The thing about gardasil not being tested with a true placebo didn't sit right with me. I think having everything but the pathogen as a placebo is legit, but at some point it was surely tested against saline. Turns out, it was.
From the gardasil insert:
Not really--the results from the saline placebo were mixed together with the results of the AAHS "placebo."
Net result: we never got to see how either Gardasil nor AAHS compared with the saline placebo, and the placebo "results" were skewed, since saline is obviously safer than AAHS.
In other words, the study was severely flawed.