Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » SURELY YOU JEST

    Filed at 12:21 pm under by dcobranchi

    No, opponents to the HPV vaccine really think it interferes with abstinence-only sex education.

    And don’t call me Shirley.

    23 Responses to “SURELY YOU JEST”

    Comment by
    February 17th, 2007
    at 2:54 pm

    So the only argument they have against promiscuity is disease? I can think of a few more than that…

    Comment by
    February 17th, 2007
    at 3:02 pm

    But that is not the reason all opponents are opposed. Sure, that’s some people’s beef, but others of us have very valid concerns.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    February 18th, 2007
    at 8:46 am

    Valid? (ears perk up)
    VERY valid?

    I love it when we talk research and logic and philosophy and law! Without even knowing what those concerns might be, my first burning question: valid in what context? —

    “. . .an argument is said to be valid if the truth of the conclusion follows from the truth of the premises. ”

    “In philosophy, avoid using ‘valid’ as a multi-purpose term of vague commendation (‘The belief that God exists is valid’; ‘That’s a valid lifestyle’)

    “Research is valid if it represents the world as it really is.” (Other key research terms defined simply here too, like reliable, repeatable, representative)

    “Having legal binding force and authorized by law.

    Comment by
    February 18th, 2007
    at 12:17 pm

    My daughter (8 years old) will not be getting this vaccine until I see more long term data. Has nothing to do with sex or morality in my case. It has everything to do with reasonable risk. She has received all her other shots (i.e. MMR) but at this point I will wait to see more data.

    Here’s an article from mother...ng.com on the
    topic from 2006.

    A Shot in the Dark

    Sick of the aggressive, targeted marketing onslaught of often inappropriate
    goods and services aimed at pre-teens? One of the latest “products” directed
    at young girls might make them sick too-literally. Merck’s new vaccine
    Gardasil, which the CDC has just recommended for all 11 and 12 year old
    girls, has not been adequately or appropriately assessed for risks,
    according to vaccine safety advocates.

    The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)
    maintains that Merck’s clinical trials did not prove that the human
    papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, touted as preventing cervical cancer and
    genital warts, is safe to give to pre-adolescents. “There is too little long
    term safety and efficacy data, especially in young girls, and too little
    labeling information on contraindications,” said NVIC president Barbara Loe

    According to
    NVIC’s June 27 press release, in Gardasil’s clinical trials, the FDA allowed
    Merck to use a potentially reactive aluminum containing placebo as a control
    for most participants, rather than a non-reactive saline solution placebo.1
    A reactive placebo can artificially increase the appearance of safety of an
    experimental drug or vaccine in a clinical trial. Gardasil contains 225 mcg
    of aluminum and, although aluminum adjuvants have been used in vaccines for
    decades, they were never tested for safety in clinical trials. Merck and the
    FDA did not disclose how much aluminum was in the placebo. 2

    Animal and human studies have shown that aluminum can cause nerve cell death
    3 and that vaccine aluminum adjuvants can allow aluminum to enter the
    brain,4 5as well as cause inflammation at the injection site leading to
    chronic joint and muscle pain and fatigue.6 7 Nearly 90 percent of Gardasil
    recipients and 85 percent of aluminum placebo recipients followed-up for
    safety reported one or more adverse events within 15 days of vaccination,
    particularly at the injection site.8 Pain and swelling at injection site
    occurred in approximately 83 percent of Gardasil and 73 percent of aluminum
    placebo recipients. About 60 percent of those who got Gardasil or the
    aluminum placebo had systemic adverse events including headache, fever,
    nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and myalgia.9 10 Gardasil recipients
    had more serious adverse events such as headache, gastroenteritis,
    appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, asthma, bronchospasm and

    Gardasil is the first childhood vaccine to exclusively target girls. The HPV
    vaccine is also the first to be credited with preventing cancer, a claim
    hyped in Merck’s multi-channel marketing campaign “Tell Someone.” In fact,
    even the types of HPV billed “high risk” rarely actually result in cancer;
    the immune system generally removes the virus before it causes problems.
    Also, in the rare instances where it does occur, cervical cancer usually
    takes five to ten years to develop. Prior to cancer, HPV causes the growth
    of tell-tale abnormal cells, which can be detected by a Pap smear. Upon
    detection, the disease can be easily cured by minor surgery to remove the
    abnormal cells. Therefore, a woman who gets regular Pap smears every one to
    three years is almost 100% protected from cervical cancer-with no need for
    an expensive, potentially problematic, under tested vaccine. Cervical cancer
    accounts for only about one percent of all cancer deaths in US women.

    Health and Human Services is expected to approve the CDC
    recommendation-meaning Gardasil will be routinely administered to all 11 and
    12 year old girls. The vaccine has also received CDC approval for sale and
    marketing to girls and women ages nine to 26. At $120 a pop, the three
    required doses of Gardasil will earn Merck $360 per consumer. With over 35
    million US girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26, recommended
    administration of Gardasil could mean over 12 billion dollars for the drug
    company. Merck is currently fighting more than 11,500 lawsuits related to
    another of their drugs, Vioxx, which is also plagued by controversy
    surrounding false data on its safety.






    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    February 18th, 2007
    at 2:18 pm

    Doesn’t matter how valid our research and personal concerns, if women and girls don’t have the right and responsibility to act privately as we see fit, without outside interference from those who insist they know better than we do what’s good for us.

    How odd to read a Texas Republican quoted as saying about a female reproductive health issue:
    “What we don’t want to do is tell them that we know better than them.”

    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    February 18th, 2007
    at 2:47 pm

    National Vaccine Information Center
    Attempts to educate parents about the risks of immunizing their children.

    From a Google search.

    So, is NVIC a “valid” source of information?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 18th, 2007
    at 3:02 pm

    I’d say not.

    “This is about requiring 11-year old girls to get a vaccine that has not been proven safe for girls entering puberty. Merck only studied the vaccine in a few hundred 11 year old girls and followed them up for less than two years. And before we add one more vaccine to the more than 40 doses of vaccines we ask our kids to get before they can attend school, we need to find out why so many of our highly vaccinated children are sick – one in 150 autistic, 1 in 6 learning delayed…We cannot be conducting a vaccine experiment on our little girls. This is not the way to cure cervical cancer. We have to do better science.” – Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC President, “Today Show”, February 13, 2007

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc from the President of the organization is no way to build credibility.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    February 18th, 2007
    at 3:40 pm

    Building credbility isn’t the point it seems — building cognitive dissonance might be though, pseudo-sciency mumbo-jumbo playing to the same earnest moderates who intelligent design tries to peel off by reframing their religious beliefs in traditionally open inquiry liberal language like “teaching both sides” and “choice.”

    We need critical thinking more than ever imo . . .

    Comment by
    February 19th, 2007
    at 9:57 am

    “Prior to cancer, HPV causes the growth of tell-tale abnormal cells, which can be detected by a Pap smear. Upon detection, the disease can be easily cured by minor surgery to remove the abnormal cells.”

    And this “minor” surgery has a hell of a lot more side effects and recovery time than a vaccine does. Ask me how I know (she says, sleepily.)

    Yes, it probably does need more testing – but if my daughters opt to have it (two are teens and can make up their own minds, thanks) so there isn’t a chance, or even a smaller chance, that they have to go through what I just did, then I am all for it.

    Comment by
    February 19th, 2007
    at 10:05 am

    Ugh, I was talking about the removal of cancer cells, not HPV ones.

    (TMI ahead)

    But given the plethora of procedures I have undergone, none of them are easy or minor. Not even the first procedure referenced, which I’ll assume is a colposcopy – the first line of defense in removing abnormal cells from the cervix. They are either frozen or more commonly cut off, like a pinch. But not like the pinch of a needle, like the pinch of a chunk of tissue coming off. There is no anesthetic.

    If repeated tests come back with new areas of bad cells cropping up, and/or they get worse, then you have a cone biopsy – the removal of a cone-shaped area of your cervix. Some of the biggest risks from that (aside from the usual risk of undergoing surgery) involve having your cervix unable to work properly.

    Sure beats chemo though. But a vaccine would have been a hell of a lot easier.

    Comment by
    Jayne Nagy
    February 20th, 2007
    at 8:24 am

    I’m appalled at the number of people who jump on the bandwagon for this vaccine without knowing ANY of the risks. i.e. how do you KNOW a vcaccine would have been easier? If you think for one moment that Merck has yours or your daughter’s best interstes at heart then you are one sadly mistaken parent. It’s all about money which of course is what drives any drug companies train……How wonderful for them all when they can pick up major league politicians and silde them into their back pockets.

    Here’s a queston–if some big drug comany (who just happens to be facing major losses due to lawsuits JUST as they make this wonderful vaccine) managed to get your governor to mandate shots for adolescent boys and men for say, prostate or testicular cancer, how many of you would be jumping on that bandwagon?

    I’ve spent too much time in the medical field to simply say “yess sir!” when a doctor recommends something. I’m very proactive in my health care and always was for my now grown daughters. They too take a skeptical view of mandated vaccines, which we all agree are way too many as it is.

    The drug companies may have some politicians in their pockets but they’ve got the fight of their lives coming when they attempt to get inside my, my daughters and my grandchildren’s bodies.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 20th, 2007
    at 8:32 am

    And I’m appalled at the anti-scientific thread that seems pervasive among a segment of the HE community.

    I’d guess that my family is better informed than most as Lydia worked on the marketing program with Merck. No, she was not a Merck employee. She contracted for a few years with a research firm that Merck hired to interview doctors and laypeople. As part of preparing for the interviews, she had a thick folder with all sorts of data.

    Our girls (ages 13 and 10) got the first dose (of 3) yesterday.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    February 20th, 2007
    at 5:09 pm

    ME TOO!

    It’s not just the HE community, of course. One finds such people everywhere including School, but yeah. Me too.

    Not merely unscientific but anti-reason — willfully, purposefully, belligerently anti-intellectual and proud of it.

    This was first muttered about, darkly alluded to, acted out in tag-team, and finally spelled out publicly point-blank by their titular leader in the HE community, punctuated with beatings around the face and head from her turf-guarding gang. Science makes them mad; they are deeply suspicious and resentful of it. I got it, and got AWAY.

    Comment by
    February 20th, 2007
    at 7:34 pm

    I normally stay out of arguments like this…

    “i.e. how do you KNOW a vcaccine would have been easier?”

    Did you not read both my comments? I KNOW because I am, this minute recovering from “minor” surgery to remove cancer cells from my cervix. Plus a large portion of said cervix. That’s why.

    Knocked me flat for a week and a half so far.

    And no, I do not trust everything a doctor or drug company says, and I selectively vaccinate. I’ve done my homework – my girls are at risk because of our family’s history.

    I don’t necessarily think it should be mandatory, especially that young (Hep C vaccine is administered a couple years later, I think), but I DO think they are headed in the right direction. It shouldn’t be outright discounted.

    I’ve read up on the risks of the vaccine. The biggest risk of the procedure I had was death.

    (I’m done.)

    Comment by
    February 23rd, 2007
    at 1:50 pm

    Okay, Daryl, please correct my emotionally-based decision making and non-scientific hysteria.

    For how long has this vaccine been tested? Has there been any study that has tracked the health and development of vaccinated girls through puberty and childbearing years?

    Comment by
    February 23rd, 2007
    at 2:04 pm

    Actually, let me just comment on something Andrea has said. She has said that she vaccinates selectively, that she does not accept everything a drug company or doctor tells her. We do the same. No vaccines, or any other kind of medication, go into my children until I do the homework.

    I don’t have daughters, so this discussion is academic. If I had a daughter, she would not receive the vaccine until more testing is done. For my comfort level, this vaccine has not been tested enough. Plus, my family has no risk factors. The lack of risk factors, combined with medical checkups, would be plenty for me to feel confident about my theoretical daughter’s health until such time the vaccine could be tested to my satisfaction.

    Add to that, I do not favor government mandating health care.

    So where is my unscientific anti-reason?

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 23rd, 2007
    at 3:27 pm

    There may be legitimate concerns about Gardasil. Big Pharma is eeeevilll ain’t one of them (You’ll have to read the HEM-Networking thread to see what I mean). And neither is the idea that it might somehow violate Texas sex-education law.

    Comment by
    February 23rd, 2007
    at 5:35 pm

    Okay. I made an assumption that you were responding based on the responses to your post, and didn’t realize that you were talking about a thread elsewhere. That makes more sense. I apologize. Anyway … there are legitimate reasons (won’t make the mistake of using the word *valid* again, sheesh) to oppose Gardasil being made mandatory so quickly, but the idea that it violates abstinence-only education is certainly not one of them.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 23rd, 2007
    at 6:01 pm

    No apology necessary. I was less than clear in both my original post (I should have said some opponents) and in my allusion to the HEM-Networking thread which Nance goofed on here.

    Comment by
    Jayne Nagy
    February 25th, 2007
    at 8:39 am

    I am sooo out of here. I will miss my wonderful belly laughs as I read the posts from folks who thing using BIG words will make them sound ever so much smarter (and to mock) than those of us who use simple terms to express our opinions. When I first stumbled across this site I thought it was going to be a place to “safely” express opinions. NOT SO! If you don’t have the same mind set tht the big word users have then you’re in for the big word tongue lashing of your on-line lives.

    FYI folks–using big words and mocking others does NOT support your self-inflated sense of intelligence. It simply makes you look like the opinionated bigots that you are.

    Out and gone.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 25th, 2007
    at 2:14 pm

    I’m a bit confused. This was your first comment in this thread. So where were you tongue-lashed?

    Comment by
    February 26th, 2007
    at 1:44 pm


    She commented above on 2/20 with a rant about how Merck only cares about money.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 26th, 2007
    at 3:19 pm

    Doh! I missed it. So I guess I was the “lasher”? Pervasive? Not exactly a $5 word. I could have used “prevalent” but that wouldn’t have saved any syllables. Common? Other suggestions? I don’t have my thesaurus here.

    Tim, you’re quite erudite. I mean you can talk good English. Help me out here. 🙂