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Pharmacology prof. writes against suppressing awareness of vaccine limitations

In letter published in The Boston Globe yesterday, a professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University wrote about a recent segment of Katie Couric’s talk show that fueled fears about the HPV vaccine.

In a letter to The Boston Globe, pharmacology professor writes about recent Katie Couric talk show segment on HPV vaccines and vaccine safety
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Professor Ricard C. Deth of Boston wrote:

A RECENT Katie Couric talk show featured mothers who had good reason to believe that their daughters were seriously damaged or killed by adverse effects of vaccines intended to block HPV infection as well as an immunologist who highlighted the shortcomings of the vaccines. Despite the importance of this information to the public, the Globe chose to castigate Couric for exposing potential harm from vaccination (“Couric: Fanning fears of HPV vaccine,” Editorial, Dec. 12).

With the population-wide administration of vaccines, it is absolutely critical to appreciate their limitations and their potential for harm in vulnerable individuals. Suppressing awareness of these limitations is a disservice to the public and serves to undermine confidence in vaccine benefits.

According to a United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) media statement released to the public on Fridat, the CDC was informed by Merck on Monday that the pharmaceutical company planned to implement a recall of one lot (lot J007354) of Gardasil® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant], due to the potential for a number of vials to contain glass particles as a result of breakage during the manufacturing process. See: