11 Things Every Teen Should Know About Gardasil and Cervical Cancer


In 2006, Gardasil was given “Fast-Track” approval, despite failing to meet (and still fails to meet) even one of the four conditions for priority approval [1].


The risk of dying of cervical cancer is approximately 1.7/100,000 women in Australia [2], or 2.4/100,000 women in the US [3] – bearing in mind that Gardasil only claims to protect against the strains thought to be responsible for approximately 70% of all cervical cancers [4]. Compare this with the rate of serious adverse reactions for Gardasil – an estimated 3.34/100,000 doses [5]. Serious reactions are classified as those that lead to hospitalization, permanent disability or death. Given that only an estimated1-10% of vaccine adverse reactions are reported [6], the real numbers of adverse reactions may be many, many times higher. In other words, it appears the vaccine may be more dangerous than the condition it is claimed to prevent…


We still have no evidence that Gardasil can actually prevent cervical cancer, let alone cervical cancer deaths. This is because the clinical trials followed up participants for 5 years [7], yet cervical cancer can take 20-40 years to develop [8]. Instead, they based their decision to approve the vaccine on its purported ability to prevent so-called “pre-cancerous lesions” – the vast majority of which resolve on their own, without ever progressing to cancer, anyway [4].


The “placebo” used in Gardasil clinical trials, was actually an injection of aluminum [9] – a known neurotoxin [10-11], that induces DNA damage [12], suppresses the immune system [13-14], and mimics the hormone estrogen in the human body [15]. It is also suspected of playing a role in the development of some cancers, including breast cancer [16], and….wait for it….cervical cancer [17].


Merck – the makers of Gardasil – helped the vaccine to be included in school mandates and compulsory vaccination programs via clever marketing campaigns and lobbying legislators. They even helped to draft legislation that made Gardasil vaccination mandatory to attend school [18]. They also provided funding to professional associations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,, who began heavily promoting the vaccine, via ready-made presentations, emails and letters…even before the clinical trial results were published [19-20].


In 2012, it was reported that Gardasil alone was associated with 61% of all serious adverse reactions reported to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), including 63% of all deaths, and 81% of permanent disability in females younger than 30 [21].


Merck’s own pre-licensure data shows that vaccination of young women already infected by HPV strains 16 and 18 may actually exacerbate pre-existing infections or pre-cancerous lesions, and increase their risk of cervical cancer by 44% [22]. Unfortunately, there is no screening for such infections offered to teenage girls, before vaccination of Gardasil.


HPV16 virus (one of the strains included in the vaccine), is so closely related to the human proteome, that forcing the body to create antibodies against it (what the Gardasil vaccine is designed to do), almost certainly results in making antibodies against our own self [23]. Perhaps this is why auto-immune conditions are one of the most commonly reported side effects of Gardasil [24-26].


Gardasil contains an ingredient called Polysorbate 80 (also known as “Tween 80”), a non-ionic detergent that is used to prevent individual ingredients in the vaccine from separating. Polysorbate has been linked to reproductive problems and infertility in animal studies [27]. Also disturbing is the fact that Polysorbate 80 is used in drugs and biomedical research, for its ability to transport medications across the blood-brain barrier, thereby accessing the central nervous system [28]. This means that the presence of polysorbate 80 could make other ingredients, such as aluminum, even more dangerous, however, no studies have been performed, on humans or animals, to evaluate potential synergistic toxicity.


Over the past four decades, cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates in Western countries have decreased by 74%, largely through pap smear campaigns [4]. It is unlikely that vaccination will have much effect in decreasing the already small cancer rate. In fact, if vaccinated women stop having pap smears, the cancer rate will likely increase [29].


The vast majority of sexually-active women will have at least one HPV infection at some point in their lives, usually without any symptoms. Ninety percent of infections will clear without any treatment within 2 years [30-31], and only 1% of infections will persist and eventually become cervical cancer [32], although there are usually other risk factors involved, including cigarette smoking, and long-term use of oral contraceptive pill [33].

So…is the so-called “cervical cancer vaccine” worth it? You be the judge…

PS. This article is a small preview of the the book I’m currently writing. If you would like to be kept up-to-date on it’s progress, plus other interesting information I discover in the meantime, please sign up for the newsletter . As a bonus, you’ll get a free PDF I created “99 Reasons I Choose Not To Vaccinate”.


[1] Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Too fast or not too fast: the FDA’s approval of Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil. J Law Med Ethics, 2012, 40(3): 673-681.

[2] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: Cervical cancer. Canberra: AIHW. www.aihw.gov.au/acim-books. Accessed 5th June, 2017.

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cervical Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity, http://www.cdc.gov/features/dscervicalcancer/. Accessed 5th June, 2017.

[4] Flogging gardasil. Nat Biotechnol 2007;25(3):261.

[5] Slade BA, Leidel L, Vellozzi C, Woo EJ, Hua W, Sutherland A, et al. Postlicensure safety surveillance for quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine. JAMA 2009;302(7):750-7.

[6] National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). An Analysis by the National Vaccine Information Center of Gardasil & Menactra Adverse Event Reports to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), February 2009. http://www.nvic.org/Downloads/NVICGardasilvsMenactraVAERSReportFeb-2009u.aspx

[7] Mello MM, Abiola S, Colgrove J. Pharmaceutical companies’ role in state vaccination policymaking: the case of human papillomavirus vaccination. Am J Public Health,  2012, 102(5): 893-898.

[8] Tomljenovic and A. E. Shaw. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Policy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Are They at Odds?” Annals of Medicine, 2013, 45(2): 182-193.

[9] D. M. Harper, P. Nieminen, J. Paavonen, and M. Lehtinen,Cervical Cancer Incidence Can Increase Despite HPV Vaccination,”Lancet Infect Dis 10, 2010, 9: 594-595; author reply 95.

[10] Petrik, M.S.; Wong, M.C.; Tabata, R.C.; Garry, R.F.; Shaw, C.A. Aluminium adjuvant lunked to Guld War illness induces motor neuron death in mice. Neuromolecular Med. 2007, 9(1), 83-100.

[11] Struys-Ponsar, C.; Guillard, O,; van den Bosch de Aguilar, P. Effects of aluminum exposure on glutamate metabolism: a possible explanation for its toxicity. Exp Neurol. 2000, 163(1), 157-164.

[12] Banasik A, Lankoff A, Piskulak A et al. Aluminum-induced micronuclei and apoptosis in human peripheral-blood lymphocytes treated during different phases of the cell cycle. Environ Toxicol, 2005, 20(4): 401-406.

[13] She Y, Want N et al. Effects of aluminum on immune functions of cultured splenic T and B lymphocytes in rats. Biol Tr Elem Res, 2012, 147(1): 246-250.

[14] Zhu Y, Li X, Chen C et al. Effects of aluminum trichloride on the trace elements and cytokines in the spleen of rats. Food Chem Toxicol, 2012, 50(8): 2911-2915.

[15] Darbre PD. Metalloestrogens: an emerging class of inorganic xenoestrogens with potential to add to the oestrogenic burden of the human breast. J Appl Toxicol, 2006, 26(3): 191-197.

[16] Mannello F, Tonti GA, Medda V, Simmone P, Darbre PD. Analysis of aluminium content and iron homeostasis in nipple aspirate fluids from healthy women and breast cancer-affected patients. J Appl Toxicol, 2011, 31(3): 262-269.

[17] Brake T, Lambert PF. Estrogen contributes to the onset, Persistence, and malignant Progression of cervical cancer in a human PaPillomavirus-transgenic rat model, Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2005, 102(7):2490-2494.

[18] Mello MM, Abiola S, Colgrove J. Pharmaceutical companies’ role in state vaccination policymaking: the case of human papillomavirus vaccination. Am J Public Health,  2012, 102(5): 893-898.

[19] Rothman SM, Rothman DJ. Marketing HPV vaccine: implications for adolescent health and medical professionalism. JAMA 2009;302(7):781-6.

[20] Haug C. The risks and benefits of HPV vaccination. JAMA 2009;302(7):795-6

[21] Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Too fast or not too fast: the FDA’s approval of Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil. J Law Med Ethics, 2012, 40(3): 673-681.

[22] ] Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), May 18, 2006 VRBPAC Meeting, Background Document: Gardasil™, HPV Quadrivalent Vaccine.

[23] Kanduc D. Quantifying the possible cross-reactivity risk of an HPV16 vaccine, J Exp Ther Oncol, 2009, 8(1): 65-76.

[24] Anaya JM, Reyes B, Perdomo-Arcinegas AM, et al. Autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induce by adjuvants (ASIA) after quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination in Colombians: a call for personalised medicine, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 2015, 33(4): 545-548.

[25] Gatto M, Agmon-Levin, Soriano A, Manna R, Maoz-Segal R, Kivity S, Doria A, Shoenfeld Y. Human papillomarvirus vaccine and systemic lupus erythematosus, Clin Reumatol, 2013, 39(2): 1301-1307.

[26] Colafrancesco S, Perricone C, Tomljenovic L, Shoenfeld Y. Human papillomavirus vaccine and primary ovarian failure: another facet of the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants, Am J Reprod Immunol, 2013, 70(4): 309-316.

[27] Gajdova M, Jakubovsky J, Valky J. Delayed effects of neonatal exposure to Tween 80 on female reproductive organs in rats. Food Chem Toxicol 1993;31(3):183-90.

[28] Gulyaev AE, Gelperina SE, Skidan IN, et al. Significant transport of doxorubicin into the brain with polysorbate 80-coated nanoparticles, pharm Res, 1999, 16(10):1564-1569.

[29] Chustecka Z. HPV Vaccine: Debate Over Benefits, Marketing, and New Adverse Event Data. Medscape Med News 2009. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/707634. Accessed 6th May, 2017.

[30] Franco EL, Villa LL, Sobrinho JP, et al. Epidemiology of acquisition and clearance of cervical human papillomavirus infection in women from a high-risk area for cervical cancer, J Infect Dis, 1999, 180: 1415-1423.

[31] Ho GY, Burk RD, Klein S, et al. Persistent genital human PaPillomavirus infection as a risk factor for Persistent cervical dysPlasia, J Natl Canc Inst, 1995, 87: 1365-1371.

[32] Ostor AG. Natural history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a critical review. Int J Gynecol Pathol 1993;12(2):186-92.

[33] Castellsague X, Munoz N. Chapter 3: Co-factors in human papillomavirus carcinogenesis – role of parity, oral contraceptives and tobacco smoking, J Natl Canc Instit Monogr, 2003, 31:20-28.