Friday, December 06, 2013

Links Dec 6, 2013 - Gardasil/flu and more ...

I took a few days off over Thanksgiving ... here are links I've come across over the last few days
and today.

Interestingly enough, Utah has made the rational decision to be more neutral regarding Gardasil! I'll start with that - the headline of the article (see link below) is mis-leading though, because the first line of the article makes it clear that the vaccine is not banned, just not recommended, nor stocked by the Utah Dept of Public Health - which means it is still available through private physician offices for those who decide they want it (the article later acknowledges this, though the headline might lead some to think otherwise).

The article quotes Dr. Cosgrove, a pediatrician and vaccine advocate, who makes some strong statements about this development. His statements indicate he is quite worried and
upset about this, though it does not make sense to stock a product parents are not requesting for their children when the benefit from this vaccine is unknown in relation to the risks of the vaccine compared to the risk of cervical cancer. While many people are exposed to HPV,
exposure does not mean one will automatically develop cervical cancer, or warts for that matter. I think Dr. Cosgrove indulges in some hyper-bole in some of what he says.

What is also unknown is if the cost, and risks, of vaccination are worth any benefit as there is no reason to believe receiving the vaccine as a pre-teen or teen will confer lifelong "protection". If people (male or female) need to be re-vaccinated on a regular basis throughout their life to obtain any level of risk reduction against HPV is the cost (in dollars) worth it when women will continue to need paps on a regular basis, and vaccination (of any kind) is not without risk of side effects - both short term and long term.

The article cites Dr. David Blodgett as the decision-maker for discontinuing the vaccine in UT
Dept of Public Health clinics and implies this is not a new or recent decision, though it does not
say specifically when this vaccine was no longer stocked in their clinics. It is not clear why this is an issue now!

Here's the link to the full article:

This blog is apparently from July 2013, though it would be nice if it were more precisely
dated - very well done, makes some important points.

Katie Couric did a segment on HPV/Gardasil recently that has kicked up some
controversy - I watched video segments posted (I did not watch the show as it
aired) and it seems to me the segments were fairly balanced. The fact that a
mainstream media journalist acknowledged the controversy is unusual in itself,
and Ms. Couric is to be commended (and thanked) for presenting this other

This is a link to an unofficial transcript:

And here's a link to an opinion piece (link provided by, via email)
where Couric and Dr. Harper (a guest who was part of the HPV discussion) were
accused of disinformation and linked to Jenny McCarthy (said link apparently intended
to discredit them):

A graphic (contained in this post) scrolled through my Facebook feed, and with some
cajoling the original poster provided this as the source:

This article (from 2009) by Dr. Blaylock discussing the concept of herd immunity (among
other things):

And this one about animals, and oddly enough, we seem to be a bit more willing to make
rational decisions for the sake of our animals - why won't we do this for our children and
The adverse reactions caused by vaccines is acknowledged, and apparently some vets
are changing their practice because of it! (AVMA says annual vaccination is not necessary).

On flu vaccine (which thankfully, provides refs):

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