There have been thousands of complaints linking a vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer to a range of health problems. This has caused it to come under renewed scrutiny. Gardasil has been the subject of 7,802 “adverse event” reports from the time the Food and Drug Administration approved its use two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Girls and women have blamed the vaccine for causing ailments from nausea to paralysis, and even death. While fifteen deaths were reported to the FDA, and ten were confirmed, the CDC says none of the ten were linked to the vaccine. The CDC says it continues to study the reports of illness.
Gardasil prevents the spread of human papillomavirus, known as HPV — a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer in a relatively small number of girls and women. According to the vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck & Co. Inc., there have been more than 26 million Gardasil vaccines distributed worldwide, including nearly 16 million in the United States. Merck estimates that eight million girls and women have received the vaccine in the United States since June 2006.
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