The Gardasil Lawsuits Claim Serious Injury From HPV Vaccine: Here’s What You Should Know

Eva Hagan - Author

Dec. 5 2023, Published 4:20 p.m. ET

A vaccine needle inserted into a vial that reads "HPV Vaccine" in front of a pink background.
Source: iStock

The Gist:

  • Drug company Merck & Co. is on trial for its Gardasil vaccine, used to treat human papillomavirus (HPV).

  • Plaintiffs suing Merck claim that the vaccine caused serious health conditions, and that the company made fraudulent claims during the clinical trials.

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The pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. is facing a class action lawsuit for its Gardasil vaccine, also known as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Over one hundred cases have been filed against Merck, with claims that the vaccine caused serious injury and that Merck lied in its clinical trials on the safety of Gardasil.

The HPV vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for every individual over the age of 11 because of its ability to prevent cervical cancer. Like all other vaccines, the Gardasil vaccine underwent extreme safety testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So, what are the claims of the Gardasil lawsuit?

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A woman with dark hair sits in the doctors office while a female doctor puts a bandage on her arm after receiving a vaccine.
Source: iStock

What is the Gardasil vaccine lawsuit?

The Gardasil vaccine is used to protect individuals from human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is spread by sexual activity. Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. has produced the vaccine since its approval by the FDA in 2006. However, reports of serious side effects from a Gardasil injection have led to dozens of lawsuits against Merck & Co, per Wisner Baum.

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As of December 2023, there have been over 100 cases filed in the class action lawsuit against Merck about injury from the Gardasil vaccine. The trials are set to focus on two of the most serious injuries reported: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), per Lanier Law Firm.

What are the claims in the Gardasil class action lawsuit?

Product liability lawsuits are being filed against Merck which accuse the company of negligence, manufacturing defect, and concealing the risk of Gardasil, per Miller and Zois.

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A daughter sits on her mothers lap while receiving a vaccine from a male doctor.
Source: iStock

Some go as far as to claim that Merck's clinical trials conducted for the Gardasil vaccine were inaccurate and deceptive. Law Firm Wisner Baum references claims made in the book The HPV Vaccine On Trial: Seeking Justice For a Generation Betrayed, where the authors claim that the Gardasil vaccine was not properly tested against a control, making it seem safer than it actually is. The book even goes as far as to make the claim, “HPV vaccines have never been proven to prevent against cervical or other cancer.”

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However, the HPV vaccine is said to have the same possible side effects as any other vaccine, all of which are mild and usually stop at a fever, dizziness, and nausea, per the CDC.

Therefore, claims that HPV vaccines have never been proven to prevent cancer, despite the research and approval by the CDC, is a gateway statement for people to put thousands of life-saving vaccines into question.

Is there evidence that Gardasil is unsafe?

Besides those coming forward with claims that the Gardasil vaccine resulted in physical injury, there is no other evidence to suggest that the Gardasil vaccine is unsafe.

According to the CDC, they regularly monitor the effects of vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which has found no evidence that the vaccine can be linked to POTs, POI, or autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

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