Turns out, warnings concerning ALS and vaccines have been raised before. John Iskander, the CDC's associate director for immunization safety, tells me the agency previously has received reports of ALS following the anthrax vaccine. This, in addition to the deaths of Jenny and Whitney, "kind of tells us that we need to look more broadly at this issue," he says. He's quick to add that "we're doing just an initial review at this point; we don't have suspicions that these are casually related."
Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, maintains that its vaccine is extremely safe and points out that it could potentially save women from dying of cervical cancer
. "There are unusual and rare diseases that occur in girls and women in this age group whether they're vaccinated or not," says Rick Haupt, Merck's head of the clinical program for Gardasil. "These patterns don't indicate any causality." He says no cases of ALS occurred in Merck's clinical trials but also admits that the trials—which included thousands, not millions—weren't large enough to detect such rare diseases.
Barbara Shapiro, an ALS expert and associate professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine who was enlisted by a mutual friend to help the Tetlocks do their research, isn't ready to dismiss the cases as pure coincidence. She's pored over the medical records of Jenny, Whitney, and Alicia and sees a striking similarity. "Juvenile ALS tends to progress very slowly over years or even decades, but these girls all seemed to have a more rapid, progressive form." She also has uncovered another VAERS report in the CDC database that could be similar, but since it was filed by a pharmacist, the CDC told her it doesn't have details on the girl's identity. Shapiro worries that there may be more cases out there that the CDC doesn't know about.
After all, she tells me, both Whitney and Alicia came to the CDC's attention only after their parents discovered Jenny's blog and Phil Tetlock urged them to file a VAERS report. This system of voluntary reporting of adverse events related to vaccines by doctors and patients is notoriously crude. All too often, adverse events go unreported, whereas many reports that are filed turn out not to be related at all to the vaccines. When I point this out to Iskander, he tells me that while VAERS certainly isn't perfect, it's pretty good at catching rare events.
I've been saying for some time, that this vaccine has been rushed to the market, and HEAVILY promoted by the same people who want all girls to be "protected" against pregnancy by pushing birth control and abortion services without their parents' knowledge or permission. These zealots think that every teen is a lust-filled organism, incapable of making moral choices.
I'm linking to previous posts I've done about this issue of using the Gardasil vaccine.
Gardasil Side Effects
2 Dead in UK, Linked to HPV Vaccine
Merck Vaccine Update
What's the Hurry?
More on HPV Vaccine
Texas Orders ALL Girls to be Given Herpes Vaccine
What's Next - Child Neglect for Parents Who Won't Vaccinate?