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Merck Is Donating Gardasil

It is easy to take your annual gyno exam for granted. It is one of those preventive measures you suffer through once a year. We are really lucky to have such easy access to the diagnostic pap smear since cervical cancer, caused by a sexually transmitted virus, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide! The majority of the 250,000 annual deaths worldwide occur in poor nations, where women rarely receive pap smears to detect cervical cancer early, when it is most curable.

On a more positive note, Merck, maker of Gardasil the cervical cancer vaccine, will be donating three million doses of their vaccine to the Clinton Global Initiative. The vaccines will be distributed to countries in need over the next five years, inoculating one million women, since the vaccine is given three times over a six month period.

In our increasingly "global economy," it is uplifting to see an international philanthropic gesture for a woman's health issue.

And you? I am wondering if any of you have gotten the Gardasil vaccine? Please share your experience in the comments section below. I, for one, would love to hear it.


Gale99 Gale99 9 years
My 15 y/o daughter had the first shot. Devastating !!!! the pain she goes thru every day,headache off and on all day everyday,the constant pain in her legs, feet, neck,ribs,stomach, back,behind knees,seizures, passing out up to seven times in one day for over a month it was every day now she has gone for two weeks with out passing out,chest pain,pain and strange feelings in the bend of her arms,fatigue, every joint in her body pain.Lots of doctors and test her EEG shows seizure activity she has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia ,the cardiologist is next. Please wait and do the research first!!!! the thought of another girl going through this is horrible. my daughter was healthy before gardasil. Please Please Please investigate it first.
branmama branmama 9 years
I totally disagree with everyone here... Have all of you not heard of the severe reactions this shot is causing... My 15 year old daughter had her second shot 3 months ago and since then has had so many problems. It started with horrible broncho spasims... She could not breath for a month! Then she began getting chest pains, and then pain in the lower part of her body... Now she has extreme fatigue.. They have just diagnosed her with having Epstein Barr.She has seen doctor after doctor. Specialists and all. Doctor has finally agreed that the cause of all her problems is the Gardasil shot, and has reported it to the VEARS site. There are so many more girls out there suffering.. So many, soon you will be hearing about all of them... Please if you have sisters, cousins, friends anyone who falls into the age range to receive the shot advise them not to. Do the research, you will find out so many disturbing facts about Gardasil..
Kamily828 Kamily828 9 years
My 10 year old daughter got all 3 injections. That was a big mistake. She has had a ton of side effects since the 1st shot. *a rash on her face, neck and chest so bad that her eyes were swelled shut *protein in her urine *daily migraine headaches *daily stomach aches *fatigue *joint pain *thyroid problems *low grade fever for months *no menstrual period for a year *a seizure *weight gain *warts on her wrist and leg that wont go away She's seen 3 Pediatricians, a Nephologist, a Endocrinologist and a Neurologist.Shes had countless blood and urine tests, (EKG, EEG, MRI, an ultrasound on her kidneys and her thyroid..all were normal) She is feeling better but it has taken a year to get to this point. She still has the fatigue from time to time but its not as bad. She still isnt having her periods and continues to gain weight even though her thyroid is small and her levels are normal. I blame the Gardasil for causing her problems. She missed 30 days of school of school last year. The only reason they didnt fail her was she was on the honor roll. This is a child that was normal and healthy before getting the vaccine. I wont make the same mistake with my younger daughter!!!! Shes not the only one. There have been over 9,000 side effect cases reported to VAERS. I started a group on Yahoo to discuss this issue. If you or a loved one have received the shots and suffered problems, please share your story.
AbigailSwPeaLily AbigailSwPeaLily 9 years
I would not accept the vaccine since I have read the reports of those who got sick from the vaccine. Those poor kids got quite sick and some who did are now dead. This does not seem to be the cure to me. Besides, I trust herbs with the body. I also choose to have nothing to do with pap smears. I will cure with herbs if I get anything, thanks.
gardasilbad gardasilbad 9 years
I registered today because I strongly dislike gardasil. I received my first shot months ago and If I could go back in time I would. My arm has never stopped burning from that shot near the injection site. It has been months but I'm still feeling the pain from the shot even though it comes and goes, usually when my right arms is more active. The pill would also protect and I don't plan on being sexually active. I regret getting the shot 100% And if somewhere down the road I end up getting cervical cancer fine, but I'd still have better use of my right arm. = (
Tutta Tutta 10 years
I've started it, have my third shot to go next week actually. There is a little bit of a burn as the vaccine travels through your bloodstream at first but nothing compared to what you could be facing!
etoile3 etoile3 10 years
I have gotten the first two shots of the vaccine and I have HPV. First of all, the shots are VERY painful (not from the needle but from the actual substance), and then my arm was sore for a few days. I don't think it's a big deal though, nothing to cry from. Before I got the vaccine, I did a lot of research about it, and what I am still concerned about is that there is no long-term side effects information on it since it's so new. Also, its $200 per shot, so that was another thing I had a problem with. However, I think the benefits outweigh the costs (or possible costs), since even if you have HPV, the shot gives your immune system a boost to fight against the virus, and although HPV is not curable, the vaccine does help to clear it up so it doesn't even come up on the pap (and highly reduces possibility of having cervical cancer). Having a Gardasil vaccine should significantly help to reduce the risk of any abnormalities, and for those that never had HPV, reduce chances of ever getting it. So, although we don't know the long-term effects of it, I think and I hope that if a significant number of girls and women get it, eventually that 80% statistic will greatly decrease. Now I am just hoping that they come up with a mandatory HPV vaccine for men and boys since HPV is not detectable in them, and many men don't know they have it, and they spread it around.
hotpinkgiraffe hotpinkgiraffe 10 years
I agree with the people that have expressed concerns about the unknown long term effects. When I first heard about the vaccine I thought it sounded like a great thing "Wow a way to protect against a pretty deadly cancer with just a simple thought." Then I picked up a news magazine (MacLean's-Canadian News Magazine) and it had an article about the potential risks and all the unknowns. It opened my eyes to the idea that it might not be so great. I'm not saying don't get the vaccine. But at least try and look at the opposing view points and research it a bit before running out the doctor. I mean everyone thought thalydimide was a wonder drug until the long term effects were realized. On a side note I really dislike the commercials for Gardasil. I don't know if they are the same in the States but here we have one that starts off "I chose Gardasil because I'm smart." Anyone who just listens to a drug company's commercial about their OWN product and gets it because they say its good does not seem like someone who is smart to me. I choose to not get the vaccine at this point because I too am smart and would like to know a little bit more about long term risks.
Spectra Spectra 10 years
Considering I'm in a monogamous relationship with the only sexual partner I've ever had, I don't worry about getting HPV. But I think it's a good idea to get this vaccine if you have multiple sex's one thing you can do to prevent at least one kind of cancer.
rosey_y rosey_y 10 years
I'm in Australia and it's being offered for free by the government to females aged 12 to 26. I think it's great! I haven't had mine yet, but I will soon.
leahlarocco leahlarocco 10 years
I tired to get hte vaccine, but providers are complaining that insurance companies are not reimbursing them, so they require up front payments, and even if you pay up front, the insurance company doesn't guarantee that they will reimburse you. It's great that Merck is donating dosages of this vaccine to other coountries, but it's sad that a lot of women on our own country can't afford to be protected.
ella1978 ella1978 10 years
I agree, we don't know the side effects of the vaccine, although they have probably been testing the product for years on other people, and I'm sure they have evaluated those conditions, and I probably wouldn't be so gung-ho for the product if I wern't in the prediciment that I am in.... Something like 20 million people a year a diagnosed with HPV (I don't know the actual figure, I'd have to look it up) and something like 12,000 of those people actually end up getting cervical cancer, so the chances are remarkably low. And as stated before, most of those 12,000 cases are either in countries where anual exams are not standard practice, or the woman has just decided not to recive gyno care in years. I have heard stories from peers of mine. They have said that they know people who are in their 30s and are done having children, so they just stopped going to their OBGYN. My jaw drops to the floor. Having children is not the only reason that these doctors are around. When I found out I had HPV I became as well read as possible on all issues associated with sexual health, and I know stats that would probably knock you off your chair, but I feel that I am a little more protected knowing the things that I know. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I have read a LOT on HPV and plenty of other things. Like I stated before, something like 90% of people will clear the virus w/o ever knowing they have it. That leaves 10% of women who have been diagnosed, most likely from an abnormal pap. They don't traditionally do a HPV test on women under the age of 25-30 depending on the practice(they actually have to do a different kind of pap to be able to detect HPV, otherwise the cells just come back 'abnormal') And of those 10%, probably something like 1-2% will ever have it develop into dysplasia or cancer.
jiujiu jiujiu 10 years
well Cestlavie, if the side effects aren't cancer, i'd say it'd be worth doing.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
I guess I am still leary that this is one of those things that 10 years from now, they WILL be finding side effects from the shots that are unknown now.
BrooklynSugar BrooklynSugar 10 years
Ella: for the 80% of women who contract HPV, how many get cervical cancer? I don't know anyone who's had that type of cancer (though I heard it is one of the most deadly). Although I can see the advantages to having the shots, I'm still skeptical... We don't know long term effects of Gardasil. And for the other commenter who mentioned Rick Perry - one of his top aides became a lobbyist for Merck, and soon after, he tried to make Gardasil mandatory. "Several financial connections between Merck and Rick Perry have been reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution, as well as Merck's hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobby work.[24] Something doesn't sound right about that.
ella1978 ella1978 10 years
To the first girl, who spoke of using condoms instead, you should always use a condom, first of all, it's important for preventing other things, but they have found that in about 50% of cases, condoms do NOT help with the spread of HPV. There are about 100 strains of HPV. Guardasil helps prevent against the 4 strains known to potentially lead to cervical cancer. Did you know that 50% of all college aged people have HPV. 50%, and the odds are very good that most don't know it. You should always use protection, but protection alone may not prevent the spread of HPV. Did you also know that 80% of women have had HPV by the age of 50? And most (something like 90%) don't know about it, because it usually clears on it's own... If you are still young enough to get the shots (26 or younger ladies) I recommend getting them. I was diagnosed with HPV about a year and a half ago, and it still has not cleared itself from my body. (Usually it will clear itself withing 8 months to 2 years). I barely had any dectectable cells when I had my coloposcopy, so few in fact that they had to use the solution twice to even find any, however my paps keep coming back with HPV detected cells, a year after my colpo. I am 28 (almost 29) and too old for the shot. I would pay almost anything at this point for a vaccine that would work for people older than 26. I know they are working on it, for women up to age 50, but who knows when it will happen. I don't have any children yet, so my doctor doesn't want to do any invasive surgical procedures yet, so I go in every six months and we keep track of it. She said if it doesn't ever go away, I'll have the leep done when I am done having kids. It's very scary to think of, and I think it's a great idea to vaccinate children around age 12 or 13 (puberty). Most men have it and don't know, and the odds are that by the time you have had sex with 3 partners, you have probably contracted it.. that's how common it is. So please make yourself aware. Cervical cancer can be extremely deadly if left untreated. Get the vaccines if you can. You will never regret it, I'm sure.
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 10 years
Both my sister and I got it right after it came out. It was painless for her, but it hurt like HELL for me. Probably 3/4 of my friends said it burned a lot when they got it, and the rest thought it was painless. It definitely was the most painful shot I've ever had. That aside, I encourage all young women to take it, and I'm very pleased Merck is doing something pro-active and generous. It could save your life.
deedee0782 deedee0782 10 years
i had HPV. my boyfriend had it, and didnt know, which is normally the case since besides genital warts, guys cant detect when they have it. i had the LEEP procedure to remove the cancerous cells. my pap still came back irregular and my gyno suggested getting the gardasil shot since they have been doing some research about it helping to get rid of HPV within women who have it. i completed my three step shot series, covered by insurance, and ended up having clean PAPS. so yes, while women should get it to 'guard' themselves, dont think you cant have the shot after you have already had HPV or do have HPV. it helped me to clear it from my system after the fact. the first shot hurt my arm and i was sore for a week, no joke. but the second two were fine. on a side note, when i got my gardasil shot, i was told that my gyno couldnt give it to me and i had to pay out of pocket. however, after doing so much annoying research, i finally found out that my REGULAR doctor could give me the shot and it WAS covered. be sure to check this out. i am sure most women are getting it from their gyno, not their regular doctor. it was what i assumed. but it ended up that my regular doc could give it to me and it went through insurance just fine
thatgirljj thatgirljj 10 years
To be honest, women in developing countries need this more than we do. Regular pap screening means that most women in this country find pre-cancerous problems before they turn into cancer or find the cancer early when it's treatable. In developing countries many women don't find out they have cervical cancer until it's advanced and there's no cancer treatment available anyway.
ma9321 ma9321 10 years
My 15 year old sister got the shot and she said it hurt really bad. The nurse said that all of the young girls getting the vaccine left crying from the office. That's a bit strange since the women above said it was painless. Oh, and my sister is no sissy. Anyways, I have not gotten the shot. I don't have insurance, so I have to pay cash up front for everything including my yearly womanly exam. I should save up though.
jaclynloro jaclynloro 10 years
My insurance covered Guardisil, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten it. I just finished my vaccination this month after the third round. The shot was fairly painless. Mostly a discomfort. There were no long lasting side effects; after about 10 minutes I had no reminder I had even gotten it done. I would reccomend it, although my doctor said it's less effective the longer you have been sexually active, so it may not be worth it for some people.
carolynrechel carolynrechel 10 years
My insurance doesn't cover this vaccine and it cost $150 - and it's one of the best health care plans you can get. I figure that a few hundred bucks for the vaccine is far cheaper than cancer treatments down the line. And I think it would be a good idea for every young person - male and female - to have the vaccine so we can stop spreading HPV. I don't care if the drug company makes a ton of money - if it helps people be healthy, then I'm all for it. I can't think of a single reason not to get it - start saving now.
qtpye0831 qtpye0831 10 years
Most insurances DO cover Gardasil unless you have some unknown/small coverage plan. I have received the first 2 shots and so far, they are painless and free of all side effects. A few of my friends have said that it burned for the 2 seconds the needle was in, but I just think it was all psychological haha. If you don't have insurance, each shot costs $150, not $200. Further, I think you cannot put a price on health, especially since HPV can be spread even if a condom is used. Ladies, if you have a chance to be "1 less" person affected by cervical cancer, or any cancer for that matter...Take the opportunity and run. $450 is not so bad if you put it into perspective; it's like a pair of Manolo Blanik's or a Louis Vuitton clutch.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 10 years
finally they are doing something thats not selfish. in texas, rick perry wanted to make this REQUIRED for all 12 year olds last year. this is so that the company (merck) would make a LOT of money (I know it wasn't for the sake of the 12 year olds). the vaccine is $600, not covered by insurance. How do I know this? I asked my gynecologist about it, thinking hey I wouldn't mind preventing HPV, and they told me it wasn't covered by pretty much ANY insurance. There are 3 vaccines, each costing $200 each, and u have to get 3. I figured it was ridiculous and realized condoms were probably better alternatives and only cost $1 (or free at college)
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