More Vaccine Nonsense

Next week, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group advising federal officials on immunization policies, meets in Atlanta to formalize its recommendations on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that allegedly protects females from infections that cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

The vaccine, Gardasil, isn't cheap ($360 for three shots administered over six months) and it's made by Merck, the "safety-first" drugmaker that brought us Vioxx.

What's more, the HPV vaccine is completely unnecessary, based on a study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine that found young women whose male partners always used a condom during intercourse were 70 percent less likely to contract a HPV-related infection.

Despite these findings, I expect the committee will recommend adding HPV to the vaccine schedule, despite the big unknown -- it hasn't yet been tested for side effects like cancer -- and that its protection lasts less than four years.

If this news about another useless, expensive and unsafe vaccine has you worried about the health of your daughters and sons, you should be. Before you make a decision to vaccinate your children, closely examine the serious health risks, many of which I've written about on my Web site.

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch June 17, 2006

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 354, No. 25, June 22, 2006: 2645-2654 Free Full Text Study

USA Today June 22, 2006

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