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Hokkanen in Star Tribune: Media Should take a Closer Look at HPV Vaccine

Gardasil Please comment here at the Star Tribune on this opinion piece from Nancy Hokkanen.

Whatever one's opinion of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, she has spotlighted a dirty little secret: the silent epidemic of vaccine injury, and its ongoing dismissal by government, industry, medical trade unions and media.

Journalists have adopted public health administrators' utilitarian "more is better" attitude toward vaccines. Commentators tout lives theoretically saved by vaccines, then fail to express concern for people disabled or killed by vaccines.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as of June 22, 2011, VAERS (the FDA's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) received 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil vaccination. A total of 2,799 adverse events were classified as "Serious," including encephalopathy (brain damage); 98 deaths have been reported.

Dr. Scott Ratner, whose wife is also a physician, told CBS-TV that their daughter Amanda became severely ill after a shot of Gardasil. She changed from "a varsity lacrosse player ... to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis."

The CDC and medical groups deny evidence of mental retardation from Gardasil, yet the VAERS database contains 27 reported cases of encephalitis (brain inflammation) and seven cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis -- demyelinating brain and spinal cord disease -- following the HPV vaccine.

Unfortunately, the girls injured by HPV vaccines have little recourse, largely because their vaccine injuries are not investigated by the CDC. In addition, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is slow and contentious, and rejects most claims.

Despite so many consumer concerns, a bill to allow 12-year-olds to get the HPV vaccine without parents' consent is on the desk of California Gov. Jerry Brown. Few media outlets have reported on the myriad negative implications of this usurping of parental health care rights.

With global vaccine revenues expected to grow from $30 billion in 2010 to $52 billion in 2016 and almost no product protections available for vaccine consumers, media scrutiny of vaccines and public health administration is urgently needed more than ever.

Alison Bass, a journalism professor, science writer and Pulitzer Prize nominee, summarized these issues: "I wish the media would use this opportunity to explore the public health ramifications of allowing a drug manufacturer to aggressively target the wrong population for an expensive and possibly unnecessary vaccine."

The CDC and the media must stop blaming "coincidence" and start investigating vaccine injuries -- to put an end to adverse events, diminish consumer skepticism and demonstrate a humane care ethic.

Parents must be able to make informed choices on all medical decisions for their children, including vaccines. The statements by recent health leaders that there is "absolutely no scientific evidence of harm from the HPV vaccine" are simply false. Consumers deserve far better from the people charged with protecting public health.






"While the rest of the pharmaceutical sector struggles to keep afloat as expiring patents send profits plummeting, the vaccine industry has become remarkably buoyant. According to a recent report by medical market analysts Kalorama Information, the vaccine market grew an impressive 14 per cent between 2009 and 2010, despite the economic downturn, and growth is predicted to continue. Such news offers a ray of hope for those wanting to work in pharmaceuticals but who are put off by the doom and gloom of the rest of the sector."


If they have done some proper brain histology studies on the young gardasil victims,the answers could have been found already.Polysorbates and boric acid together with the aluminum adjuvants possibly cause the brain damage.Animal studies need to be done ASAP
(in similar way as the gardasil
girls received the vaccines about two months apart and
three times)and the animals need to be autopsied,their brain,ovaries,testicles and all their organs should be
checked for damage.Are there any independent researchers out there to save our future/our children and do this important histological assessment,please???


This is such an excellent article -- thanks for writing it!

I tried to post comments there, but for some reason they're not going through.


A.H. asked "is the same true for the other vaccine from GSK (cervarix)"?

The Truth About Gardasil site has a page on UK injuries from Cervarix:

Media Scholar

The objectionable point was made by one of the "Help Profits For Vioxx" vaccine expert who was suckered into participation in the "Help Profits for Vioxx" vaccine development group.

The vaccine doesn't work.

Bah Bah Bah boom.

space kitty

Here's a California Poll on Gardasil from talk radio

scroll down and to the right is a poll


Heather wrote: Geez, that didn't take long. The Strib already published a adversarial letter to the editor.


Congratulations Nancy, your article was good enough to force a swift response from the propaganda police.

I particularly like how this guys says " ...the public deserve an honest evaluation of the vaccine, not a one-sided ..."

Wasn't that the whole point of your article??

A. H.

Thanks, I'm attempting to showcase both sides of the issue so hopefully that will be helpful :)

Teresa Conrick

Hi A.H.

Not Nancy but happy to oblige your "college subject"- I wrote this for AoA and it does go into some science for you-

A. H.

I am writing a research essay for one of my college subjects on vaccination and autism and I was intrigued by your article and its statement that there is scientific evidence of harm from the HPV/Gardasil vaccine. Do you have any leads I can follow in order to research this? Author name/article title would be fine if you've got them handy :)

Secondly, if the Gardasil vaccine is the focus of your piece, is the same true for the other vaccine from GSK (cervarix)

Cheers for any advice, i'll check back here soon


Geez, that didn't take long. The Strib already published a adversarial letter to the editor.

But if I was on the fence about the HPV vaccine, this guy would convince it wasn't safe (maybe that was the point?!?)


Top story in the paper so far. It's the way you put things, Nancy. It cuts through confusion and denial. Confusion and denial aren't always happy about it. You mean to be understood, there's no metamessaging-- not necessary because you understand the science better than most, but you don't pander either. Not sure how you do it- Scandanavian Zen?

I had no idea the death report was up to 98 from that vaccine. The more ill-advised or dumb the shot, the more it seems to maim and kill.


Thanks, all, for your kind comments. Many hostile comments at the Strib site illustrate precisely the lack of compassion and concern I tried to convey. The ugly side of humanity is revealed by people who claim there were "only 68 deaths" rather than 98.

People just don't understand that vaccine injuries deserve first-hand medical investigation, rather than Joe Schmoe saying that vaccine injuries are only coincidences. I should have emphasized that death by vaccine and death by disease are equal tragedies. Gee, I thought that just went without saying....


Excellent article Nancy.

I see that some of the comments below the Star Tribune article shows that you have hit a nerve with some people.

They will watch or read a 1000 vaccine ads, but anything from the other side gets them very, very miffed.

There is nothing that some hate more than facts or the simple truth.


There is absoultetely no scientific evidence to prove that any vaccine has ever prevented a disease of any kind. Yet there's an ever increasing number of victims who's health has been ravaged by vaccine injury ... in some cases so severely that it was directly responsible for their deaths.

The thought of having your child vaccinated without parental consent is criminal, plain and simple. And if mainstream media was truly unbiased, this truth would be plastered over every available mainstream media outlet. The general population would be truthfully informed both on the known hazards, and the unsubstantiated benefits of this and every other toxic vaccine. And the ensuing public backlash would bring these criminals to their knees.

But mainstream media is anything but honest. In fact, I would argue that the media is just as bad or worse than big-phrama front groups like the FDA, CDC and the IOM. The only reason vaccine programs still exist, is that mainstream media has been propagating lies and concealed deadly truths on big-pharmas behalf.

The deadly truth about vaccines will eventually emerge. And when the dust settles, no one will have more blood on their hands than mainstream media.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Nancy,I've long said that you're one of the best writers I know! This proves it. Great job!

Anne Dachel, Media

Donna L.

Very well stated, Nancy - thank you!

Maurine Meleck

Note that nancy's piece is right now the most read piece in the paper. Way to go.

Maurine Meleck

Excellent comments, nancy--you didn't miss any important points. Thanks, maurine

Teresa Conrick

Thank you, Nancy for speaking up for these victims of Gardasil.

"The CDC and the media must stop blaming "coincidence" and start investigating vaccine injuries -- to put an end to adverse events, diminish consumer skepticism and demonstrate a humane care ethic."

I agree and would like to add that more doctors need to be more aware of adverse events instead of minimizing or denying their patient's symptoms. Late medical follow up SHOULD be a risk for a lawsuit as proper medical care can make the difference between like or death, as well as being disabled for life when vaccine injury does occur.

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