In response to “Vaccines given early protect later, when needed” (letter, March 26), Marty Soule defends the use of Gardasil.

She says, “Immunization given early in life allows our immune system to prepare so that it can protect us from disease later in life.” This may be true in some vaccines, but Gardasil is a different ball game — especially with 9-year-olds.

Dr. Diane Harper, a physician and medical scientist at Dartmouth Medical School, rejects the Merck ad campaign promoting Gardasil. She says it’s worded so that people only hear, “This is a vaccine that protects me from cervical cancer,” and that’s wrong. (Her research at Dartmouth is supported by Merck, by the way.)

Apparently, Harper has serious questions regarding this drug as to its safety. “Giving it to 11-year-olds is a great big health experiment,” she warns.

Also, in clinical trials, some girls’ immunity to HPV wore off just three years after they received the Gardasil series of shots. So why the push for 9-year-olds?

The National Vaccine Information Center (a vaccine-safety nonprofit) compared Gardasil to the meningitis vaccine, since both are given to the same age group. Gardasil’s reported side effects were 30 times higher; and it prompted more than 5,000 emergency room visits. That information, together with reported cases of permanent disability and deaths, makes opposition to Gardasil by concerned parents even more crucial.

Our young people are being treated like guinea pigs while Merck and Planned Parenthood are raking in the dough.

And no matter how many letters are written on behalf of this unholy alliance of Merck and PP, their veneer of respectability is disappearing.


Pat Truman


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