HPV Vaccine Recall — What You Need To Know

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The HPV vaccine has been making the rounds in the news as of late, and today brought a particularly distressing headline. Merck, the manufacturer of the Gardasil vaccine, announced a voluntary recall of the drug due to possible contamination with small particles of glass, which are small enough to fit through a syringe. The affected vials (which were assigned lot number J007354, FYI) were distributed between August 20 and October 9 of this year.

While this sounds scary, the practical risks are very low. Of the 743,360 bottles included in the recall, only 10 may possibly contain the shards of glass. More importantly, the health dangers are minimal. According to the CDC, those given a contaminated vaccine might experience mild swelling, redness, or infection at the injection site. So, we're not talking about life or death here. Moreover, Merck says the effectiveness of the vaccine was not affected by any potential contamination.

With all the recent controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine, it's important to focus on the facts to weigh the risks and benefits accurately and objectively. The drug still does a great job at protecting women and girls from HPV, saving tens of thousands of lives each year. Perspective over panic, people. (CBS News)