- On February 5, the Toronto Star published an investigative report suggesting that several young women may have become sick due to vaccination with Merck's Gardasil, which is used to prevent HPV.
- There has been some controversy over Gardasil related to criticism that it encourages premarital sex, as well as other claims of its potential harms. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have endorsed it and there is no real significant evidence to support those claims.
- The Star pulled the story after it generated a great deal of controversy. Critics slammed both the story itself as well as its framing and presentation.
This is not the first time that Gardasil has been unfairly linked to a variety of maladies. In January, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article debunking a claim that there was a link between Gardasil and multiple sclerosis.
As BioPharma Dive has previously noted, refuting anecdotal claims of a link between Gardasil and any disease (without supporting evidence) is crucial given that HPV is a leading cause of various types of cancer, including cancer of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, and throat.