In the News: Parents Resist HPV Vaccine

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/15/2008 2:31 PM   :  340 comments

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is the primary cause of cervical cancer. In 2006, Gardasil was the first vaccine approved for this disease. The current recommendation from the CDC is that 11 and 12-year old girls be vaccinated, since most girls this age are not sexually active and therefore have not been exposed to the HPV virus. Three-quarters of U.S. women will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lifetime and, at any one time, one-quarter have been infected.

According to recent data published by the CDC, about one in four teen girls (ages 13-17) last year got the vaccine. Health officials had been hoping the number of girls being vaccinated would be higher, but a few obstacles have been standing in the way of that. For one, some parents question the safety of a new vaccine. There are no long term studies on this drug, and many parents hesitate to give it until more data is available. Another obstacle has been the cost of the drug(about $375) that is covered by many, but not all health insurers. And finally, there are questions about whether or not the shot provides lifetime immunity, or if a booster will be needed sometime in the future.

My daughter is almost 2, so I don't have to worry about making this decision for a while. But if she were old enough, I would be very torn about whether or not to give her the vaccine. I worry about the fact that there aren't long term studies yet proving the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

What are your thoughts? Would you or have you had your child vaccinated?


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Comments

  • MERWAK
    340
    My son has had the first 2 of his 3 Gardasil vaccines. Your article failed to mention that Gardasil is also given to boys to prevent the spread of HPV and genital warts. - 10/9/2012   5:39:40 PM
  • 339
    My daughter was 11 when they first started giving them and I had her get one. As with any vaccine that has gone through clinical trials, the risk is slim, but I know there will need to be a booster at some point. Almost every vaccine we get requires a booster sometime in our lives, so that isn't really an issue I worry about. It's part of life. - 9/13/2012   11:43:36 AM
  • 338
    I will give it to my children when the time comes. Vaccines are fantastic and HPV is a nasty infection. - 9/13/2012   9:02:47 AM
  • JULIA1154
    337
    I have to wonder how many of you parents would have resisted the polio vaccine because it 'hadn't been around long enough to be sure of side effects?' I think a lot of the hype about fear of vaccines is more about a lack of understanding of science.

    I've seen people suffering with HPV and cervical cancer and wouldn't wish it on anyone. - 4/25/2012   12:20:44 AM
  • 336
    Vaccines in general are not necessary; just another way for drug companies to make money. Vaccines contain many toxic elements. I wish I hadn't given my daughter any vaccines at all; thankfully she hasn't had, nor will she get, the HPV one. - 4/24/2012   3:15:39 PM
  • 335
    I was bummed it came out after I was too old to benifit from it. No question, get the vaccine it's benifits are many. HPV is so prevalent and has so many hidden dangers. I have already been treated once for "abnormal precancerous cells" that alone was a painful process I would have rather had a shot to avoid. - 12/21/2011   2:46:02 PM
  • 334
    I had my daughter vaccinated with Guardisil as soon as it came out, at the time it wasn't reccomended for boys. If it had been I would have had my son vaccinated too. I'm thinking about discussing it with his Dr. He is Autistic, and an adult, but not sexually active, so I think it would still be safe for him. My grandmother may have had uterine cancer, so I don't want them to take the risk. - 12/20/2011   2:19:07 PM
  • 333
    I work in an Intensive Care Unit in a hospital affiliated with a Cancer hospital. If you had ever watched young women dying in this manner you would do everything you could to prevent your daughters suffering as these women do. It is horrendous!
    I challenge you to talk to any parent sitting beside the hospital bed of their dying child and ask if they would recommend you ensure your children have every protection medical science has to offer. - 11/9/2011   1:09:05 PM
  • 332
    HPV is readily spread through skin to skin contact, you don't have to have intercourse to get it. HPV can cause some cancers without any other visible signs. Why wouldn't you want to prevent cancer (not just cervical but genital, anal and mouth and throat).? If I ever have kids (boys or girls) they will get the vaccine, I have been treated for precancerous cervical cells and if that can be avoided it should be. - 11/9/2011   9:11:34 AM
  • WHITELETTUCE
    331
    It's all about making money! No way would I let my 3 girls get this vaccine! - 11/7/2011   6:44:04 AM
  • 330
    Both of my boys are scheduled for the vaccine, I wish my older adult children had this opportunity when they were younger. It has been used for years in Europe, and after researching and talking with several docs (my DH being one of them), we have decided that the pros far outweigh any risks. As for needing a booster down the road... I do not see that as a problem at all. Cevical cancer is a horrible, deadly disease that I wish upon no one, especially my daughter or future daughters-in-law.
    - 10/30/2011   1:38:53 PM
  • 329
    I am 33 years old, when Guardasil came out I was already past the age to get the vaccine. Personally, I have never had a Pap test and only seen a gyn 3 times in my life. And yes, I am a virgin too. Until I adopted my son, I had never seen the male parts. So a big learning curve for me there. And honestly, due to my health I will probably never marry (several meds that can cause birth defects). Sex is too big of a risk for me.

    I do know women though who have had complete hysterectomies due to cervical cancer - and they were virgins (never had even kissed a guy). There had been no sexual contact at all. 1 had never seen the male gentalia except for a baby she had kept in the nursery.

    I have a son (3 years old) and I am seeing that this drug is being recommended for boys too. When he is of age, I seriously doubt that I will give him this vaccine. There are a few others that I have not let him have.

    I don't jump and get every flu shot (sometimes I do depending on my current medications and my health at the time). I know that there are too many drugs being released that haven't had addaquate testing. If you look at my page and see my med list you will understand why I have a hard time with this. Over half of my meds are to prevent side effects of other medications.

    I am "having" to try a new med that is not even FDA approved for my health issue and am actually praying that I get it. It has been out for a few years, but in my case it is one of these choices that I pray no one has to make. I take this med or have a life altering surgery that can cause more problems in the long run. I want to live to raise my son. I'd take the chance. I don't know the long term effects of this drug (but have had 11 years on similar classes). Some of the risk are lymphoma, opportunistic infections, septicemia, ect. This does not sound pleasant at all. I am just having to trust God to keep me through this and pray that I do not have the side effects (I am used to winding up with bronchitis, sinus infections, etc after every treatment with the other drugs in this class). Several times I had to be hospitalized because of these infections.

    So knowing what I have experienced, I would not want my child to take a vaccine that might prevent something that s/he might not even contract. It is one thing to take meds for a disease, but to me this is throwing a dark blindfolded and hopeing it hits the bullseye.

    I know this sounds disjointed, I have been up for 22 hours and have pain meds in me right now. - 10/18/2011   5:39:06 AM
  • 328
    Both my girls and my son have had the vaccinations. This drug has been widely used in Europe for many years. I questioned my doctor extensively and there has been studies done for the safety of the vaccine.

    I know too many people with cancer, including cervical, so to me it's safer to get the shot than to risk cancer. I've hopefully raised my kids to make smart choices in the areas of sex, but I want to make sure that I've done everything that I can to protect my kids. - 10/11/2011   8:02:32 AM
  • 327
    My daughter, now 26, declined the vaccine a few years ago despite a tremendous amount of pressure to get it, for the same reasons you list-there are no long term studies yet, who knows about a booster or even the safety of this vaccine. Time will tell, I guess! - 10/11/2011   7:17:12 AM
  • ELLIMINTY
    326
    I think it's interesting that people are talking about avoiding the vaccine because it's so new, when most of the excuses I've heard (in Canada) have come mostly from Catholic School Boards refusing to offer the vaccine (which is free for girls in grade 7-8 here) in their schools because it encourages premarital sex.

    I got the vaccine at 22, despite my doctor's reluctance (she was happier once she realized I'd had only one partner, who'd had only me). The vaccine is less useful if you've already been exposed to the virus: that's why they propose it for younger girls.

    ALASKASKY: Gardrasil is now being suggested for boys as well for 2 reasons: a) to protect him from getting HPV (which is incredibly unpleasant); and b) to protect both himself and future partners from HPV and the cancers associated with certain strains of the virus (it has now been proven that some colo-rectal cancers are caused by HPV as well).

    Will I immunize my children, when I have them? Absolutely. Even without the added scare of the "cancer" keyword, HPV is unpleasant, painful, embarassing and frustrating. I know people who have had it, and I would not wish it on anyone. I'm not one for risky sexual behaviours, but HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact -- like the Warts different strains of it causes elsewhere. I'd really rather not run the risk.

    As for FDA corruption? We have our own governing body in Canada for drug approvals, and until I see proof otherwise, I will trust the experts who carefully evaluate drugs looking for approval. I don't have a biochemical background, I just know to double-check whether or not the side effects are common (they're not) or extremely severe (not really). - 9/1/2011   1:26:55 PM
  • 325
    My pediatrician has recommended my son get the vaccine. Has anyone else had it for their son? She claimed it was being given to boys in order to prevent the cervical cancer in girls. I thought it made sense at the time, but I've had second thoughts about having him get the shot. It's a hard decision. - 7/4/2011   9:36:22 PM
  • 324
    Absolutely! There are 10-year-old students in my school who are sexually active. They need any protection out there! - 7/3/2011   4:37:06 PM
  • 323
    I got the vaccine a month after it was released. I have a friend with cervical cancer and I saw the way cervical cancer affected her. To me there was much more reward in taking the vaccine, than all of the risk. Other than the vaccine being incredibly painful, I experienced no side effects. - 6/24/2011   8:58:21 AM
  • 322
    I think young people should get the shot, because it can help prevent cervical cancer. If you get that, you can die or be infertile. - 2/3/2011   1:04:17 PM
  • 321
    I got it, only because it can't be given after a certain age and I was so close to the cut off. I will not get my daughter vaccinated with it. Just because the FDA says it's safe doesn't mean it is. They are just a corrupt as any other group. With so many drug recalls (drugs that they say are safe) their credibility is non-existent with me. I've had no side effects, but I'd prefer to use myself as a guinea pig for my daughter, in the future, if she decides to get the vaccine. - 1/20/2011   1:07:04 AM
  • 320
    I do not have daughters - so I do not have to wrestle with this.. but what comes to mind to me is that there have not been enough longterm studies..... I have a cousin/ aunt that are victims of the DES vaccine in the 50's.... - 1/19/2011   8:55:29 AM
  • 319
    I never had a daughter - only 2 boys. But as a woman I would want the vaccine. I would be asking my parents for the vaccine and even working to help pay for it if the cost was the problem. As a young teen, I took control of my body and still take responsibility for it today. I asked for Birth control before I was sexually active - and this was in the days it was not so common for teenage pregnancy - I am 51 yrs old now. My mother had cervial cancer in her early 30's and is a survivor at 76 yrs old. We don't know if her cervial cancer was from the virus or not, but knowing it can kill is much more important than skipping the vaccine. When I was a teen, there was much more support for women and women's rights than there is today. Somehow the womens movement has stalled and actually has slipped back into the dark ages. TV, movies, blogs, Facebook, etc have glorified child birth. Having a baby at anytime in your life is a difficult decission and brings on difficult challenges. Teens do not need to face these - birth control is even easier today than 30 yrs ago - yet teen girls want babies. As a society we need to be teaching teen girls to want their lives, their futures, their careers - and get away from this baby mania. The dark ages have returned for our young girls and we need to do more to stop this spiral. - 1/18/2011   11:38:17 AM
  • 318
    Now that I have health insurance I am going to consider it. I am not sexually active but I do not want to take the risk. - 1/9/2011   5:20:43 PM
  • 317
    I'm re-posting the post I left on November 28, 2009, which was, coincidently, my daughter's 15th birthday.

    She has NOT received the vaccine, in spite of strong recommendations by her pediatricians. (As a side-note, I DID let her have the chicken pox vaccine just before she started kindergarten, since she didn't contract it when her brother did. 3 months later she had the worst case of chicken pox that I've ever seen.)

    I've discussed the HPV vaccine in much detail with her, and we have very frank and open discussions about sex all the time. I've given HER the choice to have the vaccine or not and we have researched it together. She has chosen to not get it, and I am very glad.

    One other thing...I had carcinoma in-situ of the cervix when I was 22...and I've always tested negative for HPV.

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    Gardasil Researcher Drops A Bombshell

    Harper: Controversal Drug Will Do Little To Reduce Cervical Cancer Rates
    By Susan Brinkmann, For The Bulletin
    Sunday, October 25, 2009
    Dr. Diane Harper, lead researcher in the development of two human papilloma virus vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, said the controversial drugs will do little to reduce cervical cancer rates and, even though they’re being recommended for girls as young as nine, there have been no efficacy trials in children under the age of 15.

    Dr. Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, made these remarks during an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination which took place in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2-4. Although her talk was intended to promote the vaccine, participants said they came away convinced the vaccine should not be received.

    “I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn’t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,” said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.

    Dr. Harper began her remarks by explaining that 70 percent of all HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment within a year. Within two years, the number climbs to 90 percent. Of the remaining 10 percent of HPV infections, only half will develop into cervical cancer, which leaves little need for the vaccine.

    She went on to surprise the audience by stating that the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is already so low that “even if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.”

    There will be no decrease in cervical cancer until at least 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, and even then, the decrease will be minimal.

    Apparently, conventional treatment and preventative measures are already cutting the cervical cancer rate by four percent a year. At this rate, in 60 years, there will be a 91.4 percent decline just with current treatment. Even if 70 percent of women get the shot and required boosters over the same time period, which is highly unlikely, Harper says Gardasil still could not claim to do as much as traditional care is already doing.

    Dr. Harper, who also serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization, further undercut the case for mass vaccination by saying that “four out of five women with cervical cancer are in developing countries.”

    Ms. Robinson said she could not help but wonder, “If this is the case, then why vaccinate at all? But from the murmurs of the doctors in the audience, it was apparent that the same thought was occurring to them.”

    However, at this point, Dr. Harper dropped an even bigger bombshell on the audience when she announced that, “There have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15 years.”

    Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, studied only a small group of girls under 16 who had been vaccinated, but did not follow them long enough to conclude sufficient presence of effective HPV antibodies.

    This is not the first time Dr. Harper revealed the fact that Merck never tested Gardasil for safety in young girls. During a 2007 interview with KPC News.com, she said giving the vaccine to girls as young as 11 years-old “is a great big public health experiment.”

    At the time, which was at the height of Merck’s controversial drive to have the vaccine mandated in schools, Dr. Harper remained steadfastly opposed to the idea and said she had been trying for months to convince major television and print media about her concerns, “but no one will print it.”

    “It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11 to 12 year old girls,” she said at the time. “There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue.”

    When asked why she was speaking out, she said: “I want to be able to sleep with myself when I go to bed at night.”

    Since the drug’s introduction in 2006, the public has been learning many of these facts the hard way. To date, 15,037 girls have officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These adverse reactions include Guilliane Barre, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots, brain inflammation and many others. The CDC acknowledges that there have been 44 reported deaths.

    Dr. Harper also participated in the research on Glaxo-Smith-Kline’s version of the drug, Cervarix, currently in use in the UK but not yet approved here. Since the government began administering the vaccine to school-aged girls last year, more than 2,000 patients reported some kind of adverse reaction including nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, convulsions, seizures and hyperventilation. Several reported multiple reactions, with 4,602 suspected side-effects recorded in total. The most tragic case involved a 14 year-old girl who dropped dead in the corridor of her school an hour after receiving the vaccination.

    The outspoken researcher also weighed in last month on a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that raised questions about the safety of the vaccine, saying bluntly: "The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer."

    Ms. Robinson said she respects Dr. Harper’s candor. “I think she’s a scientist, a researcher, and she’s genuine enough a scientist to be open about the risks. I respect that in her.”

    However, she failed to make the case for Gardasil. “For me, it was hard to resist the conclusion that Gardasil does almost nothing for the health of American women.”

    http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009
    /10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16
    766677720.txt

    - 8/30/2010   12:13:05 PM
  • 316
    One thing that has really shocked me while reading everyone's comments is the ignorance about the nature of HPV, and to some extent, of sexually transmitted diseases in general. Lots of people have said they don't need the vaccine because they don't live a high risk lifestyle, or because they're in a monogomous relationship. Well, that's great for you, but 1) you don't necessarily have to have intercourse to contract HPV and 2) the HPV virus can lay dormant in your body for many years before it appears. So maybe you're happy in a committed relationship now, but if 5 years ago you were with someone else who had been with someone who had HPV 5 years prior, you're not in the clear. Since the high-risk strains of HPV are almost asymptomatic in men, your husband/boyfriend/fiance likely would not even know if he had it, which makes it very difficult for you to protect yourself.

    While I'm sure there are some people here who have legitimate concerns about the safety of this vaccine, what I've read between the lines in many comments are "I'm too moral to get an STD." or "I'm too good to have a daugther that would get an STD." It's that kind of ignorance that leads to people getting STDs or teenagers getting pregnant--all it takes is trusting the wrong person or letting your guard down once. Get over yourselves and realize that these diseases affect people of all religions, races, and classes. Also realize how fantastic it is that we are actually on a path towards preventing CANCER! - 8/30/2010   11:26:10 AM
  • APPYSPOT
    315
    Vaccines have more and more frightened me with the signs that the FDA often is stimulated to action by a "hurry up" button (similar to the tactics of the present government administration). I am hesitant to run out and get it for my teen girls because of the lack of substantial clinical evidence supporting it. I also want to be sure I know about what is in it. Thanks for the information! - 8/30/2010   11:10:11 AM
  • 314
    Thanks to SPARKLYOLDBAG for actually posting relevant research. Scare tactics have been used many times by drug companies to further their interests and to blind people to the facts. There is evidence coming to light that the vaccine can actually leave girls MORE vulnerable to HPV. It cannot stop most cases of cervical cancer and this generation of girls having the vaccine pushed at them are part of one very large clinical trial. I do not allow my daughter to be experimented on and I am horrified that a whole generation of future child-bearers are the focus of this experiment.
    70 years, or 2 generations is about the right amount of time to show any long-lasting serious effects of any new drug. A certain drug administered for nausea i pregancy, for example, has been shown to cause ovarian cancer in the female children being carried during the pregnancy. The vaccine for meningitis used in the UK in a similar way (targetted at teens in a mass clinical trial) have been shown to INCREASE the risk of those vaccinated getting meningitis.
    Don't be so blind as to let those drug companies (check to see who the richest people in your country are and which fields they work in) use fear to manipulate parents into lining their pockets. Whenever a new vaccine comes out, first find out how it has been tested, how many in the study, how long the study lasted (it would need a lifetime to show any effect in this case), and the actual results of any testing - not what is reported in publicity material and newspapers. Even most doctors will happily prescribe something just because the drug company tells them it works.
    I'm not some paranoid hippy type - before any of you choose to stereotype - I have worked in both medicine and research and know when these companies are pulling a fast one. - 8/30/2010   7:56:28 AM
  • 313
    One of my colleagues decided not to vaccinate her daughters because she feels like giving the vaccine condones premarital sex. She is correct that you cannot contract a sexually transmitted disease if you and your partner both have only each other as sexual partners. My question to her was about involuntary sexual contact, to which she responded that her daughters live very sheltered lives and aren't at risk.

    If I could go back and get the vaccine for myself, I would. I was HPV positive after only one sexual partner, my fiance, with whom I had used condoms to avoid pregnancy. I knew that he had had partners before me, but I felt safe because he had used condoms with all of them. The vaccine is no guarantee either, but I for one am willing to take the risk of new vaccines, partly because I like, in principle the idea of giving my immune system the heads up, and partly because someone has to test it out before other families will trust it for their children. - 7/1/2010   11:09:12 AM
  • 312
    i got my oldest daughter vaccinated as soon as the dr's office had the vaccine and as soon as my other daughter is old enough she will be vaccinated. I've had two aunts and a sister have cancerous cells in the uterus/cervix. - 7/1/2010   10:30:32 AM
  • 311
    THANK YOU, "sparklyoldbag"! (#292)
    A few FACTS should always be brought to light! - 7/1/2010   3:13:25 AM
  • DANA0919
    310
    It took me a year to decide wether my 13 year old would be getting this vaccine. She will be getting her second dose on July 7. - 6/30/2010   2:41:23 PM
  • MISSLYD3
    309
    I got the vaccine. I've known way too many girls my age who have contracted HPV. In one girl's case, it was the first guy she ever had sex with who gave it to her. HPV is a scary thing. Not only can (at least) four strains of it cause cervical cancer, it can cause genital warts and all kinds of scary things.

    In my eye, it's much better to be safe than sorry. The shots were very painless compared to what a lifetime of recurring HPV infections and/or cervical cancer can do to a woman. - 6/30/2010   11:55:26 AM
  • 308
    This is not a vaccine for cervical cancer!!! Its a vaccine for HPV. Your dear, sweet, amazing, beautiful girls can still get cervical cancer. The women I have know with this type of cancer DID NOT have HPV.

    Many nurses and doctors are unofficially cautioning their patients about regular vaccines that have been around for decades. - 6/30/2010   10:22:43 AM
  • 307
    I don't accept anything that hasn't been around long enough to tell me what will likely happen to me 50years down the line. If it hasn't been around and watched for atleast 70years then I'm not trying. I don't want to be some companies guinea pig.

    I don't go for all the scare tactics trying to rush me into buying something or doing something. Cervical cancer is something to watch for. But being careful about sexual partners and using a condom all the time will generally protect against contracting HPV and therefore any cervical cancers that may result.

    How about making sure our kids know the dangers of sex even with a condom. Some STD's can be transferred to the throat during oral sex. Or the fact that condoms don't stop herpes or genital worts when the affected area is on the surface of the genitals. Then any areas touching during an outbreak can pick up the virus and infect you. Condoms are only affective about 50% of the time against an STD/STI (outside of HIV/AIDS).

    I'd rather teach my daughter this and teach her to be very careful about sexual partners. In some years it will be better known and I'll trust it more but there are too many ads running about medicines that suddenly are killing people. Everyone I know where all hyped up about the new birthcontrol YAZ and then suddenly there they are on tv talking about have you or anyone you know taken the medicine YAZ and suffered a pulminary embolism, blood clot or even death (or some such scary side effects).

    I think I'll let science keep watching these new medicines for a while longer. - 6/30/2010   9:52:24 AM
  • 306
    I don't see the problem - but maybe that's because I'm European. If there were a vaccine for - say - bubonic plague, I'd want my daughter to have it, although even thinking about the circumstances under which she'd contract it, make me shudder. - 6/10/2010   4:43:34 AM
  • 305
    um...hello???
    Reread that first paragraph!!
    My daughter most definitely receive the recommended vaccinations.
    Cervical cancer is a very scary one.
    - 4/3/2010   9:54:48 AM
  • 304
    interesting article - interesting comments. I had my annual pap smear in December and received a phone call from my doctor that there were some HPV cells there and now I will have my pap smear done 2x a year. I'm concerned and hope it will come to nothing.

    If I had a daughter (I have a teenage son), I would have her vaccinated at the appropriate time. - 2/24/2010   7:34:46 AM
  • 303
    I was in my closet getting my shoes for MY WEDDING and ready to head to the church when my cellphone rang. It was my doctor who informed me that I had cervical cancer. I fell into the closet and cried and cried and cried. It was something that I never wish on anyone. I had my cancer removed and then took the shots as a preventative measure. I've been clear for almost 3 years now! - 2/23/2010   8:58:32 AM
  • 302
    Well, I think the danger of vaccines has been overblown by a handful of hysteric non-experts in the media. Vaccines are the reason people don't die of polio and a host of other killer diseases. I think parents resist giving their children this vaccine because they don't want to accept that their kid is probably going to become sexually active as a teenager. It is especially controversial because the vaccine is for young women, and it's generally not considered acceptable for young women to be sexually active. I personally don't feel it is anybody's business what a teen does sexually, not even the parents. I would much rather my kid be fully educated and prepared for the potential consequences of sexual activity than die a miserable death from cervical cancer. The idea that kids should be prepared AFTER they become sexually active makes no sense to me. Chances are you aren't going to find out when your teen starts having sex. The absolute best course of action is to prepare them well ahead of time. The idea that having frank conversations about sex will encourage children to have sex has no basis in science. In fact, there are plenty of studies indicating otherwise--that abstinence-only education puts teens at a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases. - 2/22/2010   5:54:33 PM
  • DANAGALUTEN
    301
    I am going through cervical cancer now, and have had some treatments already. I am also getting the shots (they were recommended to me by my cervical cancer dr.). I would have done anything to not go through this, and if you knew how rough it really is, you would not give a few shots a second thought. - 2/22/2010   4:51:36 PM
  • SUNSET09
    300
    As I read this article, I became very concerned about the implications and agree, that it's very close to providing a form of birth control. Why treat a symptom when the child may never get the disease!? To think that we have to vacinate those as young as 11 and 12-year old girls because most of them are not sexually active! Whoa! Nothing is 100% and it's all about preventive. You know your child, educate yourself and do what you have to do. Remember when life was so simple?! - 2/22/2010   4:34:54 PM
  • 299
    I had HPV/cervical cancer many years ago. I remember the conversation with my Dr & I would hope that no one ever has to have that conversation in the future. If the vaccine can prevent one person from that conversation, then parents need to think seriously about denying their child the vaccine.

    I am now fully recovered & have been clean for many years (over 20). But the first 5 years...regular checkups to ensure that there was no recurrence just prolonged the effects of living with the fear of cancer. - 2/22/2010   9:40:53 AM
  • KCHONEY
    298
    Ha! Let's all rid the world of GLUTEN because it's killing us...But Please leave us with HPV!!! I wonder how many of those opposing this shot got the H1N1 vaccine, how safe is that? How new is that? Let's all forgo vaccines and try life without it. Oh wait, that's how they are in THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES!!! I had all three shots and had absolutely no side affects. Not even an overly sore arm. I undesrstand the trepidation and I respect those who oppose it for scientific or religious reasons, but those who fear new things and are always spouting off the conspiracy theories should think about who they could be hurting by swaying them to not get protected for uneducated and biased resons. Tough choice, choose well. - 2/4/2010   2:42:23 PM
  • 297
    I had a conversation with my family's Nurse Practioner (she is also a friend). She has a daughter around the same age as mine, so I asked her what she thought about this vaccine and would she be giving it to her own daughter. She told me that she felt that not enough long-term studies had been done and that she did not feel confident in its safety and giving it to her own daughter, therefore, she would not recommend it for my daughter.

    I was told I had HPV at 20 or 21. I had one PAP with precancerous cells and since I have had no problems with irregular PAPs. It is still a concern of mine, since I do have a daughter and I want her to stay healthy and free of both HPV and cervical cancer, but I think I will wait for more long term studies to give us concrete evidence of this vaccine's benefits. - 2/4/2010   7:29:11 AM
  • 296
    Wow! After reading the articles and the comments I am glad this is not a decision I have to make. The HPV is new and apparently untested, so I certainly understand the concern and don't know what decision I would make if I had girls. My boys have gotten all their shots and I have to admit I generally don't understand the decision not to vaccinate children. As someone said, it's about weighing the odds and way more is prevented than caused by vaccines. - 2/4/2010   4:10:07 AM
  • 295
    My daughter is 20 and she has gotten the vaccine. She watched my mom die of stage 4 cervical cancer at the age of 48 that was assoicated with HPV...
    My best friend is 37 and just had a complete hystorectomy because of stage 4 cervical cancer due to HPV in August of last year. Her daughter at the age of 20 was just diagnosed with HPV and was told it's inevitable that she would have cervical cancer and now they are monitoing her. I think in my oppinion and in the best intrest of ALL young women/girls they should get this vaccine, it WILL save their life... and I'm sorry but as with ANY VACCINE or MEDICATION period there are risks... But do you really want to put a RISK on your daughters LIFE too?? I think it SUCKS that boys/men don't get treated also because they are also carriers of this SEXUALY TRANSMITTED DISEASE...

    Once you have it... you have it there is NO cure - 2/4/2010   2:27:17 AM
  • DOLOMO
    294
    I would never give my daughter any vaccines. I agree with Pipergrey93. Too many people get something worse from the drugs
    dollydolly - 2/3/2010   10:35:54 PM
  • 293
    Wow! This just makes me more secure in my decision to wait a little while longer before making a decision on giving my daughter this vaccine. I get really freaked out about new vaccines that haven't been researched enough after the whole Lyme Disease vaccine fiasco about 10 years ago. I didn't let the doc give my daughter that one and thank goodness I didn't. The drug companies are horribly convincing pushers and you have to be very aware of that. - 1/17/2010   8:10:32 PM
  • 292
    Gardasil Researcher Drops A Bombshell

    Harper: Controversal Drug Will Do Little To Reduce Cervical Cancer Rates
    By Susan Brinkmann, For The Bulletin
    Sunday, October 25, 2009
    Dr. Diane Harper, lead researcher in the development of two human papilloma virus vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, said the controversial drugs will do little to reduce cervical cancer rates and, even though they’re being recommended for girls as young as nine, there have been no efficacy trials in children under the age of 15.

    Dr. Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, made these remarks during an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination which took place in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2-4. Although her talk was intended to promote the vaccine, participants said they came away convinced the vaccine should not be received.

    “I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn’t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,” said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.

    Dr. Harper began her remarks by explaining that 70 percent of all HPV infections resolve themselves without treatment within a year. Within two years, the number climbs to 90 percent. Of the remaining 10 percent of HPV infections, only half will develop into cervical cancer, which leaves little need for the vaccine.

    She went on to surprise the audience by stating that the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is already so low that “even if we get the vaccine and continue PAP screening, we will not lower the rate of cervical cancer in the US.”

    There will be no decrease in cervical cancer until at least 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, and even then, the decrease will be minimal.

    Apparently, conventional treatment and preventative measures are already cutting the cervical cancer rate by four percent a year. At this rate, in 60 years, there will be a 91.4 percent decline just with current treatment. Even if 70 percent of women get the shot and required boosters over the same time period, which is highly unlikely, Harper says Gardasil still could not claim to do as much as traditional care is already doing.

    Dr. Harper, who also serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization, further undercut the case for mass vaccination by saying that “four out of five women with cervical cancer are in developing countries.”

    Ms. Robinson said she could not help but wonder, “If this is the case, then why vaccinate at all? But from the murmurs of the doctors in the audience, it was apparent that the same thought was occurring to them.”

    However, at this point, Dr. Harper dropped an even bigger bombshell on the audience when she announced that, “There have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15 years.”

    Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, studied only a small group of girls under 16 who had been vaccinated, but did not follow them long enough to conclude sufficient presence of effective HPV antibodies.

    This is not the first time Dr. Harper revealed the fact that Merck never tested Gardasil for safety in young girls. During a 2007 interview with KPC News.com, she said giving the vaccine to girls as young as 11 years-old “is a great big public health experiment.”

    At the time, which was at the height of Merck’s controversial drive to have the vaccine mandated in schools, Dr. Harper remained steadfastly opposed to the idea and said she had been trying for months to convince major television and print media about her concerns, “but no one will print it.”

    “It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11 to 12 year old girls,” she said at the time. “There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue.”

    When asked why she was speaking out, she said: “I want to be able to sleep with myself when I go to bed at night.”



    Since the drug’s introduction in 2006, the public has been learning many of these facts the hard way. To date, 15,037 girls have officially reported adverse side effects from Gardasil to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These adverse reactions include Guilliane Barre, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots, brain inflammation and many others. The CDC acknowledges that there have been 44 reported deaths.

    Dr. Harper also participated in the research on Glaxo-Smith-Kline’s version of the drug, Cervarix, currently in use in the UK but not yet approved here. Since the government began administering the vaccine to school-aged girls last year, more than 2,000 patients reported some kind of adverse reaction including nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, convulsions, seizures and hyperventilation. Several reported multiple reactions, with 4,602 suspected side-effects recorded in total. The most tragic case involved a 14 year-old girl who dropped dead in the corridor of her school an hour after receiving the vaccination.

    The outspoken researcher also weighed in last month on a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that raised questions about the safety of the vaccine, saying bluntly: "The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer."

    Ms. Robinson said she respects Dr. Harper’s candor. “I think she’s a scientist, a researcher, and she’s genuine enough a scientist to be open about the risks. I respect that in her.”

    However, she failed to make the case for Gardasil. “For me, it was hard to resist the conclusion that Gardasil does almost nothing for the health of American women.”

    http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009
    /10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16
    766677720.txt

    - 11/28/2009   11:15:31 PM
  • 291
    I have a cousin who is 25 years old and has stage 4 cervical cancer. It is inoperable and did not respond to radiation. They are trying chemo, but she has been sick for so long (6 years with this and not diagnosed til 6 months ago) that they are not sure her body can handle chemo. She hopes to make it through one more Christmas.
    I have had abnormal yearly exams myself and have had "precancerous" cells removed just last year. Cervical cancer is not considered genetic! I wish I had had the opportunity for this vaccine. It is too important for people not to vaccinate your daughters. Don't put your daughters in the position of "hoping to make it through Christmas" at a young, or old, age. - 10/25/2009   8:22:46 PM

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