A while ago now I blogged on comments that had been made in a letter to one of our local papers concerning gardasil, the vaccine currently offered to young women & offering protection against the four most common strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). My main concern in writing then was to counter some rather inaccurate statements made in that letter (& by now you've probably realised that such things will continue to concern me...). Anyway, the Science Media Centre has just put out a release updating the current state of play with regard to reactions to gardasil.
The SMC report begins:
Three years after the Gardasil vaccine was licensed in the US to protect against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, research shows there have been few serious reactions to the 23 million doses administered to Americans. The research published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that fewer than 1 percent of patients - 54 people out of 100,000 vaccinated, experienced side effects most commonly including headaches, nausea and dizziness.
It also notes that the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (at the University of Otago) has come to a similar conclusion. And it's worth noting - again - that correlation is not causation; for example, someone may faint after the vaccination, but this is not necessarily a response to the vaccine itself (simply being poked with sharp pointy things can induce fainting in some people). Similarly, at least some of the deaths reported to the VAERS database involved car accidents & cancer...
You can read the whole report here.