There is a voluntary reporting system called the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System, or VAERS. Since anyone can report any problem, it is a very sensitive system but not very specific, meaning that a large number of these events turn out not to be vaccine-related at all. According to Kimberly Coleman-Phox, a public health researcher at Kaiser Permanente, "Previous studies have suggested that, in sleep environments with limited dispersion of exhaled gases, rebreathing is a possible mechanism for SIDS."
Pediatric Points By Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, MD Making the Case for the HPV Vaccine Tw e n t y is currently recommended for girls bacco use and use of birth control years ago, aged 11 to 12 and protects against pills, both of which increase your if you had HPV types 16 and 18, as well as risk of clotting. told me against types 6 and 11, which are there would be a vaccine against responsible for 90% of genital As of June of 2008, 31 cases of cancer, I may not have believed warts. (Cervarix is another shot Guillain-Barré Syndrome have you. But today, the new vaccine that just protects against types been reported. GBS is a rare neu- against Human Papillomavirus 16 and 18 and is not yet licensed rological disorder that causes vary- (HPV) is just that. in this country.) ing degrees of paralysis, usually temporary. Some of these cases HPV is the most common sexu- In trials where Gardasil was given turned out not to meet criteria for ally transmitted infection. By two to young women proven by blood the diagnosis. Some of the girls re- years after first having sex, nearly tests and cervical cultures not to ceived the Gardasil shot along with 40% of young women are infected be infected with HPV, it was 100% the meningococcal vaccine, which with one or more types of these effective. 100% effective! How may actually be associated with a viruses. Young women are more many other things can we say that minimally increased risk of GBS. susceptible to infection with HPV about? This efficacy goes down The incidence of GBS in Gardasil for several reasons, including a when women already infected turns out to be no more frequent lack of adequate cervical mucus are vaccinated since the vaccine than what would be expected in production and incomplete im- is prophylactic, not therapeutic; the general population. mune systems. The good news is that is, it is designed to prevent, that they will very often clear these not treat, infection. I have spoken to just a handful viruses on their own. But for young of parents who are reluctant to women in whom infection persists, Fortunately, major side effects have their daughters vaccinated the risk of eventually developing from the vaccine are rare. Pain against HPV specifically because it cervical cancer increases. and redness at the injection site is a sexually transmitted infection. are the most commonly reported There seems to be some feeling Cervical cancer is the second- reaction. Fever and nausea were that recognizing the reality of teen leading cause of cancer deaths also seen in the clinical trials but sexuality somehow endorses it or among women worldwide. Over no more frequently than with a that protecting girls from a sexu- one quarter of a million women placebo shot. ally transmitted infection actually die from this disease each year. encourages them to have sex. This Seventy percent of all cases of Gardasil’s side effects continue to has not been found to be the case these cancers are caused by two be monitored. There is a volun- when girls’ sexual behavior rela- especially high-risk types of HPV, tary reporting system called the tive to HPV vaccination has been numbers 16 and 18. And now Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting scientifically studied. I had one w
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