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Cervical cancer vaccine found not responsible for 17 deaths

Cervical cancer vaccine found not responsible for 17 deaths

Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology yesterday said wire reports that claimed women died after receiving cervical cancer vaccine are false, saying the deaths are not related to the vaccination.
Tsai Hung-te, director-general of the association, was referring to earlier news wire stories which reported 17 U.S. cervical cancer vaccine-related deaths where women died after one week of receiving the Gardasil vaccine. The reports since then have sparked serious concerns from women who have received the vaccine shots at home and abroad.
Gardasil is a vaccine manufactured by Merck& Co. to prevent four types of the human papillomavirus and was introduced to Taiwan in December 2006. It is designed to prevent infection from HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 cause about 70 percent of HPV-related cervical cancer cases. One has to take three doses to complete the vaccination.
Tsai said the reported cases, after being verified by American and European obstetrics and gynecology associations, were confirmed to be non-related to the cervical cancer vaccinations, but were related to suicide, car accidents, stroke and other diseases that occurred one week after the vaccination.
As for the two cases reported in Europe, Tsai said the cause of death were confirmed to be from suicide and surgical infections.
Tsai said more than 20 million people have received Gardasil worldwide. Among those who received the vaccine, there were a few who reported partial pain and temporary fever, but no one was reported to have suffered from side effects that were incurable, Tsai added.
He advised women who are sexually active to take cervical smears regularly and to take the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Tsai added that cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be detected at an early stage and treated completely.
According to the association, nearly 7,000 women are found to have cervical cancer every year. Around 54 percent of women above the age of 30 receive cervical smears regularly.
Based on the association's statistics, there are more than 10,000 women in Taiwan who have received Gardasil.