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Black Love, African American Love

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As kids go back to school, many parents are wondering if their daughters should receive the HPV vaccine. USA TODAY asked experts to address the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, approved in 2006.

Q. Is the vaccine safe?

A. Yes, says John Iskander, director of vaccine safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers tested the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents infection from four types of human papillomavirus, in more than 11,000 girls and women between ages 15 and 26 before it was approved.

Merck has distributed more than 16 million doses in the USA since then. The CDC has been monitoring suspected problems reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Q. Have patients experienced any serious health problems after getting the vaccine?

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Food and Drug Administration | Prevention | Centers for Disease Control | New England Journal of Medicine | Gardasil | Mark Goldstein

A. Yes, although doctors don’t think the vaccine caused these problems. About 6% of the nearly 9,800 events have been serious, including 20 deaths, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

There was no common pattern to these deaths that suggests the vaccine was to blame, according to the FDA. Health officials also reviewed any available autopsy results, death certificates and medical records, none of which suggest the vaccine was the problem.

Click to Read.


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