The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) holds three meetings each year at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia to review scientific data and vote on vaccine recommendations.
Topics at the ACIP June 2019 meeting, held on June 26 and 27, included:
9vHPV Immunogenicity and Safety Trial in Mid-Adult Females
Overview of Health Economic Models for HPV Vaccination of Mid-Adults
HPV Vaccines Evidence to Recommendations (EtR) Framework
HPV Vaccines Work Group Considerations and Proposed Policy Options
Considerations for PCV13 use among adults 65 years or older and summary of the Evidence to Recommendations (EtR) Framework Proposed policy options
Combination Vaccines – Summary and Relevant Evidence to Recommendation Information
Update: Safety Monitoring and Surveillance for Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV)
Herpes Zoster Work Group Summary
Pertussis Vaccines EtR Framework, Work Group Considerations and Proposed Policy Options
2018-19 U.S. Influenza Activity
2018-19 Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness
2018-19 Influenza Vaccine Safety
Influenza Vaccine Proposed Recommendations for 2019-20
Proposed Recommendations for Use of Hepatitis A
Dengue Epidemiology in the U.S.
Dengvaxia Phase III Clinical Trials and Long Term Follow Up
Dengue Vaccine Work Group Considerations and Next Steps
the HPV vaccine is too new – even though Gardasil was first approved in 2006 and the first phase 1 and phase 2 trials began in 1997!
they don’t think it is necessary – even though about 4,200 women die of cervical cancer each year (that’s just in the United States), even in this age of routine pap tests
it might lead their kids to have early sex or unprotected sex – even though studies show it won’t
Michele Bachmann once said it caused mental retardation – even though she had no evidence to support her claim
the HPV vaccine is too controversial – any “controversy” about Gardasil and Cervarix is made up by anti-vaccine folks
HPV vaccines can cause POTS, ASIA, primary ovarian failure, venous blood clots, behavior problems, or multiple sclerosis, etc. – even though over and over, studies have found HPV vaccines to be safe and to not cause any of the other serious side effects or vaccine induced diseases you read about on the Internet that scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids
it doesn’t provide life-long protection – even though the protection has been found to be long-lasting, as long as we have been giving the vaccine so far
it is banned in Japan and France – even though HPV vaccines aren’t banned anywhere and are actually on the immunization schedule in at least 64 countries
Katie Couric once did a scary segment on HPV vaccines – well, she did but later apologized… after being called out for pushing anti-vaccine misinformation
an HPV vaccine researcher says it’s dangerous – no, the HPV vaccine researcher, Diane Harper, actually says it is a safe vaccine
HPV vaccines are just for girls – even though there are around 11,000 cases of HPV induced cancer in men each year, including anal cancer and cancers of the mouth/throat and penis
their kids are too young and can get it later, when they are older – even though protection is likely better when they get the vaccine when they are younger, and you don’t want to wait too long, when you increase the chance that they will have had sex and will already be exposed to HPV
Dr. Judy Mikovits has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, doing her thesis on Negative Regulation of HIV Expression in Monocytes.
She had several papers published with Dr. Frank Ruscetti, with whom she continues to work.
Instead of research, it seems that they now do:
Advocacy for vaccine injury legal cases worldwide.
Research and documentation on medical exemptions for vaccinations.
Who Is Judy Mikovits?
After working at the National Cancer Institute, it seems that Judy Mikovits became research director of the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI).
She was eventually fired after a paper she was lead author on, which found xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in patients with CFS, was retracted and the institute accused her of stealing notebooks and manipulating data.
“But the leader of the team that authored the 2009 paper, researcher Judy Mikovits, apparently presented the same figure — carrying different labels and supporting a different point — in a talk given at a conference on Sept. 23 in Ottawa.”
Manipulation alleged in paper linking virus, chronic fatigue syndrome
An even larger study found no evidence of XMRV infections in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, even as she had claimed the virus could cause CFS, Parkinson’s disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.
The source of XMRV in her patients?
“Well-controlled experiments showed that detection of XMRV was due to contaminated samples and was not a marker of or a causal factor in prostate cancer or CFS.”
Johnson et al on Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus (XMRV) and the Safety of the Blood Supply
The virus was in a contaminated cell line in which she and others were doing research. The virus wasn’t in the actual patients themselves.
Judy Mikovits on Vaccines
Before her paper was retracted and she was fired from her lab, Judy Mikovits did actually do research on viruses and she is a scientist. She didn’t do research on vaccines though.
That seems to be something she talks about a lot now though:
at anti-vaccine rallies
at anti-vaccine conferences
in anti-vaccine videos
Her claim to fame seems to be talking about contaminated vaccines and bashing Gardasil. And deep state conspiracy theories about why she was arrested and lost her job.
To be clear, a rotavirus vaccine was found to be contaminated with DNA of porcine circovirus type 1. While that might sound a little scary, it is important to keep in mind that the PCV1 virus doesn’t actually cause disease in people and these weren’t even “biologically active virus particles.”
PCV1 isn’t a retrovirus though and Judy Mikovits wasn’t even the researcher who discovered the contamination, which has since been resolved.
“These findings do not indicate the presence of either ALV or EAV infection in MMR vaccine recipients and provide support for current immunization policies.”
Hussain et al on Lack of Evidence of Endogenous Avian Leukosis Virus and Endogenous Avian Retrovirus Transmission to Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine Recipients
Studies have looked at retrovirus contamination of vaccines, but they were done over 17 years ago. And not by Mikovits. Studies that confirmed that vaccines are safe.
None of this has kept Judy Mikovits from scaring people about vaccines, especially the HPV vaccine.
“Cervical cancer is not a public health threat. It’s not an infectious disease. Why is it in the Department of Public Health? Why are we mandating every child over 9 years old, and I heard soon to be pregnant women, to get this vaccine? It makes no sense.”
It is really hard to understand how someone who worked at the National Cancer Institute could make these statements. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women.
There is, of course, no mandate for 9-year-olds to get the HPV vaccine. In the United States, HPV vaccination is recommended, beginning at age 11 to 12 years. The HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women and while several vaccines are recommended, no vaccines are actually mandated in pregnancy.
“It was never developed to prevent cancer. It was developed and approved to prevent warts. Warts are not a public health threat. It’s beyond… When scientists like myself, and I work in cancer and AIDS hear this, we are just…”
Gardasil and Cervarix were developed to prevent HPV infections, which cause cervical cancer. HPV can also cause genital warts.
“I think we need to ban… Japan and India have, all HPV vaccinations now, until the appropriate studies are done, until the patients are tested…”
And with each new vaccine, there comes more protection against anal and genital warts and anal, genital, head and neck, and cervical cancers.
Gardasil9, the only HPV vaccine available in the United States, increases the protection level against cervical cancer from 70 to 90%!
Should You Get an Extra Dose of Gardasil9?
Has your child already finished their HPV vaccine series?
With which HPV vaccine?
To be clear, if they have finished the series, then they are considered to be fully vaccinated and protected.
“Persons who have completed a valid series with any HPV vaccine do not need any additional doses.”
National Cancer Institute on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines
Remember, the key, high-risk strains that cause most HPV-associated cancer are HPV-16 and 18, which are present in all of the HPV vaccines.
The extra coverage in Gardasil9 to HPV strains 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 could prevent an additional 10% of invasive HPV associated cancers or about 3,800 cases each year though, mostly in women.
Should you get any extra doses of Gardasil9 for this extra coverage?
“Administration of a 3-dose regimen of 9vHPV vaccine to adolescent girls and young women 12-26 years of age who are prior qHPV vaccine recipients is highly immunogenic with respect to HPV types 31/33/45/52/58 and generally well tolerated.”
Garland et al on Safety and immunogenicity of a 9-valent HPV vaccine in females 12-26 years of age who previously received the quadrivalent HPV vaccine.
While safe to do and it works, there is no formal recommendation that anyone actually get any extra doses of Gardasil9 at this time.
It is something to consider if you want the extra protection though.
Will we get even more coverage in future HPV vaccines? The future might come in different types of vaccines or even in therapeutic vaccines. There doesn’t seem to be a new version of Gardasil with expanded strain coverage in the immediate pipeline though.