Gardasil Vaccine Caused Autoimmune System Problems for 11 Year Old Girl, Mother’s Lawsuit Alleges

Lawsuit claims Gardasil vaccine caused teen girl to develop postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome (POTS), which left her with frequent seizures, and the need to use a walker at 11 years old.

Amid rising concerns of Gardasil causing POTS, a West Virginia mother has filed a lawsuit alleging that her 11 year old daughter developed serious autoimmune system problems from the Gardasil vaccine, which is widely given to young girls and boys to prevent HPV infections that may later lead to the development of cervical cancer.

Elizabeth Landers filed the complaint (PDF) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on April 1, pursuing damages on behalf of her minor daughter, identified only as I.L. in the lawsuit.

The case is one of a growing number of similar Gardasil vaccine lawsuits being pursued against Merck & Co., alleging that the drug maker deceived the medical community and the public about both the safety of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, as well as its effectiveness.

Learn More About Gardasil lawsuits

Side effects of the Gardasil HPV vaccine have been linked to reports of serious and debilitating autoimmune injuries. Lawyers review cases nationwide.

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Gardasil was first introduced 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 marketing by the drug maker that suggested the vaccine was safe and effective, the injection has been widely recommended for young girls and boys before adolescence and potential sexual activity, since it was thought to carry few, if any, serious side effects.

According to allegations raised in this Gardasil lawsuit, I.L. was 11 years old when she received her first vaccine injection. Her mother says she agreed to her daughter getting the vaccine due to Merck’s marketing strategy, which claimed Gardasil was safe, effective, and key to avoiding cervical cancer. Her daughter had no autoimmune diseases or autonomic issues before receiving the injection, the lawsuit states.

I.L. received the first shot in September 2019. Less than a month later, a nurse at I.L.’s school called Landers to tell her that her daughter was being sent to the Emergency Room due to a high heart rate and low blood pressure. She subsequently suffered a stroke, decreasing neurological activity and went into septic shock. Subsequently, the teen girl was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome (POTS) and spent four days in the hospital.

“I.L. required the use of a walker to help her move,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff did not have the ability to move like she did before, could not get up alone, and could barely walk without fainting or collapsing.”

As a result of the Gardasil injection, Landers indicates that her daughter has suffered permanent injuries, experiences POTS episodes which leave her dizzy and occasionally cause seizures. In addition, the child was unable to return to school and was forced to quit the sports she enjoyed, such as softball, cheerleading and golf. She can no longer independently care for her basic needs, such as showering, the lawsuit states.

Gardasil Side Effects

Since its introduction, concerns about Gardasil injection problems 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.

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