Bob Unruh's Sept. 27 WorldNetDaily article is a rather desperate attempt to fearmonger about vaccines that help prevent the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer.
After noting the controversy over Michele Bachmann's comments regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry's attempt to mandate the vaccine in the state, as well as a report pointing out that "Of the 35 million doses of Gardasil distributed in the U.S., only about 0.05 percent of individuals who have been vaccinated have reported some kind of side effect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Unruh let the fear begin:
But it sounds so different when you refer to a paltry 0.05 percent of a large number of people rather than explaining just what happened to the 17,500 individuals who have suffered side effects like Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell's Palsy and even death.
Unruh added that "critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."
Unruh cited "a campaign called Truth About Gardasil" as claiming that "at least 103" people have been killed by Gardasil, as well as a laundry list of side effects: "seizures, strokes, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, stomach pains, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, auto-immune problems, chest pains, hair loss, appetite loss, personality changes, insomnia, hand/leg tremors, arm/leg weakness, shortness of breath, heart problems, paralysis, itching, rashes, swelling, aching muscles, pelvic pain, nerve pain, menstrual cycle changes, fainting, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, nausea, temporary vision/hearing loss just to name some of them!"
Unruh offers no evidence that the 103 deaths have been medically verified -- indeed, the Truth About Gardasil website appears not to offer any such verification -- noting only that "the government itself has documented deaths from reactions to the vaccine, although the total doesn't match the blog's claim of fatalities." Unruh is understating the case; in fact, as we've previously documented, the Centers for Disease Control lists just 68 deaths among patients taking Gardisil, and no direct link has ever been established between Gardasil and patient deaths:
As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil® . There were 54 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty two of the total death reports have been confirmed and 36 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. A death report is confirmed (verified) after a medical doctor reviews the report and any associated records. In the 32 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine and some reports indicated a cause of death unrelated to vaccination.
Clark Baker of the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice said the performance of the Gardasil product itself doesn't matter much.
"The problem is when government officials or legislators order parents and require schools to give vaccines that are unproven."
Unruh doesn't explain what the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice is or does. Turns out this official-sounding organization is a fringe group that still believes vaccines cause autism and is promoting a video claiming that HIV and AIDS really doesn’t exist.
Of course, WND itself has a long history of freaking out about vaccines, even advising people to risk death by not taking the swine flu vaccine in 2009.It also touted the vaccine-autism link until it was discredited, and even then it failed to issue an original news article on the debunking, leaving it to columnist Phil Elmore to write about it.
Unruh also argues that people don't need the HPV vaccine because icky sex is involved: "But critics of Perry point out that the vaccine is supposed to address a disease only transmitted by sexual activity, and the issue isn't the mundane, clinical argument that Gardasil supporters portray."
Unruh then quotes a report from something called the Alliance for Human Research Protection, which claims to speak out on "issues affecting the safety of people in clinical trials," to attack the idea of an HPV vaccine, largely because of that icky sex stuff:
"Mandatory vaccination against HPV is unsupportable. HPV is not communicable in a school setting – it is communicated only by sexual contact. The condition human papilloma virus (HPV) is present in 50 percent of the sexually active population. HPV does NOT automatically develop into cancer in the overwhelming majority of the population. HPV is mostly benign – no treatment needed," the organization said.
"Furthermore, early detection of pre-cancerous cervical cells is readily accomplished by routine PAP smears – which sexually active women in the US routinely have. And pre-cancerous cervical condition is eminently treatable.
"Therefore, cervical cancer does not pose a major danger for all children – therefore, the risk from the vaccine itself is not justifiable," the group said.
The group's report from which Unruh pulled his quotes claimed that "there have been a total 68 deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) related to Gardasil" but failed to note that the CDC has established no direct link between the deaths and Gardasil.
Since it can't fearmonger about autism anymore, WND has to make vaccines scary somehow, which seems to explain Unruh's giving dubious fringe groups prominent play in his scaremongering.