• Brooke

    Always seems odd to me when “trust women’ falls down at the moment a woman becomes a parent. Then she’s at risk of being considered an anti-science moron, I guess. As far as Gardasil goes, the question that occurred to me as far as timing was ‘how long is it effective?” since vaccines are notoriously ineffective over time. One of the data points I considered here was this one: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500690_162-5253431.html . If I’d given my daughter the full series of vaccinations at 11, it might very well be giving her NO protection as she goes off to college. Same for my sons, of course. I chose instead to talk to them about the STD’s, including those with no vaccination, and how to reduce their risks of encountering them. Did i tell them “Vaccines are horrible! Avoid them at all costs?” Nope, actually I didn’t.

    • Martha Kempner

      Brooke, I think it’s great that you give your kids information about all STDs and how to protect themselves.The HPV vaccine can’t replace condoms as a prevention method and you’re right there are a lot more STDs out there that do not have vaccines. I also think it’s great that you are doing research to try and make the best decision for your kids, I’m worried that too many parents are making their decision based on a lack of information or just scraps of it.

      As for the article you pointed to, I can only reiterate that the CDC’s review of the adverse outcomes found that the vaccine was not the cause. Also, since the vaccines are new there may still be questions about how long the protection will last though I have to say, I haven’t seen anyone else suggest that it would be a short as five years.

      One of the things that the Dr. said in that article was that it wouldn’t have a public health impact unless more people got vaccinated and I think that’s an important point about vaccination – one of the aims is to protect the “herd.” The HPV vaccine is just one tool in the fight against STDs but only if people use it.

      • Brooke

        But if we want herd immunity, we need to vaccinate the herd. That’s boys, too. I have serious questions about any policy decision that targets members of a minority group. The five year vaccination number isn’t too extreme. Outbreaks of whooping cough in California caused researchers to figure a 71% effectiveness rate for the acellular vaccine, 5 years out. The chicken pox vaccine is measured at 84%, 2 to 8 years out. So the ‘adverse event’ of vaccination is, quite realistically, that people will have the impression they’re protected, when, in fact, they aren’t. You can’t dismiss other “adverse events” as unlikely. Dr. Harper’s point was that any adverse event, while unlikely, was about equally unlikely as dying of cervical cancer. Isn’t that a number parents should consider?

        • Jodi Jacobson

          Boys in fact *should* be vaccinated. That is the recommendation. My son and daughter both were vaccinated. The age threshold for vaccination depends a bit on demographics and ages of sexual debut across a population. My daughter and son were vaccinated at 15 and 13 respectively. They are expected to be protected for many years.

          But this begs the question: Have you never had a booster shot? That is what they are for, and booster shots for a range of different things, like Tetanus, exist. Why would we be so concerned about the concept of a booster shot for HPV?

          Issues around whooping cough and chicken pox relate right back to the primary question: People not vaccinating their kids.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1098741283 Kristy Cole

    I plan on having my daughter immunized when she is at the appropriate age for this one, however, it is hard to deny that the FDA has made mistakes in the past with vaccines and I think there is a growing suspicion amongst the general public that the FDA may be unduly influenced by drug companies to the detriment of our public health concerns. So many drugs so quick to market gives the perception that there is more interest in profits over the public health needs. Just my opinion at this point though.

    • rachel

      Exactly. I don’t have a lot of faith in the FDA. From vaccines and medications to Monsanto, it is hard to believe that their interests are purely for public health and safety. I personally don’t have a lot of trust in new vaccines, though fortunately these won’t be so new by the time my son is the appropriate age.

      In other news, as far as I know there is no HPV test for males, and the consequences for having this easily-spread virus can be serious. A friend of mine had cervical cancer as a result of HPV and is unable to have children. I do hope this vaccine stands the test of time and that its effectiveness is lasting.

  • http://www.affordablestdtesting.com/ APHS

    All parents of sexually active teenagers should encourage their kids to get STD tested on a regular basis.

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