I wrote this post earlier and since some of you liked my initial reply I thought I would share another with you.
The original poster of the article replied with the typically stuff you expect along with some good points. Here's what I said in response.
I'm late coming back to this but I have reread your replies a few times and I thought I would weigh in some more. First let me say that I try very hard not to be condescending or nasty about this issue as I know it is very important to people.
Like I said in my first comment I do agree with some of the things discussed in this article and I agree with you that there should be more transparency from the medical community. I believe very strongly that it is my responsibility as a future public health professional to work towards a better collaboration and understanding between the medical and scientific communities and the public. Vaccines should be scrutinized and studied just like any medical advancement and they absolutely are but we as a profession are not good at communicated those results to the rest of you be they negative or positive.
Now while I don't agree that the Gardasil vaccine is questionable and have never found any evidence to suggest otherwise I do agree that it should not be placed in the same category as the vaccines for polio, measles, pertussis and others. Medical professionals should absolutely be careful of the statements they make. The issue with this is I believe the reason they make these positive blanket statements is because they are trying to be careful of what they say. Many people have become so hostel to vaccines that they are worried if they say anything negative about one people will apply it to all vaccines. I'm not saying that this is right but it speaks to a broader issue with our perceptions. This is something I really hope I can work towards changing.
Maybe I should have been more clear but when I mentioned that opposition to mass vaccination was dangerous I didn't mean this in relation to a vaccine like Gardasil. The issue here is with measles, pertussis and the like. In the case of these diseases it is dangerous to oppose mass vaccination. It is only though it that we have reached a point where they are nearly gone from thee population. Again, this isn't to say that people should be informed but unless there is a medically relevant condition that makes vaccinating dangerous the choice not to vaccinate has consequences outside of yourself.
The last thing I wanted to mention was the comment about homeschooling. I'm not sure these two things can necessarily be compared. While there is a lot of research done on education it is also very subjective. Different people have different views on what works and what doesn't and on what constitutes "working". This isn't the case with vaccinations. It isn't subjective if they work and there are endless amounts of data and years and years of research before a vaccine is introduced. Let me put it a different way, I've used this before as an analogy. Medical professionals tell us to wear seat belts. Not many people question this. That's because we know they save lives. We may have even witnessed it. We also know that occasionally the seat belt itself causes bruises or broken bones but we still wear them because we know the alternative is worse. Its the same thing for vaccines. They work. The years of data tell us they work. The difference is we can't see the results. Most people alive today have never seen a child paralyzed from polio, or with broken ribs from coughing from pertussis or suffocating from smallpox. The results are invisible. We can't see them because they are the absence of something. What we can see is the incredible small percent of times that things go wrong from vaccines so that's what sticks in our heads.