My wife got me interested in learing about vaccines when she was pregnant with Ben. I became interested when I saw that some of the vaccines I had when I was a child were later pulled from the market because of the number of nasty effects. I've had similar experiences with other medications as well. For a while my doctor had me on Propulsid for my stomach. That was later pulled from the market due to the number of heart problems and deaths it caused.
Anyway, we've been following the developments of the latest vaccine: Merck's HPV Vaccine. It's one thing to mess with your own health; it's entirely another when the health and lives of your children are what's at stake.
We both found the lobbying by Merck to get this on the required vaccine list and to insist that it be delivered to all pre-teen girls to be inappropriate and pushy. The vaccine was new and as such, had little to no long-term testing. It also had very little testing in pre-adolescent girls. Since then, we've learned a number of nasty facts about the vaccine; enough to make a decision not to give it to our next child, should that child be a girl. We definitely wouldn't give it to Ben. Interestingly enough, some of the reported cases include boys, only weeks old, who also have the HPV vaccine.
Here's the latest from Judicial Watch. It publishes information from an FDA study that shows that the vaccine potentially caused deaths, Guillain-Barre syndrome (caused when your body attacks its own nervous system; there are a number of these in the report), spontaneous abortion, paralysis (nervous system), Bells Palsy (again, nervous system; there are actually a number of different facial swelling/paralysis events listed), fainting, convulsions, and seizures.
* published impartial studies have shown that Pap tests and regular gyn visits are still the most effective way of preventing cervical cancer. In fact, if the person taking the vaccine incorrectly assumes they are protected, the net result is even worse. It's really only helpful in places where women don't get regular testing, and in those developing countries and poor parts of our own, the $360 price of Gardasil is likely to be too steep.