February 10, 2009

NEW WORRIES ABOUT GARDASIL SAFETY

CBS - There are new concerns about Gardasil, the vaccine that prevents a virus that caused cervical cancer. It's approved for girls as young as nine. And five million have received it since it was approved two years ago. The FDA and its maker insist it's safe. But CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has exclusive information on some very serious side effects. . .

The National Vaccine Information Center, a private vaccine-safety group, compared Gardasil adverse events to another vaccine, one also given to young people, but for meningitis. Gardasil had three times the number of Emergency Room visits - more than 5,000. Reports of side effects were up to 30 times higher with Gardasil. . .

Merck, the FDA and CDC question the value of the new analysis, say they continue to review the data, Gardasil remains safe and effective, and its benefits outweigh the risks. . .

Meantime, Merck has asked the FDA to approve it for boys, who can pass on the cancer causing virus to girls, meaning the number of people getting Gardasil may double.