Should your teen get the HPV vaccine?

Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse  March 29, 2010 10:43 AM

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The commercials are persuasive: "Each year in the US, thousands of women learn they have cervical cancer," says the confident girl holding the skateboard. "I could be one less. One less statistic." She's edgy and cool, posed at the top of the half pipe, but getting cervical cancer isn't a risk she's willing to take. 

But what if there's not that much of a risk to begin with?

 

 

Cervical cancer is caused by the same virus that causes genital warts -- the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. It's spread by skin-to-skin and sexual contact, and while there are more than 100 types of HPV out there, only 15 or so cause caner and, in most women, almost all HPV infections are cleared by the immune system naturally. "Even if persistently infected with HPV, a woman most likely will not develop cancer if she is regularly screened," Dr. Charlotte Haug writes in an editorial in the Aug. 2009 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Haug also points out that while HPV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection today, "the relationship between infection at a young age and development of cancer 20 to 40 years later is not known" and "the true effect of the vaccine can be determined only through clinical trials and long-term follow-up." (The entire article is an eye-opening read; you can find it here.)

Unlike with diseases like the measles or the mumps, herd immunity isn't at risk here -- the number of cases of cervical cancer aren't going to skyrocket if our daughters aren't immunized. And last year, a government study linked one of the HPV vaccines, Gardasil, to 32 unconfirmed deaths and other serious but rare side effects.

"The rate of serious adverse events [with Gardasil] is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer,"  Dr. Diane Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri and the lead developer of the HPV vaccine, said at a vaccine conference last year. [Edited paragraph to clarify the source of this quote -- LMA]

Catherine Ruhl, a certified nurse-midwife who is Director of Women's Health Programs at The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), recommends the vaccine but acknowledges that the chances of getting cervical cancer are low for girls in the targeted age group. (The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all girls and women age 9 to 26 get the three-shot series, and girls age 11 and 12 are especially encouraged to do so). "Cervical cancer grows very slowly from HPV changes," she says. "It's extremely rare in the 15 to 19 year age group. But HPV is very common once teens start to have sex, though."

Which is why the CDC wants girls to get vaccinated before they become sexually active. There are no easily recognizable signs of infection, since it affects the cervix, but some strains of the virus also cause genital warts in both men and women. According to Health4Women.org, the vaccine has recently been cleared for (though is not yet officially recommended for) men ages 9 to 26, who may be carriers of strain of HPV that causes cervical cancer in women.

Since HPV is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, the best way to avoid it is by not engaging in any sort of sexual activity.

"There are four things that I would recommend," says Ruhl. "The first is that they should delay the start of having sex, because there's some evidence that the younger you start, the more vulnerable your cervix may be to the HPV." She also says that being in a monogamous relationship and having regular pap screenings starting at age 21 can also decrease the risk of contracting cervical cancer, as can not smoking.

"Cigarette smoking is associated with accelerating the changes caused by HPV on the cervix," she says. Quitting smoking, or not smoking at all, "doesn't prevent HPV, but is associated with a decreased risk of cervical cancer."

Of course no one wants their daughter to become a statistic. But I'm not convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks in this case. Our oldest daughters are 16 and 14, and I'm thinking that the best thing the HPV vaccine may offer our family is a chance to talk frankly about sexual health, sexual activity, and our family's values, sticking to the facts and avoiding the hype.

"Providing factual information is always the best choice," Ruhl says. "I think the best choice is giving knowledge to your children, and making sure that they understand about health and safe choices and options, and where they go with that is going to be, especially as they get older, their decision."

Parents, are you considering vaccinating your kids against HPV? Why or why not?

Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at lalphonse@globe.com.

 

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39 comments so far...
  1. While our daughter is still 7 years away from the youngest targeted age group here, we will absolutely not get the vaccine series for her. That will be her choice when she's in her late teens or early 20's.

    All reasearch I'd conducted into this upon it's release and subsequent follow up as more information has come available has led me to believe just what you've said here - that the risk does not outweigh the potential benefit. Further, until long-term studies showing the effects of this type of vaccine on growing children are completed, I wouldn't feel safe down the road if we vaccinated her while she was still a child.

    My stance overall on vaccines is pretty well known both here and on my own blog. I do not universally oppose them my family (inlcuding myself) receive nearly all of the recommended vaccines on the roster to-date. This, however, is not on that list I'll be getting our daughter in our foreseeable future.

    Posted by Phe March 29, 10 11:39 AM
  1. My daughter did get the first Gardasil shot. She passed out cold, dropped to the floor 2 min. later.( I'm sorry, but if this vaccine does this to a body, It should NEVER be given to another.) She was out for a min or so. The scariest thing ever. My daughter and I agreed to NOT go back for the remainder two shots. Before Gardasil, my daughter was active in sports and very healthy. After Gardasil, she has had dizziness, tired all the time, back, neck and major head pain, sick to her stomach and the list goes on. She has seizure like episodes and was unable to drive. I suggest that as a mother you do the research. Because our doctor sure didn't. Thousands of girls are suffering and more than 60 girls have died from this vaccine. Check out truthaboutgardasil.org.

    Posted by Connie March 29, 10 02:01 PM
  1. My daughter will not get this vaccine. There are too many horrible side effects noted with this vaccine (as mentioned above), including ALS, among others.

    Posted by Beth March 29, 10 02:07 PM
  1. I'm so sorry about your daughter, Connie, but thank you for sharing part of her story. -- LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 29, 10 02:51 PM
  1. I got the vaccine and I'm fine. No pain. No side effects. I'm the majority. The rule, not the exception. I just want to be at least the one positive voice on here. Of course when people have negative opinions about something, they are more apt to express those opinions. So I need to be the voice of the positive majority here.
    I feel much better about my future. I was over 18 when I got the shot so I did not need parental consent. But if I did need it, I have no doubt in my mind that my mother would have agreed.

    Posted by SumSwedeChick March 29, 10 04:30 PM
  1. posted by Phe, I am always looking to inform myself further on vaccinations. I have three kids and want to make the best decisions possible. Would you mind sharing where I could read your blog on this issue? Thanks!

    Posted by rioux March 29, 10 04:52 PM
  1. My daughter was disabled by Gardasil. Many other girls have become injured and/or died as a result of this vaccine. I would never recommend it to another person, let alone a child. For more stories on the injuries that have occured after this vaccine, go to WWW.TRUTHABOUTGARDASIL.ORG. The life you save may be your childs.

    Posted by Rosemary Mathis March 29, 10 04:53 PM
  1. One fewer, not one less. In spite of the stupidity of the commercials, my daughter had the shots. No problems at all.

    Posted by delilah March 29, 10 05:47 PM
  1. Heck, I wish they had this vaccine in "my day."

    Posted by reindeergirl March 29, 10 06:12 PM
  1. I had cervical cancer even though I went every year to the doctor--the HPV screening only became a part of the Pap smear in 2003. Luckily, it was early and treated fairly easily so that I was still able to have children. That said, I still would not recommend this vaccine. If you read the package insert, it only reduced CIN2/3 and AIS (or moderate and severe dysplasia) by 42%. So girls who get it are still at risk! And the deaths and neurological side effects that have been reported make me pause. Read my story and more information at www.having-babies-after-cervical-cancer.com.

    Posted by Stacy Wiegman March 29, 10 06:41 PM
  1. My daughter will definitely get the vaccine. I actually used belief in the vaccine as part of my litmus test when finding a pediatrician when pregnant in 2008.

    Posted by c March 29, 10 07:09 PM
  1. The pap smear doesn't prevent anything. It can only test for cellular changes. If the gynecologist thinks HPV might be active he/she can order for an analysis.
    The only way a pap improves your health is to catch a problem early enough to be treated.

    Posted by Green-Mountain-Views March 29, 10 07:53 PM
  1. Thanks, Delilah! But the commercial really does say "One less." The link in the quote goes to the commercial (on YouTube). - LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 29, 10 09:46 PM
  1. Dear spammers for anti-Gardasil website: It's really disgusting that you're fabricating stories about disabled teenagers to support your ridiculous assertion. Ludicrous fearmongering.

    Like pretty much everyone who gets the vaccine, my daughter and all of her friends were 100% fine.

    I pity you and hope that your insanity doesn't keep anyone from getting an important vaccine they may be on the fence about. This is not just about cancer, it's about HPV. Is this a cure for cancer? No, but it never claimed to be. It's a cure for HPV.

    Actually, Kate, it isn't a cure for HPV; there are more than 100 types of HPV out there, and the vaccines protect against two to four of them. And manufacturers *are* touting it as a vaccine that can prevent cancer (check out the YouTube video I linked to in the post), though not a cure for cancer (the commercials and documentation all point out that the vaccine offers no protection to any strains of HPV that the patient has already been exposed to). The fact about disabled teens comes from a government study -- check out the link cited in the Journal of the AMA (which I've also linked to in the post).

    You "like pretty much everyone who gets the vaccine," so it seems like you understand that your daughter and her friends were the rule and not the exception, but the exceptions do still exist. It's great that you and your daughter made the decision that was best for her. Other people will make the ones that they feel is best for them. At the very least, herd immunity is not at stake here -- unlike with diseases like mumps or rubella, their decision not to vaccinate won't affect your daughter in any way... -- LMA

    Posted by Kate March 30, 10 06:06 AM
  1. Why hasn't anybody mentioned that marketing this drug for young girls/children gives Merck & GSK a 6-month, minimum, extension on their patents? This drug wasn't studied on children -- their subjects were age 16 & up. And now they say Gardasil is wearing off after 5 years. So what's the purpose of vaccinating 11 and 12 year olds, other than to get a patent extension and a booster shot too?

    Posted by Just Interested March 30, 10 06:24 AM
  1. @Rioux: My blog isn't about, specifically, vaccinations. Sorry if I gave that impression...but I do touch on the subject from time to time. You can search the archives for items of interest at http://momonreserve.blogspot.com

    Posted by Phe March 30, 10 07:17 AM
  1. Yearly Pap smears need to start when sexual activity starts.

    The scariest statistic that I have seen is where they tested large groups of teenagers in the UK (they can do this with socialised medicine). They found that 70% of the boys had HPV you-know-where as well as the girls who had had sex.

    Yeah, condoms prevent disease, but puberty and condoms aren't a popular combination. The problem with HPV is that it is also transmitted orally--and ask any teenager, they will tell you that oral sx ain't sx even if they are virgins.

    So I would encourage boys to get the shot too. What good is partial vaccination when the carriers are everywhere you look?

    Posted by Irene March 30, 10 07:22 AM
  1. My daughter and son will not get this vaccine. When the inventor of the vaccine, Dr. Harper, states that this is a mass experiment on our girls, I have to take pause.
    Kate's comments are just plain flat out lunacy written by an individual that has done no research. With the adverse events that have been reported so far, it's important to note, that according to the GAO, that represents only 1-3% of the population; the FDA estimates the number to be at 10%. Either way, the majority are not reported. The age target group for the vaccine are approximately 20-30 years away from the being the target age where cervical cancer occurs. How is it claimed that Gardasil will reduce cervical cancer when it will not be known for another 20 years? What will happen to the strains that are considered a nuisance that are not covered by this vaccine? Will they become more invasive? There are too many questions and too many unknowns with this vaccine. My children will absolutely not receive this vaccine.

    More information on Dr. Diane Harper, the vaccine's creator,
    and her statements at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination in Oct. 2009 can be found here. -- LMA

    Posted by Cindy Lou March 30, 10 08:26 AM
  1. Yes, I know it's the commercial that says one less, that's why I said the commercial is stupid. Since you quoted it without noting that it is incorrect grammar, I had to.

    The grammar wasn't the point, but thanks, and I hope you feel better now. -- LMA

    Posted by delilah March 30, 10 08:30 AM
  1. I am 15 years of age. I am really worried that once I become sexually active that I will get cervical cancer. All the females in my mum's side of the family has had cervical cancer and I am the only one that hasn't had it yet. I have had the vaccine but I am still worried that I will get it.

    Posted by Emma Harrison March 30, 10 09:34 AM
  1. As of a few months ago 16,000 reports of "adverse events" have been associated with vaccinations with the Gardasil HPV vaccine (I think it is up to 18,000 now?). This, just in the United States, just on the VAERS database (an instrument used by the biased mainstream medical community to record such "events"). We emphasize that these are only the "adverse events" that were actually reported, there are likely many more.

    Of the roughly 16,000 (or more) "adverse events", it has been stated that eight percent, which should be roughly 1,300 (now 1,500?) of the events were "serious", requiring hospitalization or resulting in paralysis or death. We have observed several differing figures on the latter, ranging from 50 to 60 girls that died from the "adverse event" of being injected with the HPV vaccine.

    In September of 2008 the FDA stated that over 73% of all girls vaccinated with Gardasil would "develop a new medical condition".

    At the end of 2009, the CDC projected that over 70% of all girls that started the Gardasil regimen did not finish the series of shots.

    According to an FDA 'VRBPAC' report, girls previously exposed to HPV, which is estimated to be 50% of the population, actually have a 45% INCREASED chance of getting cervical cancer. Stated differently, 25% of the vaccin-ictims would actually be more likely to get the disease that they were being vaccinated against. This statement is worded correctly and we did NOT make it up. One out of every four would actually be at INCREASED risk.

    Similar injuries and deaths are being reported by the UK, Scotland, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Germany, anywhere that the vaccine is in use.

    This is just one example of the deceptions cast upon the beleaguered masses by the profiteering mainstream sick care industry and their corporate media charlatan shills.

    Posted by Jeb March 30, 10 09:37 AM
  1. I was ecstatic when this vaccine came out! I signed up to get it immediately (knowing the risks)... I finished my series when I was 19 years old. However, I wish this vaccine came out when I was younger. I became sexually active at 14 and contracted HPV from my first partner (figures!). So now I have occassional abnormal paps, but thank goodness I don't have genital warts. To all of you who say you'll let your daughter decide when she's in her late teens or early 20's... please don't wait! Your daughters are becoming sexually active younger and younger and by the time you introduce them to this vaccine they may already have a strain of HPV. I worked at a college health center for 6 years. We had girls coming in to get this series daily and NEVER ONCE was there an adverse reaction. Like someone else said... that is the minority. Every vaccine, medicine, etc carries some risk .

    Posted by Jenn March 30, 10 10:17 AM
  1. The (biased) C.D.C. (amazingly) admits that "no one knows the effectiveness of the (HPV) vaccine" [sic] nor if it is effective at all, nor just how long it protects against HPV if it might at all, but they lamely added that it should last "a long time" [sic] (IF it is effective at all). So, consider what is their definition of "a long time"? Also on this point, note that there is no "booster shot" available, nor any way of determining if the original vaccine remains effective if it ever was to start with.

    It is also admitted that this likely ineffective vaccine does not prevent "all forms" of cervical cancer (if any, the vaccine is actually for HPV, NOT cervical cancer), and if I recall correctly they admitted that is only applicable for a few "forms" out of many that it theoretically is hoped to prevent. Again, note that they also admit that the vaccine only hopes to prevent HPV, that it does not actually directly prevent cervical cancer, and remember that cervical cancer has many OTHER causes, blaming HPV is just a smokescreen mirage...

    It is also speculated that to have any chance at all to be effective the vaccine must be injected before a female becomes sexually active. So, they want to mandate the injection of an ineffective vaccine that induces "adverse events" for ALL females up to the age of 26. Shouldn't there be an opt-out for the females for which it therefore will not have ANY chance of being effective?

    Without even knowing the "adverse events" for males, it is now being "suggested" by the charlatanistic drug company and their shills that boys and even grown men, be injected with this vaccine supposedly meant to prevent cervical cancer. Males do not have a cervix to get cancer of and the ludicrously lame assertion that it should also be injected on males to cut down HPV rates is certifiably ridiculous due to the following bottom line point.

    Burn this into your mind. There are many methods of avoiding HPV and cervical cancer. There is no way of avoiding the over 16,000 adverse events of the Gardasil HPV vaccine -- you know, like seizures, paralysis, blindness, death, and so on -- except to NOT be injected with the toxic effluvients dumped into the ineffective vaccine. Tell everyone and collectively let your legislators know that you know about this damnable travesty, and that you will hold them personally responsible...

    Disclaimer. If you have been brainwashed, are naive, or gullible you may be considering disregarding what I have stated, wondering why in the world would anyone commit such an obvious travesty on our youth. The answer is the profiteering mainstream sick care industry, which controls the media and politicians, which controls the corp/gov health agencies who are actually a marketing front for the pharmaceutical cartel. Sadly, it's all about money, unconscionable greed.

    Posted by James March 30, 10 10:29 AM
  1. James, men do get cancer from HPV - it's called throat cancer. As a girl who suffered from genital warts in her early to mid twenties, I can tell you that I would have given anything to have a vaccine. The whole ordeal was painful and humiliating. Before labeling me as a sleeze, I had only been with one boyfriend who dutifully went to the doctor after my diagnosis and not a trace was found on him.

    I disagree with LMA about the herd immunity. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the disease is to be passed on.

    Posted by bumponalog March 30, 10 12:57 PM
  1. Thanks for commenting, bumponalog, good point about the throat cancer. But while herd immunity is an issue when vaccinating against more highly communicable diseases like mumps and measles, it's not an issue in terms of cancers caused by HPV. As Dr. Diane Harper, the lead researcher behind the vaccine, pointed out during a conference last October, incidents of cervical cancer in the US are 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.”
    Here's the link to more from Dr. Harper: http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16766677720.txt

    As I mentioned in my post, there are more than 100 types of HPV out there. At least 15 of them can cause cancers; the vaccines only protect against two of them. Not in the post: Out of the more than 100 types of HPV, at least 40 of them can cause genital warts; Gardasil protects against the two of the 40 that causes most of them, Cervarix does not protect against any of them. -- LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 30, 10 01:20 PM
  1. @#15...the reason they suggest it is that many girls become sexually active in that first 5 year window (between 11-16, and 12-17)

    Posted by c March 30, 10 01:58 PM
  1. It will depend on where the research stands when my (currently non-existent) children are of age. Currently, the vaccine is a little iffy. In 15 years, who knows? It will also depend on my children. If my daughter tells me at 15 that she's had sex, there's no going back from that point (trust me, I know); but if she's not ready and doesn't think she will be for a while, we'll wait.

    But that's if I have children. I have HPV -- the nasty, reoccurring, cancer-causing strain. I've already had two surgeries and I'm 26. My cervix may not be strong enough to carry children by the time I'm ready to have them. If the vaccine had been available when I was 15, I would have gotten it.

    Posted by Mrs. Murphy March 30, 10 02:28 PM
  1. Gardasil protects against the two of the 40 that causes most of them - all the more reason to get the vaccine

    Yes. Both vaccines don't offer the same protections. Patients should do their research and make the choice that's right for them. -- LMA

    Posted by bumponalog March 30, 10 02:33 PM
  1. Way to go, Lylah, again ignoring science and going instead with your gut feeling and unconfirmed anecdotes. Try reading the government study you linked to. Learn what "Most of the AEFI rates were not greater than the background rates compared with other vaccines" means. It does *NOT* mean that Guardisil is linked to 32 unconfirmed deaths, in fact it means the deaths were likely unrelated.

    With all due respect, Geocool, you don't need me to define "unconfirmed" for you, do you? I did not write that the vaccine is responsible for these deaths, and I did not provide any anecdotes; I interviewed a CNM who recommends the vaccine, and I directed people to the study, to the Journal of the AMA article, and to the statements made by the researcher who developed the vaccines. Do you think Dr. Harper's ignoring science, too? -- LMA

    Posted by geocool March 30, 10 02:45 PM
  1. I had the vaccine when I was 20 (3 years ago) because it had become available and was free through my insurance. I'm fine. My sister and my friends who've gotten the vaccine (all ages 18 and above) are also fine.

    When I learned about the vaccine, I understood how it worked (reduced the risk of infection by four common types of the virus, which were the ones most commonly responsible for causing cervical cancer). It's worth mentioning that the vaccine is quite painful (most painful shot I've ever had), and so increased fainting during the shots makes some sense.

    While I don't think that any parents should vaccinate their kids without being informed about the vaccine, and I agree that some vaccines might be worth holding off until the person receiving them can consent, I do think that the HPV vaccine is worth considering, especially before young women become sexually active.

    And even more than that, I think that parents (and schools) need to be proactive about informing their children about sex and sexuality. It would be nice to prevent the spread of non-curable illnesses that can be spread through sexual activity, like HPV, herpes, and HIV. And I think that's why HPV vaccines are a little less accepted. You can hardly fault a child for getting measles, but it's easy to say, "Well, my daughter wouldn't ever have sex with a person who might pass on HPV."

    (I'm not trying to imply that the only reason (or reasonable reason) for parents to not want to give their children the vaccine is because of the fact that HPV is sexually transmitted. I do, however, think it's a facet of those reasons for some parents.)

    Posted by sabend March 30, 10 03:21 PM
  1. Whether or not the deaths are "unconfirmed," they are not in any way "linked" to Gardasil by that study, unless your definition of "linked" is "judged to be unrelated." That's my reading of the study.

    Posted by geocool March 30, 10 05:37 PM
  1. get this vaccine? for a couple of strains out of 100? for a vaccine that may or may not wear off in 5 years? how about long-term studies looking into serotype replacement? meaning, you knock out the two most common cancer causing types, will it give rise to two others that may be more lethal than then their predecessors? Remember Prevnar7 unleashing strain 19A - an antibiotic resistant strain rarely seen before the vaccine came out? Now they have Prevnar13 which includes 19A - anyone wondering what will rise up in the next few years? "science" these days is only concerned with short-term trials. long-term health outcomes are not considered. when in doubt, just give more vaccine! no one anywhere on earth right now knows whether Gardasil will protect women at all when they are most prone to cervical cancer, in their 40s. Our daughters are guinea pigs. Some of them aren't faring very well.

    Posted by sarah March 31, 10 02:21 AM
  1. My daughter has been injured by the Gardasil shot. You should be thanking the people coming forward to report theses sides effects instead of attacking them. Yes, the majority may not be suffeirng side effects, however the thousands of girls that are sick, DO matter! Kate, you are Ludicrous, Uninformed, Ignorant, and have very poor judgement to get on a website and bash people for sharing information. We are not telling anyone not to vaccinate, just sharing our experience, so that parents make an educated decision.

    Posted by Norma March 31, 10 02:31 AM
  1. @LMA, thank you for the link, I have more quotes from Dr. Harper which you may not have seen located below. It's amazing to me that many will jump on this vaccine. In addition to everything else already covered, it's my personal belief that the unintended consequences is going to be severe.
    --------
    QUOTES:

    "If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... We've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit... The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers..." - Dr. Diane Harper "I think there's a strong possibility that Gardasil was the catalyst that set off the ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]. It could have been the straw that broke the camel's back in a child who was already predisposed to the condition. I do think it's wrong for physicians to tell parents that it's 100 percent safe." - Dr. Diane Harper "...neither physicians nor women should be lulled into a false sense of security [about the vaccine]" - Dr. Diane Harper "It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old girls There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue. This vaccine has not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don't get cervical cancer - they won't know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer. ...To mandate now is simply to Merck's benefit, and only to Merck's benefit."

    Posted by Cindy Lou April 2, 10 08:24 AM
  1. "bumponalog";

    what you really meant was that the profiteering mainstream vaccine industry has paid off charlatan shills (likely YOU) to infer that to justify selling more of their toxic, carcinogenic vaccines, which induces cancer, dementia, diseases, paralysis, death, like that...

    again, please pay attention, if your baseless contention might actually happen to have a shred of reality to it, then it is quite obvious that there are several means of preventing the possibility

    do you understand that without my needing to go into unseemly details on a "Moms" blog, or is "bumponalog" short for "brainlessbumponalog"?

    Posted by James April 7, 10 08:00 AM
  1. I just got my first shot a week ago. I didn't do enough research before getting it. I felt a bit dizzy for a few minutes after and my stomach has been acting up.. I am debating getting the next two shots since it is said with a healthy life style the immune system is able to fight off the virus. I have had two abnormal paps but the following have had normal results.
    I have never gone to the doctors as soon as I become sick I usually try all the home remedies first. I have never gotten flu shots and hardly ever become sick. I am still on the fence though...

    PS when ever I do become a mother I will inform my children of the hpv vaccine at the proper age but it will be their decision

    Posted by ania April 13, 10 05:07 PM
  1. HPV isn't just spread my skin contact it's spread by contact with towels that other people use, even just by regular skin contact, the whole thing isn't just cervical cancer it's the prevention of HPV a very rampant thing. I've looked it up, I'm not sexually active but I got the shot a couple of years ago at the age of 17. I would've gotten it years ago if it where available. Also the common myth is that you don't need this unless you plan to be sexually active. That's not the truth. Although, at 100 lbs and standing 5ft tall I am proportionate and small for my age, through genetics, I was one of those girls that passed out as the actual medicine set in about 10 seconds after the shot, they were also supposed to take my blood that day, when I woke up I insisted that they take my blood this time and not those 2-3 months until my other shot because I figured that I'm here now and I might pass out again. Next time they had me sit down on a chair while they gave me the shot. Again I felt a lesser than the first time, but still pain, and with my legs out in front of me, and my mom beside me holding my hand, I passed out cold again. The final, 3rd shot, they gave to me while I was lying all the way down on the bed-thing. I didn't pass out that time and I didn't even feel pain from the medicine. I have a friend who was 14 at that time and she had gotten all three before and she didn't feel any pain from it but she's also big boned. But also despite my size I have a pretty high pain tolerance, in fact the tetnus shot I got at age 12 didn't hurt at all, and then when my older brother got his meningitis shot for college I decided to get mine early at the age of 15, I have some muscle in my arms, as does my brother, and we're both slender builds, and short, and I thought that was the most painful shot I would ever get, Also guys can get HPV as well but it doesn't affect them like it does women. So if I was younger when this came out I would've gotten it, and I know a couple girls my age who wish that they could get it, they aren't sexually active, but they can't because they can't afford it because of their insurance plans. But that's another story as my best friend needs birth control to help with her periods, and she started with that off and on since she was 12, she got her period at the age of 8, but of course even for the reasons she needs it it's never going to be covered on insurance, and trust me she's not sexually active, and it's around 70 dollars a pop. Also I just happened to come accross this article. As I actually live in Charleston,SC, yes the Holy City so to speak and I'd consider my parents fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Because doesn't politics get into healthcare these days, or perhaps it's always been that way in the US. Anyway I'm 20 now and I rarely think back on this issue. I just know that it's possible to get HPV fairly easily, I mean seriously take a look at the other vaccines that people have in the past refused to get their kids vaccinated for, I mean seriously should there be an outbreak of whooping cough on college campuses, come on!

    Posted by Brittany May 23, 10 09:50 PM
  1. Brittany, your comments are rambling and hard to put into true perspective as to what you are saying, but, I'll give it a stab.

    HPV is VERY common. It is also MAINLY spread by sexual contact (anal, vaginal, oral sex). It "can" be caused by other methods, however, this is not the norm and not "as easy" as you state as catching a germ from a door knob. Most women also clear HPV on their own without ever knowing they even had it.

    Pap screening is still needed regardless of those that have received Gardasil given the other over 96+ strains not covered, including the over 11+ strains known to also cause cervical cancer. This is no magic bullet.

    Personally, given the fact we do not know what mutations this will create on the other non-invasive strains, we do not know how long efficacy may last, and because women are not normally diagnosed with cervical cancer until the age of 54, I still will not be receiving this vaccine.

    Also, I don't vaccinate my kids for whooping cough, either. Seriously?

    Posted by Cindy Lou June 15, 10 02:01 PM
  1. HPV is associated with head a neck cancer. It is true.
    I think it is worth considering vaccinating both sexes.
    MGH and DFCI have studies about the incidence of head and neck cancers associated with HPV.

    Posted by Smiley June 27, 10 10:52 AM
 
39 comments so far...
  1. While our daughter is still 7 years away from the youngest targeted age group here, we will absolutely not get the vaccine series for her. That will be her choice when she's in her late teens or early 20's.

    All reasearch I'd conducted into this upon it's release and subsequent follow up as more information has come available has led me to believe just what you've said here - that the risk does not outweigh the potential benefit. Further, until long-term studies showing the effects of this type of vaccine on growing children are completed, I wouldn't feel safe down the road if we vaccinated her while she was still a child.

    My stance overall on vaccines is pretty well known both here and on my own blog. I do not universally oppose them my family (inlcuding myself) receive nearly all of the recommended vaccines on the roster to-date. This, however, is not on that list I'll be getting our daughter in our foreseeable future.

    Posted by Phe March 29, 10 11:39 AM
  1. My daughter did get the first Gardasil shot. She passed out cold, dropped to the floor 2 min. later.( I'm sorry, but if this vaccine does this to a body, It should NEVER be given to another.) She was out for a min or so. The scariest thing ever. My daughter and I agreed to NOT go back for the remainder two shots. Before Gardasil, my daughter was active in sports and very healthy. After Gardasil, she has had dizziness, tired all the time, back, neck and major head pain, sick to her stomach and the list goes on. She has seizure like episodes and was unable to drive. I suggest that as a mother you do the research. Because our doctor sure didn't. Thousands of girls are suffering and more than 60 girls have died from this vaccine. Check out truthaboutgardasil.org.

    Posted by Connie March 29, 10 02:01 PM
  1. My daughter will not get this vaccine. There are too many horrible side effects noted with this vaccine (as mentioned above), including ALS, among others.

    Posted by Beth March 29, 10 02:07 PM
  1. I'm so sorry about your daughter, Connie, but thank you for sharing part of her story. -- LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 29, 10 02:51 PM
  1. I got the vaccine and I'm fine. No pain. No side effects. I'm the majority. The rule, not the exception. I just want to be at least the one positive voice on here. Of course when people have negative opinions about something, they are more apt to express those opinions. So I need to be the voice of the positive majority here.
    I feel much better about my future. I was over 18 when I got the shot so I did not need parental consent. But if I did need it, I have no doubt in my mind that my mother would have agreed.

    Posted by SumSwedeChick March 29, 10 04:30 PM
  1. posted by Phe, I am always looking to inform myself further on vaccinations. I have three kids and want to make the best decisions possible. Would you mind sharing where I could read your blog on this issue? Thanks!

    Posted by rioux March 29, 10 04:52 PM
  1. My daughter was disabled by Gardasil. Many other girls have become injured and/or died as a result of this vaccine. I would never recommend it to another person, let alone a child. For more stories on the injuries that have occured after this vaccine, go to WWW.TRUTHABOUTGARDASIL.ORG. The life you save may be your childs.

    Posted by Rosemary Mathis March 29, 10 04:53 PM
  1. One fewer, not one less. In spite of the stupidity of the commercials, my daughter had the shots. No problems at all.

    Posted by delilah March 29, 10 05:47 PM
  1. Heck, I wish they had this vaccine in "my day."

    Posted by reindeergirl March 29, 10 06:12 PM
  1. I had cervical cancer even though I went every year to the doctor--the HPV screening only became a part of the Pap smear in 2003. Luckily, it was early and treated fairly easily so that I was still able to have children. That said, I still would not recommend this vaccine. If you read the package insert, it only reduced CIN2/3 and AIS (or moderate and severe dysplasia) by 42%. So girls who get it are still at risk! And the deaths and neurological side effects that have been reported make me pause. Read my story and more information at www.having-babies-after-cervical-cancer.com.

    Posted by Stacy Wiegman March 29, 10 06:41 PM
  1. My daughter will definitely get the vaccine. I actually used belief in the vaccine as part of my litmus test when finding a pediatrician when pregnant in 2008.

    Posted by c March 29, 10 07:09 PM
  1. The pap smear doesn't prevent anything. It can only test for cellular changes. If the gynecologist thinks HPV might be active he/she can order for an analysis.
    The only way a pap improves your health is to catch a problem early enough to be treated.

    Posted by Green-Mountain-Views March 29, 10 07:53 PM
  1. Thanks, Delilah! But the commercial really does say "One less." The link in the quote goes to the commercial (on YouTube). - LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 29, 10 09:46 PM
  1. Dear spammers for anti-Gardasil website: It's really disgusting that you're fabricating stories about disabled teenagers to support your ridiculous assertion. Ludicrous fearmongering.

    Like pretty much everyone who gets the vaccine, my daughter and all of her friends were 100% fine.

    I pity you and hope that your insanity doesn't keep anyone from getting an important vaccine they may be on the fence about. This is not just about cancer, it's about HPV. Is this a cure for cancer? No, but it never claimed to be. It's a cure for HPV.

    Actually, Kate, it isn't a cure for HPV; there are more than 100 types of HPV out there, and the vaccines protect against two to four of them. And manufacturers *are* touting it as a vaccine that can prevent cancer (check out the YouTube video I linked to in the post), though not a cure for cancer (the commercials and documentation all point out that the vaccine offers no protection to any strains of HPV that the patient has already been exposed to). The fact about disabled teens comes from a government study -- check out the link cited in the Journal of the AMA (which I've also linked to in the post).

    You "like pretty much everyone who gets the vaccine," so it seems like you understand that your daughter and her friends were the rule and not the exception, but the exceptions do still exist. It's great that you and your daughter made the decision that was best for her. Other people will make the ones that they feel is best for them. At the very least, herd immunity is not at stake here -- unlike with diseases like mumps or rubella, their decision not to vaccinate won't affect your daughter in any way... -- LMA

    Posted by Kate March 30, 10 06:06 AM
  1. Why hasn't anybody mentioned that marketing this drug for young girls/children gives Merck & GSK a 6-month, minimum, extension on their patents? This drug wasn't studied on children -- their subjects were age 16 & up. And now they say Gardasil is wearing off after 5 years. So what's the purpose of vaccinating 11 and 12 year olds, other than to get a patent extension and a booster shot too?

    Posted by Just Interested March 30, 10 06:24 AM
  1. @Rioux: My blog isn't about, specifically, vaccinations. Sorry if I gave that impression...but I do touch on the subject from time to time. You can search the archives for items of interest at http://momonreserve.blogspot.com

    Posted by Phe March 30, 10 07:17 AM
  1. Yearly Pap smears need to start when sexual activity starts.

    The scariest statistic that I have seen is where they tested large groups of teenagers in the UK (they can do this with socialised medicine). They found that 70% of the boys had HPV you-know-where as well as the girls who had had sex.

    Yeah, condoms prevent disease, but puberty and condoms aren't a popular combination. The problem with HPV is that it is also transmitted orally--and ask any teenager, they will tell you that oral sx ain't sx even if they are virgins.

    So I would encourage boys to get the shot too. What good is partial vaccination when the carriers are everywhere you look?

    Posted by Irene March 30, 10 07:22 AM
  1. My daughter and son will not get this vaccine. When the inventor of the vaccine, Dr. Harper, states that this is a mass experiment on our girls, I have to take pause.
    Kate's comments are just plain flat out lunacy written by an individual that has done no research. With the adverse events that have been reported so far, it's important to note, that according to the GAO, that represents only 1-3% of the population; the FDA estimates the number to be at 10%. Either way, the majority are not reported. The age target group for the vaccine are approximately 20-30 years away from the being the target age where cervical cancer occurs. How is it claimed that Gardasil will reduce cervical cancer when it will not be known for another 20 years? What will happen to the strains that are considered a nuisance that are not covered by this vaccine? Will they become more invasive? There are too many questions and too many unknowns with this vaccine. My children will absolutely not receive this vaccine.

    More information on Dr. Diane Harper, the vaccine's creator,
    and her statements at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination in Oct. 2009 can be found here. -- LMA

    Posted by Cindy Lou March 30, 10 08:26 AM
  1. Yes, I know it's the commercial that says one less, that's why I said the commercial is stupid. Since you quoted it without noting that it is incorrect grammar, I had to.

    The grammar wasn't the point, but thanks, and I hope you feel better now. -- LMA

    Posted by delilah March 30, 10 08:30 AM
  1. I am 15 years of age. I am really worried that once I become sexually active that I will get cervical cancer. All the females in my mum's side of the family has had cervical cancer and I am the only one that hasn't had it yet. I have had the vaccine but I am still worried that I will get it.

    Posted by Emma Harrison March 30, 10 09:34 AM
  1. As of a few months ago 16,000 reports of "adverse events" have been associated with vaccinations with the Gardasil HPV vaccine (I think it is up to 18,000 now?). This, just in the United States, just on the VAERS database (an instrument used by the biased mainstream medical community to record such "events"). We emphasize that these are only the "adverse events" that were actually reported, there are likely many more.

    Of the roughly 16,000 (or more) "adverse events", it has been stated that eight percent, which should be roughly 1,300 (now 1,500?) of the events were "serious", requiring hospitalization or resulting in paralysis or death. We have observed several differing figures on the latter, ranging from 50 to 60 girls that died from the "adverse event" of being injected with the HPV vaccine.

    In September of 2008 the FDA stated that over 73% of all girls vaccinated with Gardasil would "develop a new medical condition".

    At the end of 2009, the CDC projected that over 70% of all girls that started the Gardasil regimen did not finish the series of shots.

    According to an FDA 'VRBPAC' report, girls previously exposed to HPV, which is estimated to be 50% of the population, actually have a 45% INCREASED chance of getting cervical cancer. Stated differently, 25% of the vaccin-ictims would actually be more likely to get the disease that they were being vaccinated against. This statement is worded correctly and we did NOT make it up. One out of every four would actually be at INCREASED risk.

    Similar injuries and deaths are being reported by the UK, Scotland, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Germany, anywhere that the vaccine is in use.

    This is just one example of the deceptions cast upon the beleaguered masses by the profiteering mainstream sick care industry and their corporate media charlatan shills.

    Posted by Jeb March 30, 10 09:37 AM
  1. I was ecstatic when this vaccine came out! I signed up to get it immediately (knowing the risks)... I finished my series when I was 19 years old. However, I wish this vaccine came out when I was younger. I became sexually active at 14 and contracted HPV from my first partner (figures!). So now I have occassional abnormal paps, but thank goodness I don't have genital warts. To all of you who say you'll let your daughter decide when she's in her late teens or early 20's... please don't wait! Your daughters are becoming sexually active younger and younger and by the time you introduce them to this vaccine they may already have a strain of HPV. I worked at a college health center for 6 years. We had girls coming in to get this series daily and NEVER ONCE was there an adverse reaction. Like someone else said... that is the minority. Every vaccine, medicine, etc carries some risk .

    Posted by Jenn March 30, 10 10:17 AM
  1. The (biased) C.D.C. (amazingly) admits that "no one knows the effectiveness of the (HPV) vaccine" [sic] nor if it is effective at all, nor just how long it protects against HPV if it might at all, but they lamely added that it should last "a long time" [sic] (IF it is effective at all). So, consider what is their definition of "a long time"? Also on this point, note that there is no "booster shot" available, nor any way of determining if the original vaccine remains effective if it ever was to start with.

    It is also admitted that this likely ineffective vaccine does not prevent "all forms" of cervical cancer (if any, the vaccine is actually for HPV, NOT cervical cancer), and if I recall correctly they admitted that is only applicable for a few "forms" out of many that it theoretically is hoped to prevent. Again, note that they also admit that the vaccine only hopes to prevent HPV, that it does not actually directly prevent cervical cancer, and remember that cervical cancer has many OTHER causes, blaming HPV is just a smokescreen mirage...

    It is also speculated that to have any chance at all to be effective the vaccine must be injected before a female becomes sexually active. So, they want to mandate the injection of an ineffective vaccine that induces "adverse events" for ALL females up to the age of 26. Shouldn't there be an opt-out for the females for which it therefore will not have ANY chance of being effective?

    Without even knowing the "adverse events" for males, it is now being "suggested" by the charlatanistic drug company and their shills that boys and even grown men, be injected with this vaccine supposedly meant to prevent cervical cancer. Males do not have a cervix to get cancer of and the ludicrously lame assertion that it should also be injected on males to cut down HPV rates is certifiably ridiculous due to the following bottom line point.

    Burn this into your mind. There are many methods of avoiding HPV and cervical cancer. There is no way of avoiding the over 16,000 adverse events of the Gardasil HPV vaccine -- you know, like seizures, paralysis, blindness, death, and so on -- except to NOT be injected with the toxic effluvients dumped into the ineffective vaccine. Tell everyone and collectively let your legislators know that you know about this damnable travesty, and that you will hold them personally responsible...

    Disclaimer. If you have been brainwashed, are naive, or gullible you may be considering disregarding what I have stated, wondering why in the world would anyone commit such an obvious travesty on our youth. The answer is the profiteering mainstream sick care industry, which controls the media and politicians, which controls the corp/gov health agencies who are actually a marketing front for the pharmaceutical cartel. Sadly, it's all about money, unconscionable greed.

    Posted by James March 30, 10 10:29 AM
  1. James, men do get cancer from HPV - it's called throat cancer. As a girl who suffered from genital warts in her early to mid twenties, I can tell you that I would have given anything to have a vaccine. The whole ordeal was painful and humiliating. Before labeling me as a sleeze, I had only been with one boyfriend who dutifully went to the doctor after my diagnosis and not a trace was found on him.

    I disagree with LMA about the herd immunity. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the disease is to be passed on.

    Posted by bumponalog March 30, 10 12:57 PM
  1. Thanks for commenting, bumponalog, good point about the throat cancer. But while herd immunity is an issue when vaccinating against more highly communicable diseases like mumps and measles, it's not an issue in terms of cancers caused by HPV. As Dr. Diane Harper, the lead researcher behind the vaccine, pointed out during a conference last October, incidents of cervical cancer in the US are 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.”
    Here's the link to more from Dr. Harper: http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16766677720.txt

    As I mentioned in my post, there are more than 100 types of HPV out there. At least 15 of them can cause cancers; the vaccines only protect against two of them. Not in the post: Out of the more than 100 types of HPV, at least 40 of them can cause genital warts; Gardasil protects against the two of the 40 that causes most of them, Cervarix does not protect against any of them. -- LMA

    Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse Author Profile Page March 30, 10 01:20 PM
  1. @#15...the reason they suggest it is that many girls become sexually active in that first 5 year window (between 11-16, and 12-17)

    Posted by c March 30, 10 01:58 PM
  1. It will depend on where the research stands when my (currently non-existent) children are of age. Currently, the vaccine is a little iffy. In 15 years, who knows? It will also depend on my children. If my daughter tells me at 15 that she's had sex, there's no going back from that point (trust me, I know); but if she's not ready and doesn't think she will be for a while, we'll wait.

    But that's if I have children. I have HPV -- the nasty, reoccurring, cancer-causing strain. I've already had two surgeries and I'm 26. My cervix may not be strong enough to carry children by the time I'm ready to have them. If the vaccine had been available when I was 15, I would have gotten it.

    Posted by Mrs. Murphy March 30, 10 02:28 PM
  1. Gardasil protects against the two of the 40 that causes most of them - all the more reason to get the vaccine

    Yes. Both vaccines don't offer the same protections. Patients should do their research and make the choice that's right for them. -- LMA

    Posted by bumponalog March 30, 10 02:33 PM
  1. Way to go, Lylah, again ignoring science and going instead with your gut feeling and unconfirmed anecdotes. Try reading the government study you linked to. Learn what "Most of the AEFI rates were not greater than the background rates compared with other vaccines" means. It does *NOT* mean that Guardisil is linked to 32 unconfirmed deaths, in fact it means the deaths were likely unrelated.

    With all due respect, Geocool, you don't need me to define "unconfirmed" for you, do you? I did not write that the vaccine is responsible for these deaths, and I did not provide any anecdotes; I interviewed a CNM who recommends the vaccine, and I directed people to the study, to the Journal of the AMA article, and to the statements made by the researcher who developed the vaccines. Do you think Dr. Harper's ignoring science, too? -- LMA

    Posted by geocool March 30, 10 02:45 PM
  1. I had the vaccine when I was 20 (3 years ago) because it had become available and was free through my insurance. I'm fine. My sister and my friends who've gotten the vaccine (all ages 18 and above) are also fine.

    When I learned about the vaccine, I understood how it worked (reduced the risk of infection by four common types of the virus, which were the ones most commonly responsible for causing cervical cancer). It's worth mentioning that the vaccine is quite painful (most painful shot I've ever had), and so increased fainting during the shots makes some sense.

    While I don't think that any parents should vaccinate their kids without being informed about the vaccine, and I agree that some vaccines might be worth holding off until the person receiving them can consent, I do think that the HPV vaccine is worth considering, especially before young women become sexually active.

    And even more than that, I think that parents (and schools) need to be proactive about informing their children about sex and sexuality. It would be nice to prevent the spread of non-curable illnesses that can be spread through sexual activity, like HPV, herpes, and HIV. And I think that's why HPV vaccines are a little less accepted. You can hardly fault a child for getting measles, but it's easy to say, "Well, my daughter wouldn't ever have sex with a person who might pass on HPV."

    (I'm not trying to imply that the only reason (or reasonable reason) for parents to not want to give their children the vaccine is because of the fact that HPV is sexually transmitted. I do, however, think it's a facet of those reasons for some parents.)

    Posted by sabend March 30, 10 03:21 PM
  1. Whether or not the deaths are "unconfirmed," they are not in any way "linked" to Gardasil by that study, unless your definition of "linked" is "judged to be unrelated." That's my reading of the study.

    Posted by geocool March 30, 10 05:37 PM
  1. get this vaccine? for a couple of strains out of 100? for a vaccine that may or may not wear off in 5 years? how about long-term studies looking into serotype replacement? meaning, you knock out the two most common cancer causing types, will it give rise to two others that may be more lethal than then their predecessors? Remember Prevnar7 unleashing strain 19A - an antibiotic resistant strain rarely seen before the vaccine came out? Now they have Prevnar13 which includes 19A - anyone wondering what will rise up in the next few years? "science" these days is only concerned with short-term trials. long-term health outcomes are not considered. when in doubt, just give more vaccine! no one anywhere on earth right now knows whether Gardasil will protect women at all when they are most prone to cervical cancer, in their 40s. Our daughters are guinea pigs. Some of them aren't faring very well.

    Posted by sarah March 31, 10 02:21 AM
  1. My daughter has been injured by the Gardasil shot. You should be thanking the people coming forward to report theses sides effects instead of attacking them. Yes, the majority may not be suffeirng side effects, however the thousands of girls that are sick, DO matter! Kate, you are Ludicrous, Uninformed, Ignorant, and have very poor judgement to get on a website and bash people for sharing information. We are not telling anyone not to vaccinate, just sharing our experience, so that parents make an educated decision.

    Posted by Norma March 31, 10 02:31 AM
  1. @LMA, thank you for the link, I have more quotes from Dr. Harper which you may not have seen located below. It's amazing to me that many will jump on this vaccine. In addition to everything else already covered, it's my personal belief that the unintended consequences is going to be severe.
    --------
    QUOTES:

    "If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... We've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit... The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers..." - Dr. Diane Harper "I think there's a strong possibility that Gardasil was the catalyst that set off the ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]. It could have been the straw that broke the camel's back in a child who was already predisposed to the condition. I do think it's wrong for physicians to tell parents that it's 100 percent safe." - Dr. Diane Harper "...neither physicians nor women should be lulled into a false sense of security [about the vaccine]" - Dr. Diane Harper "It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old girls There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue. This vaccine has not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don't get cervical cancer - they won't know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer. ...To mandate now is simply to Merck's benefit, and only to Merck's benefit."

    Posted by Cindy Lou April 2, 10 08:24 AM
  1. "bumponalog";

    what you really meant was that the profiteering mainstream vaccine industry has paid off charlatan shills (likely YOU) to infer that to justify selling more of their toxic, carcinogenic vaccines, which induces cancer, dementia, diseases, paralysis, death, like that...

    again, please pay attention, if your baseless contention might actually happen to have a shred of reality to it, then it is quite obvious that there are several means of preventing the possibility

    do you understand that without my needing to go into unseemly details on a "Moms" blog, or is "bumponalog" short for "brainlessbumponalog"?

    Posted by James April 7, 10 08:00 AM
  1. I just got my first shot a week ago. I didn't do enough research before getting it. I felt a bit dizzy for a few minutes after and my stomach has been acting up.. I am debating getting the next two shots since it is said with a healthy life style the immune system is able to fight off the virus. I have had two abnormal paps but the following have had normal results.
    I have never gone to the doctors as soon as I become sick I usually try all the home remedies first. I have never gotten flu shots and hardly ever become sick. I am still on the fence though...

    PS when ever I do become a mother I will inform my children of the hpv vaccine at the proper age but it will be their decision

    Posted by ania April 13, 10 05:07 PM
  1. HPV isn't just spread my skin contact it's spread by contact with towels that other people use, even just by regular skin contact, the whole thing isn't just cervical cancer it's the prevention of HPV a very rampant thing. I've looked it up, I'm not sexually active but I got the shot a couple of years ago at the age of 17. I would've gotten it years ago if it where available. Also the common myth is that you don't need this unless you plan to be sexually active. That's not the truth. Although, at 100 lbs and standing 5ft tall I am proportionate and small for my age, through genetics, I was one of those girls that passed out as the actual medicine set in about 10 seconds after the shot, they were also supposed to take my blood that day, when I woke up I insisted that they take my blood this time and not those 2-3 months until my other shot because I figured that I'm here now and I might pass out again. Next time they had me sit down on a chair while they gave me the shot. Again I felt a lesser than the first time, but still pain, and with my legs out in front of me, and my mom beside me holding my hand, I passed out cold again. The final, 3rd shot, they gave to me while I was lying all the way down on the bed-thing. I didn't pass out that time and I didn't even feel pain from the medicine. I have a friend who was 14 at that time and she had gotten all three before and she didn't feel any pain from it but she's also big boned. But also despite my size I have a pretty high pain tolerance, in fact the tetnus shot I got at age 12 didn't hurt at all, and then when my older brother got his meningitis shot for college I decided to get mine early at the age of 15, I have some muscle in my arms, as does my brother, and we're both slender builds, and short, and I thought that was the most painful shot I would ever get, Also guys can get HPV as well but it doesn't affect them like it does women. So if I was younger when this came out I would've gotten it, and I know a couple girls my age who wish that they could get it, they aren't sexually active, but they can't because they can't afford it because of their insurance plans. But that's another story as my best friend needs birth control to help with her periods, and she started with that off and on since she was 12, she got her period at the age of 8, but of course even for the reasons she needs it it's never going to be covered on insurance, and trust me she's not sexually active, and it's around 70 dollars a pop. Also I just happened to come accross this article. As I actually live in Charleston,SC, yes the Holy City so to speak and I'd consider my parents fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Because doesn't politics get into healthcare these days, or perhaps it's always been that way in the US. Anyway I'm 20 now and I rarely think back on this issue. I just know that it's possible to get HPV fairly easily, I mean seriously take a look at the other vaccines that people have in the past refused to get their kids vaccinated for, I mean seriously should there be an outbreak of whooping cough on college campuses, come on!

    Posted by Brittany May 23, 10 09:50 PM
  1. Brittany, your comments are rambling and hard to put into true perspective as to what you are saying, but, I'll give it a stab.

    HPV is VERY common. It is also MAINLY spread by sexual contact (anal, vaginal, oral sex). It "can" be caused by other methods, however, this is not the norm and not "as easy" as you state as catching a germ from a door knob. Most women also clear HPV on their own without ever knowing they even had it.

    Pap screening is still needed regardless of those that have received Gardasil given the other over 96+ strains not covered, including the over 11+ strains known to also cause cervical cancer. This is no magic bullet.

    Personally, given the fact we do not know what mutations this will create on the other non-invasive strains, we do not know how long efficacy may last, and because women are not normally diagnosed with cervical cancer until the age of 54, I still will not be receiving this vaccine.

    Also, I don't vaccinate my kids for whooping cough, either. Seriously?

    Posted by Cindy Lou June 15, 10 02:01 PM
  1. HPV is associated with head a neck cancer. It is true.
    I think it is worth considering vaccinating both sexes.
    MGH and DFCI have studies about the incidence of head and neck cancers associated with HPV.

    Posted by Smiley June 27, 10 10:52 AM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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