Letter to the Editor

Misleading Gardasil information

Friday, May 1, 2009

This past evening I watched a story on KFVS12 regarding the risks of the Gardasil vaccine. As a physician I feel it is important that I speak out against potentially misleading information that may be harmful to the public.

In the initial story, two parents describe horrific events that happened to their children which they believe were caused by this vaccine. No other information was disseminated regarding any of the other facts surrounding the cases, just anecdotal beliefs. There was no mention of the other substances which were consumed in high quantities shortly before the teenage girl's death that were more likely the culprit based on medical knowledge.

In the follow-up segment, two physicians were interviewed for their thoughts as well. While I have a great deal of respect for my medical colleagues, I must express some misgivings. Dr. Glenn made the assertion that viruses are "smart" and that they will "mutate" to become resistant to the vaccine, making it ineffective. He offers no historical evidence to support his hypothesis. The reality is that we have not seen dangerous mutant viruses that have made our other vaccines ineffective. The result is that we no longer have deadly epidemics of measles, mumps, rubella, polio or smallpox, all of which are viruses we currently or previously vaccinated against.

We must be guided by scientific evidence, not fear created by alarmists. Theories based on coincidence with a lack of scientific support do not serve the public welfare.

Dr. KEITH VanCURAN, Cape Girardeau