Report links Gardasil to side effects

Aug. 21, 2009 at 1:09 AM
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ATLANTA, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Gardasil, a vaccine given teens to protect against cervical cancer, has been linked to unexplained deaths and other serious side effects, a U.S. report says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said there have been 32 unexplained deaths among girls or women given Gardasil, ABC News reported Thursday, and a few instances of neurological disorders and blood clots. More common side effects include headaches and nausea.

More than 25 million doses of Gardasil have been administered in the United States. A course of three doses is recommended.

Gardasil protects women against the human papilloma virus, HPV, which causes cervical and other cancers. Experts recommend its administration before girls become sexually active with the indicated age range from 9 to 26.

Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at University of Missouri, said girls who have been given one or two doses of Gardasil with no ill effects are unlikely to have adverse reactions to the third dose. She said parents might want to wait until their daughters are in their later teens before starting them on Gardasil.

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