How safe is Gardasil? And a new antivax FAQ

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Oct 16, 2009
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Fighter for truth and science Ben Goldacre tweeted a link to a nifty blog post showing just how safe the Gardasil HPV vaccine is. Using easy-to-understand graphics, the post (on the very nice Information is Beautiful blog) makes it very clear that comparing the good it does to the very tiny risk, Gardasil is a monumental achievement. Actually, just all on its own it's a big advancement in the fight against cancer. The post also puts it in place among other low-risk dangers like getting hit by lightning or being killed in an earthquake. I like that; I myself have compared it with dying from falling off a chair.

Also, there is a website called the Vaccine Information and Awareness Service (gotta love that URL) which provides a great repository of info about the truly awful shenanigans of Meryl Dorey and the (ironically-named) Australian Vaccination Network, the loudest and -- amazingly, given how reality-free these people tend to be -- perhaps least-accurate antivax group in Australia. It's a good place to go when you hear the latest health scare nonsense from the AVN. I'm glad so many people are rising up against the voices of scare-mongering and antiscience. They pose a real health threat, as far too many people have learned.

While I'm at it, my friend and pediatrician Joe Albietz has another slam-dunk article about the awful antivax nonsense being spread about the H1N1 vaccine.