Gardasil certainly made headlines in 2006 when the Food and Drug Administration approved it as a vaccine against four strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.
HPV can be transmitted sexually, so many parents decided to give the vaccination to their teenaged daughters.
Now, Gardasil is making headlines again. This time, the drug’s manufacturer is under scrutiny as the vaccine’s recipients are complaining of ill side effects.
There have been more than 7,800 complaints about Gardasil since the Food and Drug Administration approved it two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Complaints have included nausea, blood clots, genital warts, paralysis and even death.
The CDC said the deaths are not linked to Gardasil.
Merck is standing by its product, insisting it is safe.
“I think of all the vaccines out there, this has been thoroughly tested prior to release,” said Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com. “This is a vaccine that helps protect women from a very deadly disease. Therefore the benefits fully outweigh any side effect that has been found so far.
"However, I do believe that with any medication, constant surveillance of complications need to be monitored aggressively and in extreme cases, like this one, thorough investigations are necessary.”
The family of one teenager – who is only going by the name of Jenny – told CBS News Monday that their daughter was healthy until 15 months ago when she received the third installment of the vaccine.
Jenny’s parents said it was soon after that final shot that Jenny began to experience signs of degenerative muscle disease, and she is now almost completely paralyzed.
“There may be a link. But, there is no medical consensus on whether this hypothesis is stronger than other possible explanations,” said the parents of Jenny, 13, who lives in Northern California.
“Based on the facts we’ve received, the information does not suggest that this event was casually associated with vaccination.”
Since the drug was approved, eight million females have received the vaccination.
Alvarez also noted that vaccines respond differently to the each individual’s immune system.