HPV vaccines-Will bias trump discovery on safety questions?

HPV_Quick_FactsAs a board-certified pediatrician and scientist involved in data collection through controlled clinical studies proving safety and effectiveness of medications and vaccines, I cannot hold back my concerns about the large scale HPV vaccination programs throughout the world. It is ominously disturbing as disability claims and patient case reports mount from around the world alleging chronic medical illnesses after exposure to HPV vaccination. Never in my career have I have witnessed a vaccine program with so much controversy and ongoing debate.  Although it is common for the media to portray and promote many of the benefits from childhood vaccination and its greater impact on public health, we have to ask why has this promotion and government support been so dramatic in spite of disturbing symptoms and signs in so many individuals? Since 2006, upon FDA clearance of the first HPV vaccine, physician organizations and global healthcare agencies discuss the true benefits of HPV vaccination, but seldom do we hear about these case reports of real and convincing disability from these specific vaccines. Why doesn’t the media speak about mass education and yearly pap smears starting at age 18 years any longer? After all, it is still recommended by physician groups and is a very effective and proven strategy to decrease cervical cancer rates. My advice right now is to use restraint here rather than making a knee-jerk decision to indiscriminately administer HPV vaccines to patients as young as 9 years old. I took an oath to “do not harm” and I will faithfully execute this pledge as a physician. In my mind HPV vaccination programs have failed to answer many questions surrounding safety and effectiveness even after nearly 20 years and millions of doses administered.  With the answers on “safety” still debated and new case reports surfacing around the world we desperately need more HPV “independent” well designed and controlled studies with “unbiased” observers and analysts to once and for all answer the question. The answers on “effectiveness” will take another 20 years to determine whether or not HPV vaccines add to decreasing the risk of cervical cancer. Confounding all of these questions are the “over promotion” by marketing companies and extraordinary dependence on social media to attempt to overcome real parental and pediatrician resistance right now and that is ethically wrong and unprecedented. And for these reasons “I’m Out”!  These are my personal views and should not be taken as medical advice.

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https://vaers.hhs.gov/data/data

 

Pap smears in sexually active females prevent HPV related cancers

Pap smears decrease the incidence of cervical cancer. If your adolescent daughter is sexually active consult with her gynecologist to obtain yearly cervical “pap” screenings. This is a very effective screen tool to detect precancers or cancers of the cervix.  It is extremely important for parents to speak openly and honestly with your teenagers about safe sex practices due to an increasing rate of HPV positive cancers of the cervix.  In addition, an increase in noncoital sex (oral) by teenagers has contributed to increasing incidence of oral cancers as well, the majority of cases of oral cancer occurring in males.  This is truly the only proven way to decrease the incidence of HPV associated cancers.

HPV_Quick_Facts

 

Diagnosed whooping cough cases surge

Whooping cough cases in America continue to rise in infants due to both an increasing numbers of parents becoming infected with Pertussis bacteria (whooping cough).  In many cases, adults with cough associate infections are not seen by their physicians as patients just “stick it out” or in other  cases individuals are not screened for the possibility of whooping cough during their doctor visit.  As a result, whooping cough transmission rates to susceptible individuals increase that could ultimately lead to epidemic levels.  In 2013, a Florida school outbreak raised concerns about persistent transmission of whooping cough amongst adequately vaccinated preschoolers.  More study is needed to understand why these preschoolers were susceptible while fully vaccinated. As physicians, we need to take more proactive roles to vaccinate parents against whooping cough with a “booster” and to continue to promote high vaccination rates in infants and toddlers.  As parents, we need to seek medical attention for symptoms of cough that are nagging and protracted to protect our vulnerable babies.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/2/15-0325_article

incidence-graph-age Pertussis