Study adds to mountain of risk/benefit data on Gardasil

There's more data to demonstrate that Gardasil is safe and an effective guard against cervical cancer--but don't expect the new evidence to persuade critics in its favor.

The vaccine has now been given to more than seven million girls and young women in the U.S. Of those, at least 20 died and two reported developing Lou Gehrig's disease. But researchers noted that there's no way to know if the vaccine was responsible for any of the deaths or side effects. And the authors also noted that the data isn't 100 percent reliable.

"We feel confident recommending people get the vaccine; the benefits still outweigh the risks," said Dr. Barbara A. Slade, the study author and a CDC medical officer. "This is the most complete picture we have."

The infectious disease expert Dr. Charlotte Haug, though, countered that no level of risk is justified when it comes to vaccinating a healthy population that can be protected through routine screening. 

- read the article from the New York Times

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