Cancer Vaccine: March 2007 Archives

Italy to Offer Cervical Cancer Vaccine


A vaccine against the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer went on sale Wednesday in Italy, the first European Union nation to offer the vaccine free for 12-year-old girls, the Italian Health Ministry said.

The ministry said a campaign will be launched soon to encourage the free vaccination of 12-year-olds but that the vaccine for the human papillomavirus, of HPV, will not be mandatory. Older girls and women who want the vaccination will have to pay for it.

Proponents of the vaccine say it will be most effective when given before girls become sexually active. Ministry officials said the vaccine is being supplied by Sanofi-Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-Aventis.

merckBy Maggie Mahar, The Health Care Blog

February 22, 2007 - Yesterday, Merck announced that it is no longer going to try to persuade states to make its new $360 cervical cancer vaccine mandatory for all pre-teens. (At least, not publicly). The company wouldn’t divulge how much it has spent, to date, on its lobbying campaign.

Virtually everyone has heard about “Gardasil.” Planned Parenthood backs it. Women in Government extols its virtues. (Both organizations receive significant contributions from Merck). Not long ago, a glowing New York Times editorial congratulated Texas governor Rick Perry for mandating “A Vaccine To  Save Women’s Lives.”( So far as I know, Merck makes no contributions to The New York Times, but Perry’s former chief of staff is a Merck lobbyist.) At this point, twenty states have drafted plans to follow Perry’s example.

Cervical cancer vaccine users see side effects


gardasilGenital warts. Cervical cancer. Vaginal disease. All these afflictions are caused by the human papillomavirus. Recently, women have had an opportunity to decrease their chances of contracting the virus as a result of the new three-dose vaccine from Merck & Co. Inc. called Gardasil.

In recent news, however, the adequacy of the warning label provided by the Center for Disease Control has been tested by the public, as numerous complaints of side effects have surfaced after patients received their HPV vaccinations.

As of now, a report has stated that over 500 people have complained of post-vaccination side effects such as fainting and dizziness, and there have been three recorded cases of the Guillain-Barré syndrome. According to health professionals, the syndrome is a rare disorder within the nervous system that sometimes causes complete paralysis.