Gayle DeLong finally responds to the retraction of her incompetent paper linking HPV vaccination to lowered fertility in women in—of course—the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism. It doesn’t go well.
Antivaxers really, really don’t like HPV vaccines. Too bad that a new meta-analysis shows that they’re really effective.
Antivaxers claim that HPV vaccination causes primary ovarian insufficiency, also known as premature ovarian failure. A large epidemiological study has just shown them to be wrong. As usual.
There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as dangerous and deadly.
Colton Barrett was a 17 year old boy who developed acute transverse myelitis at age 13, which left him partially paralyzed and dependent on a portable ventilator. Tragically, he died less than two weeks ago. His mother blames Gardasil, which he received two weeks before his first symptoms appeared, for his neurologic illness and death. However, Gardasil almost certainly had nothing to do with Colton’s illness.