BIRMINGHAM , AL (WAFF) - Doctors said the HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, vaccine will prevent certain types of cancer caused by the virus. But a pair of sisters said the shots only made them infertile.
Over the last seven years, the CDC estimated 57 million people got the vaccine. The Alabama Department of Public Health revealed that 20 percent of adults ages 18-24 in Alabama have reported getting the vaccine. Two brands of the vaccine are available. Gardasil was introduced in 2006, Cervarix in 2009.
20-year-old Madelyne Meylor and 19-year-old Olivia Meylor of Wisconsin claimed that the Gardasil vaccine caused their ovaries to shutdown and become infertile. They have filed a federal claim, and their case is scheduled for a hearing through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
UAB's Dr. Thomas Broker, the founding president of the International Papillomavirus Society, said there's no reason to believe the vaccine causes infertility. "The vaccine is spectacularly safe and effective," Dr. Broker said. "It's been used in millions and millions of people around the world with essentially no unexpected or unusual abnormal or serious affects."
Dr. Broker said the most common side effect is a sore arm at the injection site. The CDC reported that they have received around 22,000 claims of adverse reactions, with 92% classified as "non-serious."
Dr. Broker said the Meylor sisters' claim of infertility is the first since the drug was introduced in 2006. He explained, "The fact that it's two sisters, presumably vaccinated at different times, different batches, yet later coming down with same problems suggests very much it was likely a genetic base of that disease."
But the sisters told their local newspaper that they were tested for genetic abnormalities that could cause infertility and that those tests came back negative.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration said the vaccine is safe and can help prevent some of the nearly 26,000 new cases of cancers caused each year by HPV.
You can find more information on HPV vaccine numbers in Alabama right here: http://media.alabama.gov/pr/pr.aspx?id=8198.