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Thursday, January 26, 2012

HPV vaccine does not cause autoimmune disease



The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for virtually all cervical cancers, and for some other cancers as well.  Fortunately, there is now a vaccine (called HPV4, because it contains antigens to four major types of HPV) that can prevent those diseases.  You may know the vaccine by its trade name Gardasil.  Thus far, it has had an outstanding record of safety and efficacy.  Thanks to a new study conducted by Kaiser Permanente researchers, we can now also eliminate any connection between HPV4 and sixteen different autoimmune diseases (AID), including lupus, Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers examined the medical records of almost 200,000 young women who received at least one dose of HPV4 from 2006 to 2008.  The subjects were followed for six months after each injection for signs of AID.  The number of new cases of AID during any time period was the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated women, strongly indicating that the vaccine had no effect whatsoever on the development of AID. 

Oh, and by the way, HPV4 doesn’t cause mental retardation either.