Merck and UAB Recruiting 16 to 26 Year Old Mothers Who Just Gave Birth to Enroll in Gardasil 9 Vaccine Trials
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in collaboration with Merck pharmaceutical company is planning to conduct Gardasil 9 vaccine trials on postpartum mothers between the ages of 16 to 26 immediately after giving birth at the UAB hospital. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the desired outcome of this study is to have more young women vaccinated with the Gardasil vaccine, because they do not believe enough young women are being vaccinated: "Due to low HPV vaccine uptake in the US, innovative approaches to vaccinating vulnerable populations are necessary in order to maximize the cancer prevention potential of this vaccine." Previous studies on the Gardasil vaccine have shown that young women who are in the hospital due to giving birth are open to receiving the Gardasil vaccine, particularly Hispanic populations: "The puerperium is a time period when women are engaged in the healthcare system and have almost universal access to affordable health care. Two prior studies have shown that postpartum HPV vaccination is acceptable to patients, and high rates of vaccination were achieved in these primarily Hispanic populations." Merck and UAB want to test the vaccine on 16 to 26 year old postpartum mothers because "the immune response in young women is less robust than in adolescents," and because "no studies have examined immunogenicity in postpartum women specifically." Therefore, 16 to 26 year old young mothers who have just given birth at the UAB hospital will become test subjects of the Gardasil 9 vaccine. Will these young mothers in Alabama have sufficient information to make the decision to participate in these Gardasil vaccine trials just after giving birth? Will they understand the potential risks for harm, which includes heart disease (POTS), premature menopause (“Primary Ovarian Failure”) and a whole list of autoimmune disorders that have been hidden from the public but revealed by a 2017 study done in Mexico?