strains and soon the effectiveness of the vaccine could become almost anything)
– if vaccinated girls will keep the test PAP control frequency only every three years (the controls must always be made)
– if the vaccine will not cause side effects of any kind (and now instead are described in very broad terms, and some groups, even in Italy have proposed a petition for a moratorium pending greater clarity on the effects minimized by manufacturers and instead increasingly more frequent and severe)

Unfortunately these are four \” if \” that already are proving not occurred, and then the cost per year of life gained arrives to rise dramatically: just assuming that the immunity ceases after 10 years, you get to a cost of $ 140,000 . Assuming instead that all the \” if \” come true (and we already know that is not true), the simple vaccination age increase to 18 years would bring the cost to $ 97,400 per year; 26 years even at $ 152,700 per year of life gained.

The same drafters of Article speak of doubts about the social utility of such a type of vaccination, when compared with the solid, effective, safe and much cheaper screening done through the PAP test with diagnostic study in cases of doubt.

On the same issue of the journal in fact, appears in evidence an editorial by Charlotte J. Haug that explains in detail all the reasons for a careful assessment of these data confirming the risk of an economic and social flop on the use of this type of vaccination . The article calls for a cautious choices and to use caution in the individual and social development of this vaccination.