Lawsuit Alleges Gardasil Caused Autoimmune Disease, Other Debilitating Injuries for 14 Year Old Girl

Gardasil caused autoimmune disease, which began developing just days after receiving the injections, according to the lawsuit

An Oklahoma teen is pursuing a product liability lawsuit against Gardasil manufacturers, alleging that the HPV vaccine caused her to suffer an autoimmune disease and other severe injuries.

The complaint (PDF) was filed filed late last month in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma by Avery Eshelman, who received the vaccine when she was 14 years old.

Gardasil was first introduced by Merck & Co. in 2006, as a vaccine for prevention of HPV infections, which can be sexually transmitted and lead to the later development of cervical cancer. Following years of aggressive marketing by the drug maker, which suggested that the vaccine was safe and effective, the shot has been widely administered to young girls and boys before adolescence and potential sexual activity.

Merck now faces a growing number of Gardasil lawsuits alleging the vaccine caused debilitating auto-immune disease and other side effects that emerged shortly after receiving the injection, indicating that the HPV vaccine risks were not adequately disclosed to parents, teens or the medical community.

Eshelman indicates she received the Gardasil vaccine as a young teen in November 2018, for the purpose of preventing cervical cancer. However, just two days after the injection, the 14 year old began to suffer tremors in her right arm, which increased in intensity and spread to her right leg over time. The tremors and cramps spread to her chest, abdomen and lower jaw within a month.

Over time, in addition to the tremors, Eshelman indicates that she suffered panic attacks, stomach pains, tachycardia, lower body weakness, pain, fatigue, headaches and other debilitating health problems. Doctors linked her health problems to the vaccine, and informed her and her family they had seen others who received the Gardasil vaccine suffer the same kinds of autoimmune reactions.

She has been diagnosed with several medical conditions, including tachycardia, hypoxia, autonomic dysfunction, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

“As a result of her post-Gardasil symptoms, Plaintiff was unable to engage in normal activities that a normal young person would enjoy. She could no longer fully and comfortably participate in the physical activities she once loved, including dance practice and competitions, in fear that her body would begin to experience pain or shut down completely,” the lawsuit states. “She was also forced to undergo embarrassing incidents in front of friends on many occasions, having to leave school, sports games, practices, and competitions due to her debilitating condition.”

Neither she nor her mother were informed that these were possible side effects of the Gardasil vaccine, the lawsuit indicates.

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Problems

Shortly after it was introduced, concerns about problems from the Gardasil emerged when one of the lead researchers responsible for developing the HPV vaccine, Dr. Diane Harper, indicated that the drug’s protection may only last a few years, suggesting that the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Dr. Harper reportedly warned at a conference in 2009, that while Gardasil was tested on 15 year old girls, it is commonly being recommended to girls as young as nine years old. She has called for more detailed warnings to parents about the Gardasil risks and to provide additional information about the unknown long-term benefits for girls who are not likely to be sexually active for several years.

Many health experts strongly support the use of Gardasil, indicating any risks are negligible and claims made by those concerned about vaccinations are often not scientifically supported.

The National Cancer Institute has heralded the HPV vaccine, saying that widespread use could reduce cervical cancer deaths worldwide by as much as two-thirds. Many also suggest men get the vaccine as well in order to promote “herd immunity,” which occurs when a large enough portion of the population is vaccinated against a particular disease that they act as a firewall, preventing that disease’s spread even to those who are not vaccinated.


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