27th January 2015, by Christina Earle, The Sun

Is the HPV vaccine too good to be true? Girls who regret having the jab

Vaccines to protect against cancers sound great – but are they too good to be true?

Concerns have been raised about the safety of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, which aims to protect young women from the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer and a strain that causes genital warts.

According to figures cited last week in Parliament, 2,500 of the 100,000 people vaccinated with Gardasil experienced serious side effects.

Just ten people in 100,000 will develop cervical cancer and only three will die, leading to questions whether the vaccine is really necessary.

Dr Richard Halvorsen, author of Vaccines: A Parent’s Guide, said:

“Many girls and young women have reported serious side effects after being given the HPV vaccine. These are often dismissed as coincidence but shouldn’t be. Over three-fifths of all serious adverse reactions to vaccines reported in females under 30 years of age in the US are associated with Gardasil — and this increases to over four-fifths for reports of permanent disability.

“More than 600 doctors in France have signed a petition questioning the safety of and need for the HPV vaccine.”

An estimated 1,200 out of 24,000 girls in India were left with chronic health problems or autoimmune disorders after having the vaccine.

In the UK over the past two years, 967 people have reported more than 2,000 reactions to the jab to the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), including blindness, heart problems and muscle weakness. But there have been no successful legal cases in the UK brought by people claiming to have suffered reactions to Gardasil — or Cervirax, a similar jab that was in use in the UK until August 2012.

And those who have researched the jabs say they ARE safe. Professor Margaret Stanley, from the University of Cambridge, said: “The vaccine has been thoroughly tested and seems very safe.

“Every serious side effect has been investigated and shown not to be relating to the vaccine.”

There are at least 13 high-risk strains of HPV linked to cervical cancer, and the current vaccine offers 70-per-cent protection from cervical cancers.

Some experts claim it may only last for ten years. But the MHRA says the vaccine is worthwhile. A spokesman said: “The expected benefits of Gardasil far outweigh any known side effects, which are rare. We closely monitor all emerging evidence and will take action when we need to.”

But Dr Halvorsen believes those worried about side effects can safely avoid the jab. He said: “We already have an effective method for preventing cervical cancer. It is called cervical screening and, based on current knowledge, this is more effective than the vaccine at preventing cervical cancer. And it is certainly safer. The HPV vaccine may one day be shown to save lives but that day is many years away.

“In the meantime, young women are suffering serious, life-changing side effects, and even death, that in many cases are likely to have been caused by the vaccine. These need to be urgently investigated.”

But the rates of young women attending regular smear tests are at their lowest levels since 1991, according to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Worryingly, rates of cervical cancer are rising too. The test, which detects abnormal cells on the cervix before they develop into cancer, is shunned by one in three eligible women aged between 25 and 29.

A survey by the charity, to mark Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, found that 20 per cent of women who delay having a smear test see it as unnecessary. More than a quarter consider it painful and embarrassing. But a smear test, which takes mere minutes, saves at least 5,000 lives a year in the UK alone.

Reality TV star Jade Goody died from cervical cancer in 2009 after delaying her smear test, causing hundreds of women to turn up to their routine appointments.

Jo’s chief executive Robert Music said: “The Jade Goody effect has long been forgotten, as rates are at their lowest for 20 years. “Even those who have the HPV vaccine need regular smear tests. It’s the only way you know you’re really safe. It should be possible to eradicate cervical cancer by having regular smears but women have to go when called.”

Professor Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS’s cancer screening programme, said: “Because women with cervical cancer are fortunately fairly rare, and many women don’t know anyone who’s had it, they don’t worry about it. But we’re victims of our own success. The cervical screening programme is very effective but, out in the developing world, this form of cancer is a major killer of women, second only to breast cancer. If you don’t go along for screening, you are putting yourself at risk — and the number of people with cervical cancer is likely to increase.”

SHONA JAMES, a 53-year-old housewife from Hull, says her daughter Tiffany, 18, has been diagnosed with uncontrollable muscle spasms and narcolepsy since having her jabs five years ago. She now sleeps up to 20 hours a day.

Shona says: “Tiffany had her first Cervirax jab in November 2009, when she was just 12 years old, then one more in the February and another in June. But within weeks of her third jab, she suddenly changed. She used to have so much energy, but almost overnight she was tired all of the time. She would come home from school and fall asleep straight away – it was almost impossible to wake her up. Even after 14 hours’ sleep, she didn’t seem to want to get up and the longer we left it, the worse she became.

She would have friends round for sleepovers and she’d fall asleep by 6pm. We went to our GP, who said she might have a vitamin-D deficiency, but even with supplements nothing changed – and she’d still sleep for 18 hours a day.

I went back to our GP asking for help, pointing out the link to her Cervirax jabs, but he insisted there was no proven link. A neurologist diagnosed her with catalepsy and narcolepsy.

We basically lost our bubbly, outgoing daughter for most of her teens, and now she’s only awake because of medication which we know can itself produce other long-term side effects. I would pay any amount of money to be able to go back and stop her having those jabs.”

Tiffany says: “If I had any idea I’d end up with narcolepsy I wouldn’t have taken the risk. It took us four years to get a proper diagnosis, four years of my life I won’t get back. I’ve lost so many friends and was about to take my driving test last summer when I got diagnosed, which means I can’t drive at all. I feel trapped. It’s a life sentence.”

SUE AMIT, a 44-year-old care agency director from St Austell, Cornwall, says the three Gardasil vaccines her daughter Lotte had left the 17-year-old housebound with OCD, a heart condition and potentially infertile.

She says: “Lotte had her third Gardasil jab on March 14, 2013. Two days later, our nightmare started. For up to ten minutes each time, two to three times a day, she would roll around screaming and crying with pain in her hands and feet.

She was also hit by terrible lethargy. Then one evening I was lying with my head against her chest and noticed she seemed to have an irregular heartbeat. Tests showed she has a systolic heart murmur, which we have to monitor regularly. Her periods have also stopped, leaving us worried she’s been rendered infertile.

Our GP just said the vaccine had been tested so shouldn’t have caused these problems. There’s not a day I don’t wish she’d never had them. I don’t see why girls can’t just have smear tests, which seem to be effective without the evident risks of the vaccine.”

Lotte says: “I feel like my life’s been ruined. I literally couldn’t leave the house for a year and had to drop out of college. My periods have stopped which is a horrible feeling, like my body’s broken. I’ve lost so many friends, all my dreams for the future are gone. I’d have a smear test any day over what I’m going through.”

SPORTS lover Katie Green, 21, temporarily lost the use of her legs after having the Cervirax injection. The rugby player was later diagnosed with ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Katie’s firefighter dad Alan, 53, of Worcester, says: “Katie’s always been fit and healthy – she played rugby for her county and was being trialled for England at the time she had the jab, aged 15. The evening after her second jab she developed a hard, golf ball-sized lump on her arm where the needle went in. The next day she couldn’t walk properly, her eyesight was shot and she didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. We took her to hospital, where the consultant told us it was possible the jab and her symptoms were linked.

For the next six months, Katie was confined to her bed, unable to walk. She couldn’t eat anything solid for weeks and even a short trip would leave her exhausted for days. She was diagnosed with ME in summer 2010. All her friends were moving on with their lives, going to university and getting boyfriends.

She applied for a vaccine damage payment but was turned down as she couldn’t prove she was at least 60 per cent disabled because of the vaccine. I wish we could turn back the clock.”

Katie says: “It’s hard to believe how much my life has changed because of those jabs. I lived for my sport, was looking forward to doing my A-levels and going to university, but that’s all gone. I’ve had terrible insomnia while feeling like I’ve been hit by a lorry. To think I was going to try out for England seems like a strange other life that’s been cruelly taken away.”

Read the original and full article here:  https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/health/743747/side-effects-of-cancer-jab-almost-killed-us/

For more information if you, or your daughter, have experienced new health problems after HPV vaccination:  http://timeforaction.org.uk/has-your-family-been-affected/