JOPLIN, MO.--- There has been a lot of controversy recently surrounding the human papillomavirus vaccine. The vaccine, Gardasil, has had recent reports showing rare but serious adverse effects, making some health officials wanting to ban it across the world.
"The Gardasil vaccine was approved in 2006 for the prevention of, basically, cervical cancer. It works against four types of HPV," said Dr. Tyrone Adcock, Freeman Health System DO Gynecologist.
Gardasil has been said to be linked to deaths and other adverse effects. Of these reports, in October of 2013, Japan announced to pull the Gardasil shots, as well as some other European countries. In December, health officials in the State of Utah banned the vaccine in some of their counties.
"All vaccines will have some amount of data with them that says there's this adverse reaction or that, but here has been no consistent severe adverse reaction with the Gardasil," said Dr. Adcock.
52 million doses of the vaccine have been given and there has been less than 26,000 adverse effects reported. Doctor Adcock says he encourages both women and men, ages 9 to 26 to get the shots.
"I do recommend it. I recommend it for family members, I recommend it to my patients," said Dr. Adcock.
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 79 million Americans are infected with HPV and around 14 million will become infected with the virus each year. In the U.S. alone, about 4,000 woman die annually from cervical cancer.
"There are about 12,000 new cases annually, as well. So the FDA and the CDC still feels that it is worth while for women to receive the vaccine to prevent the cancers," said Dr. Adcock.
It's hard to tell if HPV and cervical cancer has decreased as a result of the vaccine, because it's only been around for seven years.
"You know the next 10 years, I think we'll have that data," said Dr. Adcock.
Dr. Adcock says so much dysphasia is caused by HPV.
"So if the vaccine can prevent this, which is really a disease of young women, then I think it's still worth while," said Dr. Adcock.
Doctor Adcock added a shocking statistic, more than half of women in the U.S. who have cervical cancer have never had screening. So he stressed how important it is for women to get an annual screening and/or health exam.
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