A recently filed product liability lawsuit indicates the side effects of the Gardasil HPV vaccine left a teen boy with a huge host of health problems, after it disrupted his autonomic system.
Zacharia Otto, now an adult, filed the complaint (PDF) in Orange County Superior Court of California on September 16, naming Merck & Co., the Kaiser Foundation, the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and a number of individuals as defendants.
Gardasil is a widely used vaccine for the prevention of certain types of sexually transmitted strains of HPV, which can cause cervical cancer. It was approved by the FDA in 2006, and widely given to young girls before adolescence and potential sexual activity. However, it is also administered to some boys.
Otto was injected with the first of three Gardasil vaccine shots in November 2012, while he was still a minor. He received a second dose in October 2014, which is when the health problems began.
According to the lawsuit, Otto began experiencing body pains, headaches, rashes, joint pain and other health problems from the Gardasil HPV vaccine. Within two days of receiving the second shot, the lawsuit indicates his knees failed and he lost mobility. Following that came weakness, fevers, chronic pain, abnormal gait, random burning sensations, hives, extreme weight loss, stomach issues, dizziness, brain fog, and many, many other ailments.
He was ultimately diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which a Mayo Clinic neurologist diagnosed as autonomic dysfunction caused by Gardasil. In addition, doctors believe Otto also suffers from fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, mast cell activation syndrome, autonomic neuropathy, small fiber neuropathy, and chronic fatigue syndrome, all due to Gardasil vaccine side effects.
“As a result of his post-Gardasil symptoms, Otto has been unable to engage in the normal activities that a teenager and young adult would enjoy,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of his Gardasil-induced injuries, he had to drop out of college, could no longer work, and could no longer engage in the activities that he once enjoyed. Currently, he is unable to be mobile without the aid of a cane for short distances and requires a power assist wheelchair for longer distances. He is now legally disabled.”
Gardasil Side Effects
Since it’s introduction, concerns about the safety of Gardasil have emerged after 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 said at a conference in 2009, that while Gardasil was tested on 15 year old girls, it is commonly being given 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.