Today in useless fear mongering news, people are apparently afraid of Gardasil now, the vaccine that has the potential to bring the number of people who get newly infected with HPV every year – 14 million – way down. All courtesy of a video from Jenny Thompson of Health Sciences Institute that's full of claims about women dying after getting the vaccine.
In case you're seeing something like this on your own Facebook feed, Snopes.com has got you covered:
The message quoted above warns that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has already received nearly 12,000 complaints about adverse medical issues related to Gardasil vaccinations, and that 32 young women died after receiving Gardasil vaccinations. Although this information is accurate in a strictly literal sense, it is a misleading presentation of raw data that does not in itself establish a causal connection between Gardasil and the posited medical dangers.
The video can't hide its political roots: Thompson and the Health Sciences Institute are practically on a slut-hunt. According to Thompson, girls who get the Gardasil vaccine won't use protection during sex. The implication is that parents should avoid getting their children the Gardasil vaccination, since their pure nine-year-old girls will stay away from sex and STDs anyway — because no one wants their daughter to grow up to be well-informed, sexually active teenager who's protected from HPV, right? Snopes is on to that too:
Note that this video deals primarily with subjects such as the political and moral issues involved with requiring HPV vaccinations for young girls, the notion that vaccinated girls might mistakenly believe they had been immunized against contracting sexually transmitted diseases (other than HPV), and the claim that cervical cancer deaths can be effectively eliminated through means other than HPV vaccinations. It offers no real evidence that Gardasil vaccinations are dangerous other than to cite the raw VAERS data referenced above (without noting that analysis of those reports failed to establish a causal link between HPV vaccinations and the reported serious adverse events).
Your move, conservative anti-vaccination lobby.