Cervical Cancer Vaccine Linked to 32 Deaths

Teen-targeted Gardasil also tied to blood clots, fainting in gov't study
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2009 12:16 PM CDT
In this Feb. 2, 2007 file photo, one dose of the vaccine Gardasil, developed by Merck & Co., is seen in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, file)

(Newser) – Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine marketed to teen girls, has been linked to 32 deaths and other serious side effects including fainting and blood clots, according to a government report released yesterday. Since 2006, several complications of the vaccine have been reported, ABC News reports, ranging from neurological disorders to less threatening side effects like fever or nausea. In a few rare cases, patients died soon after taking it.

The report came alongside a cautionary editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association that could give some parents pause. "I know it was the Gardasil," says one woman, whose daughter died of unconfirmed causes two weeks after her final shot. "They were saying that it was safe. So I kind of went against my better instinct [and let her] get the shot." But experts note that such reports aren’t verified, and some don’t think such rare occurrences should bench the drug.