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Gardasil: Vaccine Against Human Papillomaviruses


Health care is a rather important sphere of human life. The progress of medicine allows people nowadays to work on inventing the cures and treatments for such serious diseases as cancer. Needless to say, there are people who support and oppose the newly found cures. The article Public Radio Programs Discuss New Gardasil Statistics presented by The Advisory Board Company (2009) is one of the examples of such a controversy surrounding the newly found and allegedly safe vaccine against human papillomaviruses (HPV). This paper discusses and critically analyzes the arguments of both sides with the purpose of finding out the truth about HPV vaccine.

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Statistical Procedures Used

To support its discussion of the two articles on the new HPV vaccine, The Advisory Board Company (2009) presents the statistical data on the vaccine testing that was carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thus, before starting the work on the vaccine, CDC studied the demography of HPV and found out that, according to the recent statistics, over 4 million Americans are killed by the HPV annually and the HPV vaccine is a potentially effective means of fighting the disease (Wilson, 2009).

As well, Advisory Board Company (2009) reports that CDC, with reference to Hockenberry, J. et al. (2009), has distributed its vaccine among over 7 million girls and young women around the globe. From this number of possible cases for statistical analysis, a sample of 12,000 people was studied to find out that in 6% of the cases there were serious negative consequences observed for people that took vaccine. Included in these 6% are the 32 deaths reported among the vaccine takers (Wilson, 2009). According to Dr. Slade, as quoted by Wislon (2009), the CDC carried out the survey and managed to find out that the bulk of those 32 deaths were either drug-related or conditioned by any some health problems that the vaccine takers suffered (Wilson, 2009).

Report Findings and Conclusions

On the whole, the article by Advisory Board Company (2009) manages to find out that there is still controversy among the supporters and opponents of the new CDC-made vaccine. Referring to Wilson (2009), Advisory Board Company argues that according to Dr. Slade there is no danger in vaccine against HPV, or even if there is a danger, it is outweighed by the potential benefits the vaccine might bring. Answering the question about the 32 deaths observed among vaccine takers, Dr. Slade calls drug addiction, meningitis, and even blood clots as possible reasons but if firm in the belief that vaccine is not the cause of the deaths (Wilson, 2009).

However, Dr. Harper, as quoted by Hockenberry, J. et al. (2009) is not so sure about the vaccine and its safety. On the whole, Dr. Harper states that vaccine does not prevent cancer, but it is only HPV that the vaccine can prevent. HPV is one of, but not the only one, causes of cervical cancer, and thus the anti HPV vaccine should not be considered as a cure for cancer (Hockenberry, J. et al., 2009). Thus, controversy still surrounds the HPV vaccine and its possible effects upon human beings.


Drawing from this, none of the arguments presented by Hockenberry, J. et al. (2009) and Wilson (2009) can be assessed as highly credible or scholarly proved. The main point about the appropriateness of the findings and conclusions of CDC, as reported by The Advisory Board Company (2009), Hockenberry, J. et al. (2009), and Wilson (2009), is that they lack scientific grounds and are too controversial as for the findings of the same research made by people working in one organization. Dr. Slade calls the HPV vaccine the cure for cancer, and Dr. Harper, one of the researchers to carry out the clinical trials of Gardasil (the drug used for HPV vaccine production), claims that the vaccine is in no way able to save a person from cervical cancer (Hockenberry, J. et al., 2009).

Such a contradiction in views allows thinking that the truth about the HPV vaccine has not yet been told to public, and the vaccine’s actual effects might have not been studied yet. In this respect, the conclusions by Dr. Harper seem to be more appropriate as she argues that HPV vaccine reduces the possibility of getting the HPV and that this vaccine has been studied in laboratories to some extent only (Hockenberry, J. et al., 2009). Accordingly, such careful assessment of the vaccine is more useful for the society that is threatened by cervical cancer and might misinterpret the HPV vaccine as the cure for it.

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To conclude, the article by The Advisory Board Company (2009) summarizes the dispute the two radio programs have developed regarding the testing and use of the HPV vaccine in the USA. The statistical data used and the arguments presented by scholars who worked with the vaccine lack integrity and consistency and cannot therefore be assessed as highly credible.


Hockenberry, J. et al. (2009). Should Your Daughter Get the HPV Vaccine? Web.

The Advisory Board Company. (2009). Public Radio Programs Discuss New Gardasil Statistics. Web.

Wislon, B. (2009). Study: HPV Vaccine Mostly Safe. Web.

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