Friday, August 14, 2009

Should your daughter get the HPV vaccine?

My wife and I have debated this topic. Should our daughters get the HPV vaccine? There are so many potential implications associated with this question. CNN has a story that asks the same question: Should your daughter get Gardasil, the vaccine against HPV?

Right now, Gardasil (made by Merck) is the only HPV vaccine that is approved by the FDA. There are other vaccines in the pipeline, but who knows if/when they will get approved. The FDA has been so slow these days. Someday, we'll probably have a single vaccine that includes all of these major shots. This way, you won't have to poke people multiple times. Kids (and adults) don't generally like needles.

HPV causes warts. It can also cause cervical cancer. So by vaccinating children, you could be preventing cancer. From a public health view, it seems like the right thing to do. However, HPV is also sexually transmitted. So if you're vaccinating children, what type of message are you conveying regarding sex and sexually transmitted diseases? If you tell your child "abstinence before marriage" and then give her an HPV vaccine, are you communicating mixed signals?

So what do you think about this topic? If you had a young daughter, would you have her get the HPV vaccine?

To read the CNN story, click here.


  1. It is just as good a time as any to vaccinate her, especially since I believe the vaccine is not officially approved for older ages/is more studied in this age bracket. Waiting for marriage does not mean that her future partner will have done the same and thus does not ensure her protection from contracting HPV.

  2. The scary thing is that there is no long term testing, it was approved in record time. We HAVE NO IDEA what the longterm implications will be.

    We could have an entirely INFERTILE generation, we have no idea.

    Also, vaccinations historically are effective for a few years or decade, so by targeting 9yr-13yr olds it may not be protecting these girls when they are sexually active.

  3. I wouldn't advise anyone to get this shot. My sister (who is 13) got the shot when she was 10 or 11, and has been having health issues ever since. All symptoms lead to this shot, and we have spent thousands of dollars on medical bills and testing. She missed many days of school, and has a hard time finding time to socialize with her friends. Please DO NOT get this shot, as the side effects are ruining her life as it is the rest of ours. After receiving the vaccination, she developed flu-like sypmtoms with severe stomache aches, cramps, nausea, and migrains. we thought it was the flu, but after a wk we took her to the doctors. no luck. after many tests, we found she had bacteria in her stomach that was destroying her stomach lining. the medication she was put on (there is so much that she took) she was allergic to, so to the ER we went. she was put on ALS because she stopped breathing, and has gone to the ER once after that for severe stomache aches and nausea/dizziness. One night doesnt go by that she doesnt have any problems, and its taking her life away. My parents were thinking of taking her to the Cleveland Clinic, after no luck with testing (Dr.'s couldnt find not one thing wrong with her, except for the bacteria), so they took her to a chiropractor. he finally linked her problems to this very vaccine, which he had no prior knowledge of her receiving it. ever since he has cut down on her diet, she has made tremendous advances towards getting rid of the SIDE EFFECTS of this shot. Since the bacteria damaged her stomach lining, she has alot of trouble eating certain foods like dairy. we have taken out dairy from her diet, and she has gotten better. She was in so much pain before that she would go into seizures and horrible panic attacks, as she has a phobia of throwing up. bottom line: u can believe her story or not. all we know that she has been suffering for 2 years, and we've had enough. one night, she told my mom that she'd rather die that live like this. plz dont give your daughter this vaccination. preteens and teens shouldn't be engaging in sex anyways, and if your daughter is, then where is the responsible parent? there is a small percentage of girls who have gotten the side effects of this shot, and my sister was one of them. dont risk the side effects.

  4. You are looking for the book “The HPV Vaccine Controversy: Sex, Cancer, God and Politics” authored by Shobha S. Krishnan, M.D, Barnard college, Columbia University. It is written without the influence of any pharmaceutical companies or special interest groups. The book educates both professionals and the public about HPV infections, the diseases they cause and the role/ controversies surrounding the new vaccines. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, June 17th 2009) calls the book superb and a terrific contribution to the field. It is available at, Barnes and Noble .com and through international distributors. Link to the book: