MADISON, Wis. – Two Wisconsin sisters have filed a federal claim, saying they believe a cervical cancer vaccine caused their ovaries to stop producing eggs.
Madelyne Meylor, 20, and Olivia Meylor, 19, both of Mount Horeb, claim their condition came from the Gardasil vaccine for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Their attorney, Mark Krueger, told the newspaper it is the first allegation of its kind to reach a hearing through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a special court established to evaluate claims of harm from vaccines.
In a statement, the vaccine's maker, Merck and Co., says evidence doesn't support a relationship between the condition and vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration say the vaccine is safe and can help prevent many of the 18,000 cancers in women and 8,000 cancers in men caused by HPV each year.
Health officials recommend three doses of the vaccine against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, for girls and boys ages 11 and 12 to protect against cervical cancer, throat cancer, genital warts and other conditions. Two brands are available: Gardasil, approved in 2006, and Cervarix, approved in 2009.
The vaccine injury program has awarded payments for HPV vaccine injuries in 68 cases for a total of at least $5.9 million, according to the federal government and Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan foundation. The program has dismissed 63 claims, 81 are pending.
The Meylors told the newspaper that they believe Gardasil shots caused their ovaries to stop producing eggs. They also have premature menopause, marked by insomnia, night sweats and headaches, and almost certainly won't be able to get pregnant, they said.
"I've always wanted a huge family, but I don't know if that will be possible," Madelyne Meylor said.
Tests for three possible genetic causes of the condition were negative for both women, the newspaper reported. They are taking birth control pills or using patches as hormone replacement therapy.
The case is scheduled for a hearing Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C.