February 16, 2010
Dear Health and Government Operations Committee,
My name is Mary Katherine Davison and I would like to raise awareness about the vaccine, Gardasil, which has commonly been advertised as a vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer. On February 1, 2008, which was also my twentieth birthday, I had a stroke due to Gardasil. I had received my second injection of Gardasil on January 9, 2008. After my stroke, I could not walk for a while and I had other symptoms like dizziness and blurred vision. Additionally, I still have numbness and lack of sensation in the left side of my body today. I had to drop out of college for a semester due to the stroke. I have since recovered significantly due to physical therapy and I have returned to college. However, I feel as if Gardasil has completely altered my life in ways that I could have never imagined. While I have overcome a lot of hardships due to my stroke, I feel as if others need to be educated about Gardasil.
Many people, including myself, are persuaded by their doctors to receive this vaccine. However, these individuals are unaware of the adverse affects of Gardasil. I was never warned of these risks before receiving the injections. If I had received adequate information about the risks, I would have most likely decided against the vaccine. Additionally, patients and their families are not told that yearly pap smears are the best way to prevent cervical cancer. The Gardasil vaccine does not protect against all types of cervical cancer and many people are not aware of this either. Overall, the lack of information regarding this vaccine is extremely problematic because patients cannot make informed choices about whether to get the vaccine or not.
The research regarding Gardasil has been minimal and obsolete. Researchers have not tested this vaccine on various populations and on individuals that are currently taking medications. No interactions between the vaccine and medicines or other vaccines have been adequately tested either. How can we allow innocent young girls to receive this vaccine without properly testing it first? This vaccine was rushed to fruition simply to increase profits.
Overall, adequate and truthful information about Gardasil needs to be given to patients before they agree to get the vaccine. Additionally, further research needs to be conducted before any more doses of this vaccine are given. Gardasil has completely altered my life and the person that I used to be. I used to be very independent, always healthy, and never living in constant fear of my health. Now, I must depend heavily on others, take over twelve pills a day to regulate effects from my stroke, and constantly worry about my health. I only hope that this letter will make you rethink the Gardasil vaccine and how it is negatively affecting the lives of innocent girls. Thank you for your time in regards to this matter.
This is for the House Bill 411. Our senator is Alex Mooney. Our delegate is C. Sue Hecht. Our legislative district is number 3.
Mary Katherine Davison