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The CDC is aware, of course, of the reports of illness, and acknowledges that concerns about the vaccine's safety may be keeping people from getting immunized.However, says Claudia Vellozzi, MD, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, the HPV vaccine has been shown to be as safe as meningitis and Tdap vaccines."It needs to be looked at." Gardasil is made by the drug company Merck.Richard Haupt, MD, who heads Merck's adult clinical vaccine research group, says clinical trials and post-licensure trials of Gardasil showed no increase in the rate of autoimmune conditions in vaccine recipients -- and Merck has looked for them.As of late November 2010, more than 18,000 complaints had been reported.

That's twice the number of reports following injection with Menactra, another vaccine for adolescents that protects against meningitis.VAERS, Vellozi points out, is a passive reporting system, so there is no way to know if the vaccines caused the adverse events.Also, she says, VAERS is subject to underreporting and simultaneous reporting.The family plans to file a claim with the Department of Health and Human Services' National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has recorded 88 injury and 8 death claims related to the HPV vaccines and two legal settlements. But she wants to see it taken off the market until more safety reviews are done."I know many girls who've had (the vaccine) and are fine," May says.Most VAERS reports on the HPV vaccine are for minor events, such as fainting and/or having pain at the site of the shot.