A peer-reviewed article published online on January 9, 2016 in the journal Vaccine regarding a study linking the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) Gardasil to behavioral abnormalities has been removed by the publication’s editor, Gregory Poland, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It was withdrawn because, “methodology is seriously flawed, and the claims that the article makes are unjustified.” The study, “Behavioral abnormalities in young female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the humanpapillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil,” had concluded that both injections of aluminum and the Gardasil vaccine resulted in behavioral and cognitive abnormalities in mice, and suggested putting a curb on mass programs to immunize girls against the cancer-causing virus.
Study co-author, neuroscientist Chris Shaw, PhD of the University of British Columbia, Canada said, “It was peer reviewed, it was accepted with revisions, and it was posted to the website, so all of a sudden we’re not quite sure why they have decided to go back and look at it again.”
Dr. Poland has disclosed that he is chairman of the safety-evaluation committee for Merck’s investigational vaccine trials, and does consulting for the company.
“It is pretty hard to ignore the subject of the article (Gardasil) and Dr. Poland’s ties to Merck,” Shaw said.
According to an article by the National Post, the study’s lead author, internationally known immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD of Tel-Aviv University in Israel, has accused Dr. Poland of allowing a conflict of interest with Gardasil manufacturer Merck & Co. to influence his decision to remove the paper from Vaccine.
“This reflects an unusually unorthodox and unprofessional conduct from the journal and seems to be part of a pharmaceutical industry push-back to any critique of the Gardasil vaccine. To simply retract a paper which reports a result that one does not like makes a mockery of the whole review process.”
Journal permanently spikes Canadian co-authored study critical of HPV vaccine