Thursday, February 2, 2012

Officials Recommend the HPV Vaccine for All Boys/ NYTimes

 Is any doubt left about whether US vaccine recommendations are excessive?  This wretched recommendation will surely expel the last doubt.  Universal vaccination for boys with a vaccine whose efficacy, safety and duration of effect are unknown, is being recommended for --  can you believe it? -- genital warts!  Okay, rarely the warts lead to penile, oropharyngeal and anal cancers.  When was the last time you heard of somebody with one of those?  CDC says there are 7,000 cases/year in males of HPV-associated cancers... or one per 22,000 males per year.  The number needed to treat to prevent one cancer is huge.  At $360/ 3 dose course the cost is wildly high per life saved.  And don't forget the boosters.

But that is not the way to think about it.  Instead, think of HPV vaccine as if it were a drug for smallpox...or an anthrax vaccine.  The goal is NOT to improve health.  (If you wanted to improve health cheaply, you could give out fish oil pills to those at risk for heart disease and get orders of magnitude more bang for the buck.)

No:  the goal is to spend oodles of taxpayer dollars on a product whose maker has scratched the back of government.  The goal is to transfer funds from the 99% to Merck, and the boys of America are simply a delivery system for doing so.

Okay, now you get it.  Is it any surprise that retired Colonel John Grabenstein, who honed his skills rewriting science to force anthrax vaccine into the arms of 2 million soldiers, is now reaping the rewards at Merck Vaccine, shoving HPV into our schoolkids?

Starting at age 9, according to the vaccine license, boys can receive this panacea that caused so many problems for girls.  Quick, grab those boys, before someone notices that wizard behind the curtain.

From the Times:
Federal health officials recommended on Thursday that all boys be routinely vaccinated against infection with human papillomavirus, or HPV. Since 2006, the vaccine has been recommended for girls and young women, largely because HPV infection can cause cervical cancer. But the vaccine also protects against genital warts in men and women, and lowers the risk of developing head, neck and anal cancers. In a new immunization schedule published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccinations for boys aged 11 to 12 and catch-up vaccinations for those aged 13 to 21. Its recommendations are routinely followed by doctors and used to establish insurance coverage.

1 comment:

Meryl Nass, M.D. said...

I failed to mention that there is no direct evidence at this point that the vaccine will prevent cancer in boys. There is no evidence it prevents cancer in girls. Studies are ongoing to find out what it actually does do--since the vaccine was licensed under "fast-track" FDA approval, which requires only suggestive evidence of benefit.