Merck Study Calls for HPV Vaccination At Earlier Ages, Despite Gardasil Side Effects Concerns

Merck researchers claim beginning Gardasil HPV vaccinations by ages 9 or 10 would make it more likely the children complete the process

A new study conducted by the drug maker Merck calls for increased use of its Gardasil HPV vaccine, beginning treatments among children as young as 9 years old, even as a growing number of individuals are now pursuing lawsuits alleging Merck failed to adequately disclose long-term health side effects.

In a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics on February 27, Merck researchers recommend that doctors and parents should begin the process of vaccinating children against human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine treatment around ages 9 or 10, in order to guarantee they complete the vaccination process before sexual activity.

Gardasil was first introduced in 2006, 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, the vaccine has been commonly administered to both girls and boys before adolescence and potential sexual activity.

Although it has been promoted as safe, teens and young adults have reported experiencing a variety of problems caused by HPV vaccine Gardasil, including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), premature ovarian failure, premature menopause, seizures and other autoimmune disorders, which emerged shortly after receiving the injection.

In recent months, Merck has faced a growing number of Gardasil lawsuits brought in the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that the drug maker placed it’s desire for profits before the health and safety of consumers, by failing to disclose known risk information to parents or the medical community.

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuit

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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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In this new study, Merck researchers used data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen 2017-2020, as well as a retrospective cohort of nearly 20,000 teens aged 15-17 years old who initiated HPV vaccination between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. They looked at how many of the children completed the vaccination process within three years of receiving the first dose.

According to the findings, those who initiated the Gardasil vaccine early were more likely to complete the process by age 13, resulting in Merck researchers calling for the vaccination process to begin at ages 9 or 10, instead of later. They also called on doctors to carefully watch patient interactions to ensure the children finish the vaccination process.

Despite growing concerns about the potential long-term health risks, Merck is not alone in the calls for younger Gardasil vaccinations. Both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics have also supported earlier initiation of Gardasil vaccinations.

Gardasil Vaccine Side Effects

While most health agencies in the U.S. still strongly encourage young adults to receive a vaccination with Gardasil, a number of reports have linked the injection to debilitating autoimmune disorders, neurological side effects and other complications, which can have a profound impact on the users well into adulthood.

Since its introduction, concerns of the Gardasil vaccine causing POTS and other autoimmune disorders 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 the risks may outweigh the benefits for young girls.

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.

Studies have shown Gardasil contains a number of ingredients which are known to sometimes cause problems with the autoimmune system, including Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) and HPV LI-DNA fragments.

Critics claim Merck failed to adequately disclose the presence of these ingredients, and also claim Merck used them in the placebos given to “control” test subjects during clinical trials, leading to an inaccurate assessment of Gardasil side effects.

March 2023 Gardasil Lawsuit Update

All federal lawsuits over the HPV vaccine have been consolidated in a federal Gardasil MDL (multidistrict litigation), which was established in August 2022. Given common questions of fact and law presented in the claims, all Gardasil lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad in the Western District of North Carolina for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As parties continue to work with the Court on the organizational structure of the Gardasil vaccine litigation over the remainder of early 2023, lawyers continue to investigate and file lawsuits for individuals who experienced a variety of complications linked to side effects of Gardasil, including:

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Premature Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
  • Irregular Heartbeat/Tachycardia
  • Lupus
  • Neurologic Disorder
  • Brain Fog or Chronic Inability to Concentrate
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain
  • Severe Headaches
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve Damage
  • Menstrual Disorders/Problems
  • Gastrointestinal Issues (food intolerances, nausea, vomiting)

Following coordinated discovery and any bellwether trials in the federal MDL, if the parties fail to reach Gardasil lawsuit settlements or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Conrad may later establish a process to begin remanding each individual claim back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates in the future.

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Lawyers provide free consultations and claim evaluations to help determine if financial compensation may be available through a Gardasil lawsuit as a result of Merck's failure to disclose the long-term health risks.

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