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Naomi Fryers calls for an independent inquiry into whether Australians, including health professionals, have been misled on the safety and efficacy of Gardasil (the HPV vaccine). She argues it is paramount the public know they are not taking a shot in the dark with a purportedly “critical lifesaver”.

NOT ALL medical interventions are created equal.

There are arguments for and against almost everything on the shelf. Occasionally, a drug hits the market with potentially dangerous side effects. 

One example is the Merck’s arthritis drug, Vioxx, which was recalled due to increased risk of heart attack. 

Gardasil, the Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine – also a Merck product – has not been recalled but, as potentially risky drugs go, it stands out like a red flag. 

While girls injected with the vaccine continue to collapse and faint, the manufacturers have called for calm, asking consumers to have faith in their scientific process. But is that faith deserved?

Controversies around Gardasil have come thick and fast, starting with clinical trials being conducted without patient consent in India. In the U.S., millions of dollars have been paid out through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

In Ireland, Fiona Kirby, a member of REGRET (Reaction and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma), took her case for a withdrawal of the vaccine licence to the high court after her daughter became permanently disabled. Lawsuits have also been filed in Japan with plaintiffs in wheelchairs being maneuvered to microphones during press conferences.

Further muddying the waters, Dr Bernard Dalbergue, formerly employed by Merck, predicted that the Gardasil vaccine was likely to be the biggest medical scandal of all time. He is not alone. Dr Diane Harper, a lead developer and researcher of the vaccine, has also gone on the record claiming control groups in clinical trials were given a vaccine adjuvant rather than a placebo, invalidating any claims of safety derived from the trials.

Gardasil has now allegedly caused encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, premature menopause, paralysis of the lower limbs, Guillain-Barré syndrome, blood clots and even death. 

Gardasil is safe according to the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). They have all assessed Gardasil as safe and effective. Some have boldly suggested the vaccine could eradicate cervical cancer within a generation. 

In fact, Gardasil is so acclaimed that Scottish born inventor, Professor Ian Frazer of the University of Queensland, won Australian of the Year for his miraculous discovery. He has been touted as “the man who saved a million lives” and awarded the internationally acclaimed European Inventor Award last year, in Paris.

Last year, it was reported that, in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (who funded the trials), Frazer decided to waive some millions in royalties to get the vaccine out to some of the world’s most “needy” — a worrying prospect given the question mark over the drug’s safety. 

Medical professionals cannot seem to agree on whether Gardasil is safe. Nor can the mainstream media or the legal system. So herein lies the conundrum: where is the moratorium? And at what price comes the prevention of international embarrassment for invested parties? When the truth is so ambiguous that the “big boys” cannot agree, something is clearly very wrong. It’s time for clarity.

I received the Gardasil vaccine and suffered an adverse reaction too.

Before I hear mutterings of “anti-vax” or, worse still, “pro-cancer” rhetoric, please understand that this is not the case. Had it been the case, I would never have received my Gardasil injections. Consequently, I would never have suffered an autoimmune based neurological reaction similar to that suffered by patients with Multiple Sclerosis. I refuse to refer to myself as a victim of the vaccination, however, preferring the term, survivor, for I have lived and am recovering to tell the tale.

Though this experience has been trying, my faith in the medical profession remains intact thanks to some wonderful treating doctors. Furthermore, my two and a half year old has been fully immunised in line with the childhood schedule (which does not include Gardasil).

I still believe in the benefits of herd immunity, which keeps millions of children safe from diseases the world over. As a rule, I believe vaccines are safe. However, for every rule there is an exception and perhaps the first rule of medicine, “do no harm”, has been broken with Gardasil.

I have a detailed TGA report confirming my decline in health, including a sustained brain injury. I have also secured documents indicating an ongoing investigation into the myriad complications associated with Gardasil from acclaimed journalists. They point to the truth. On the topic of truth, I have always been raised to speak it, “even if your voice shakes”. My truth is that this vaccine almost killed me — and I am far from alone.

I urge the Australian government to launch an independent inquiry into whether the Australian public (including health professionals) have been misled on the safety and efficacy of Gardasil. It is paramount that the public can be assured, once and for all, that that they are not taking a shot into the dark with what has been reported to be a critical lifesaver.

You can follow Naomi on Twitter @Fluro_Unicorn.

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