Politics aside, HPV vaccine safety data remain unchanged
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) opposes requiring vaccination for the human papillomavirus, asserting that it can cause “mental retardation.” (Brian C. Frank / Reuters)
Despite Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s recent charge that the HPV vaccine can cause “mental retardation,” ongoing safety studies on the vaccine reveal no surprises, health officials said Tuesday.
"We have no evidence" that HPV vaccination causes mental retardation, said Dr. Eileen Dunne, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a hearing of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel that advises the CDC.
The committee voted 13-0 to recommend routine human papillomavirus vaccination for boys ages 11 and 12.
The vote included a review of the safety of the vaccine, which has been in use among girls in the United States since 2006.
The vaccine often causes soreness at the injection site, and more serious adverse events include fainting, said Julianne Gee, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office.
Despite some reports of blood clots following vaccination, there is no evidence that the HPV vaccination causes clots, Gee said. The CDC is continuing to study blood clotting as a side effect in all types of vaccines.
Thirty-four confirmed deaths linked to the HPV vaccine have been reported to the CDC. But Gee said there is no distinct patterns to the deaths that might explain the role of the vaccine, if any.
(Source: Los Angeles Times)