Forums > Personal > HPV Vaccine- For or Against It?

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StoneColdClassicQueen user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 09 Nov 11, 21:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello all! I know I am not really an active member here on QZ, but I'd like to hear some serious opinions (as I know a great bunch of you are jokesters :P)

I am in college now :D and for my speech class, I am going to be giving a persuasive speech on why preteens, teens, and young adults should be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine to protect against cancers the Human Papilloma Virus can cause.

I'm not sure if it is offered in other places, but here in the States, many people are against it because they say that the government has no right to tell us what to do and that girls have died from it and all these supposed side effects have severely affected girls.

As an actual receiver of the HPV vaccine, my experience has not been bad. The only side effect I got was a sore arm for a few days. My mom had me get all three shots because my family has a history with cancer, including uterine cancer, liver, and lung cancer.

What I'd like to ask all of you is what your thoughts are on the HPV vaccine. Do you think it is dangerous or beneficial? Have any of you ever had it?

Thanks QZers!


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Posted: 09 Nov 11, 21:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have a sixteen year old daughter and am for the vaccine. If there is some type of protection against even one cancer, and trials have proven it to be safe, I'm good with it. My daughter had no reaction whatsoever. The few 'severe reactions' reported in some girls, as far as I know, were found to be unrelated to the vaccine. Risk is always involved but my own research made me feel the minor risks were worth the benefits.

This vaccine isn't one that's mandatory for school admission and such. It's optional, but strongly recommended by the FDA. Not sure if you're aware of it, but the FDA is now recommending that boys receive it as well.

The biggest argument against this, that I've heard - and the most ridiculous, IMO - is how vaccinating our kids against certain strains of HPV will give them a false sense of security and therefore encourage them to have sex. I think our kids are smarter than that - and hornier than most parents will admit, with or without a vaccine.


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Posted: 09 Nov 11, 23:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh goodie a reply! :D
I read about the boys' recommendation! Since they are the ones who are carriers of the virus and there aren't any tests available at the moment, I think they should get it!
It really is stupid how parents think that just because their kid gets it, it means they'll shag everyone they know. I don't think kids are THAT stupid to believe that anyway. I sure as hell wasn't!
It is a means of preventative care to ensure kids won't contract those cancers that the vaccine helps to protect against.
Here in the States, it's mostly those conservative loonies that think the shot will make kids go out and have sex.
I really am glad my mom had me get them!
I'm just sick of people being misinformed about it. Just today some girl said she'd never get it just because one of her friends had a reaction to it. The reactions are rare, just as with any other vaccine. I think more people should look into it to be safe and cancer-free.


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Posted: 10 Nov 11, 06:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am very much in favour of the vaccination because it protects young women against a very common infection and reduces the risk to get cancer considerably. I really get annoyed when I hear that "the government should not tell us what to do". First of all the vaccination is not mandatory as far as I know and secondly - yes, the government should give advice about measures that can improve public health. Imo it is much more the duty of a government to care about public health than to support the military industry (just to name an example).

In my country many parents do not get vaccination for their children because there is a widespread paranoia about the risks and side effects. Unfortunately, there is not much paranoia about the actual diseases that kill the children and could be avoided and even extinguished if all children were vaccinated. It is not only your own health - it is also the health of other people which should be taken into consideration. I think the public health factor is not emphasized enough when vaccination is discussed.


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Posted: 10 Nov 11, 09:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>here in the States, many people are against it because they say that the government has no right to tell us what to do and that girls have died from it and all these supposed side effects have severely affected girls.

>vaccinating our kids against certain strains of HPV will give them a false sense of security and therefore encourage them to have sex

Just more propaganda from the religious right who don't believe in birth control, and playing the "smaller government" card when it's convenient for them.  Michelle Bachmann has been campaigning on the idea that this vaccine makes people retarded.  She believes praying will fix everything.

Yes, if every person in this world stuck to only one uninfected sexual partner starting tomorrow, STDs would cease to exist a century from now.  But unfortunately, that isn't reality.  Vaccines like this are completely necessary in today's world, and I am completely in favour of it.

It is available in Canada as well, and fortunately we have no real religious right here to parade against it.  It has more or less gone on without incident.


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Posted: 10 Nov 11, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Rick Perry issued an executive order requiring sixth grade girls receive the HPV vaccine in early February of 2007, and he met cancer victim Heather Buchmam while she was lobbying the Texas legislature to uphold the governor’s executive order.



The legislature ultimately ruled against Burcham and Perry and did away with the vaccine mandate," reported ABC.

Rick Perry pocketed over $30,000 in campaign cash from drug company Merck that makes the HPV vaccine he attempted pushing onto Texas schoolgirls, The Washington Post reported.

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Posted: 10 Nov 11, 16:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I haven't had it because its so expensive, but yeah, i think its a good idea.  And if i had a daughter i would probably try to make sure she got it.  I hadn't realised that boys COULD have the vaccine, although it does make sense now that i think of it.  I know some people will react to vaccines, but they are usually a minority.  And the reaction to cancer treatment is a lot stronger.  I know some people who are anti-vaccines, thinking they are just ways for pharmaceutical companies to make money, but surely the companies would actually make more if people got sick and had to buy drugs?  And there is an increase in measles, mumps, tb, etc because parents arent tending to vaccinate as much.

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Posted: 11 Nov 11, 01:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Such a sensitive issue should not be part of an election campaign and there should be recommendations by a medical board and not an executive order by a lobbied politician. As long as there is no actual hazard for the public vaccinations should not be mandatory.

I think it is a matter of education. In countries like Sweden and Finland vaccination is so normal that parents do not even think about it much. Once it is recommended by the government, people simply get the vaccination. As a result dangerous diseases like the measles are virtually non-existent in such countries. Health insurance usually covers vaccination.


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Posted: 11 Nov 11, 10:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just to clarify, the boys' recommendation comes in part because HPV is associated with several cancers, including rare cancers specific to men and cancer of the throat and other non gender specific malignancies.  I think we'd be on shaky ethical ground if there was an expectation that an individual would take on any risk, however small, solely to benefit others. The benefit to girls is clearer as the vaccine is expected (there are of course no long term studies yet) to prevent cancers in about 1 in 200 women and 1 in 400 men.  Though I don't have any unreasonable fears or objections relating to vaccination programs personally,  and would recommend to my own son that he get vaccinated if Health Canada initiated the program, I wouldn't argue with those who don't choose to vaccinate their boys given the decreased risk/benefit ratio and the fact that the cancers the males would be vulnerable to have a significantly later median age of onset.  It would not be a completely unreasonable decision to decline the still unqualified and unquantified risks of vaccination, even if miniscule,  on a gamble that we'll have a much better handle on cancer in decades to come.

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Posted: 12 Nov 11, 02:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I would not make such a vaccination manfdatory but I do not see why people should not consider the benfit of others in their decision. In my book it is not "ethically shaky" to consider if I might be a health hazard for others because I decided not to get vaccinated. I saw an infant child in my family die of measles because she was too small to get vaccinated and she was infected by a bigger girl whose parents were too paranoid to have her vaccinated. Why is it "ethically shaky ground" to think of other peoples' lives or health? We are talking about infective diseases here.


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Posted: 12 Nov 11, 08:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote: I saw an infant child in my family die of measles because she was too small to get vaccinated and she was infected by a bigger girl whose parents were too paranoid to have her vaccinated.


This disturbs me so much.

Not that I'm singling out the home school community - to which I belong - but within this group is a huge majority of people who refuse to vaccinate their kids for basically the same reasons. Either they're naturalists who never medicate unless THEY have a headache or insomnia or need chemo, or they're conspiracy theorists who believe the government wants to use their kids as guinea pigs. When presented with the argument of others contracting preventable illnesses because they choose to avoid vaccines, they cite the existence of those illnesses as proof vaccines do not work and that eradication of those diseases will never happen, so why should they subject their kids to government toxins. It's truly disturbing.

My mom has a compromised immune system and can easily contract any number of preventable illnesses. We worry for her every day because of unavoidable contact with viruses, then have the added worry of diseases still being spread because of ignorance, arrogance and paranoia. I'm all for the right of choice and would not want mandatory vaccines for our kids. I just wish more people were concerned - and educated - about the benefits and hardships their action/inaction has on society.


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Posted: 12 Nov 11, 12:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote: I would not make such a vaccination manfdatory but I do not see why people should not consider the benfit of others in their decision. In my book it is not "ethically shaky" to consider if I might be a health hazard for others because I decided not to get vaccinated. I saw an infant child in my family die of measles because she was too small to get vaccinated and she was infected by a bigger girl whose parents were too paranoid to have her vaccinated. Why is it "ethically shaky ground" to think of other peoples' lives or health? We are talking about infective diseases here.

HPV is not the measles, it's a sexually transmitted infection.   People are responsible for their own sexual health.  To me there is no scenario where at no benefit to themselves half the population could be expected to receive a shot, and experience the sore arm and the fever and nausea and tiny but real potential for more severe reactions solely to protect the health of a representative of the other half of the population that for one reason or another didn't bother with the process themselves- there is no scenario like that that shouldn't raise a conversation about ethics and personal vs. social responsibility.   This situation specifically would explode though a lens of hypersensitive gender politics, at lest it would here, and likely have a chilling effect on issues where the disadvantages of women are still very real.  It would certainly immediately politicize an issue that should be decided on nothing but scientific facts and evidence.  Thankfully young women are now able to unilaterally protect themselves against this infection with potentially devastating consequences.  And because this scenario is hypothetical, young men will soon be able to choose to protect themselves too. Everybody wins.

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Posted: 15 Nov 11, 10:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here in Argentina the vaccine is free for all 11-year-old girls.

I haven't researched about the risks and side effects but I'm not against vaccination if it prevents such a serious disease.

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Posted: 17 Nov 11, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



GratefulFan wrote: Just to clarify, the boys' recommendation comes in part because HPV is associated with several cancers, including rare cancers specific to men and cancer of the throat and other non gender specific malignancies.  I think we'd be on shaky ethical ground if there was an expectation that an individual would take on any risk, however small, solely to benefit others. The benefit to girls is clearer as the vaccine is expected (there are of course no long term studies yet) to prevent cancers in about 1 in 200 women and 1 in 400 men.  Though I don't have any unreasonable fears or objections relating to vaccination programs personally,  and would recommend to my own son that he get vaccinated if Health Canada initiated the program, I wouldn't argue with those who don't choose to vaccinate their boys given the decreased risk/benefit ratio and the fact that the cancers the males would be vulnerable to have a significantly later median age of onset.  It would not be a completely unreasonable decision to decline the still unqualified and unquantified risks of vaccination, even if miniscule,  on a gamble that we'll have a much better handle on cancer in decades to come.


hm -- it would be shaky ground to enforce it for guys if there were absolutely no benefits to them maybe.  (maybe)  But even still, its the greatest good for the greatest number.  If a guy being vaccinated prevented 3 girls from contracting it, then yes, i think its a worthwhile risk.  I see what you mean, but i don't think its completely right to say you cant expect people to take risks for other people.  They would be preventing themselves getting the virus in the first place, so there is benefit to them.  I'm trying and failing to think of an example where someone is expected to take a risk for other ppls benefit.  I guess bone marrow transplants, or live organ donation, but both of those are usually for specific people, and usually people known to the donor.  I do know some home carers who get the flu vaccine because of the impact flu would have on the person they care for, when the person they care for refuses to get the vaccine, but again, that is for the benefit of a specific person.

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Posted: 18 Nov 11, 00:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's not like I'm getting my prick sucked every night, so I have to say : I don't give a fuck, and I hope anyone who is engaging in this behaviour catches cancer.


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Posted: 18 Nov 11, 13:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



catqueen wrote:

hm -- it would be shaky ground to enforce it for guys if there were absolutely no benefits to them maybe.  (maybe)  But even still, its the greatest good for the greatest number.  If a guy being vaccinated prevented 3 girls from contracting it, then yes, i think its a worthwhile risk.  I see what you mean, but i don't think its completely right to say you cant expect people to take risks for other people.  They would be preventing themselves getting the virus in the first place, so there is benefit to them.  I'm trying and failing to think of an example where someone is expected to take a risk for other ppls benefit.  I guess bone marrow transplants, or live organ donation, but both of those are usually for specific people, and usually people known to the donor.  I do know some home carers who get the flu vaccine because of the impact flu would have on the person they care for, when the person they care for refuses to get the vaccine, but again, that is for the benefit of a specific person.

My point of course is not that it's a dog eat dog world and we're all on our own baby. Ha ha.  Consideration and concern for others motivates things each of us do voluntarily every day and it's a rewarding part of being a human being.  It would certainly be part of what I would cover in any discussion with my own son about any decision he might make to get the vaccination.  What I was reacting to was the assumption that seemed to be being made that the recommendation for boys was exclusively to protect the girls - that they were 'carriers' and such - and since it was for a school assignment I thought it might benefit the OP to think that through a bit more.

Back to our hypothetical situation. :)   There are more routes to a high number of boys being vaccinated than enforcement alone.  Cultural and social expectations for example, or messaging from health organizations and special interest fuchsia ribbon "Be a Dear and Protect Women from Cervical Cancer' type campaigns could all put upward pressure on the number of boys who  would eventually roll up their sleeve and be injected.  In Canada there are Gardasil adoption rates that vary by province from about 50% up to about 90%.  Let's hypothesize that with education and acceptance and lobbying we could eventually assume a steady average adoption rate of about 80% or so for both boys and girls.   So in a class of  30 kids (assuming 50% girls and 50% boys), 24 get vaccinated and 6 don't.  That leaves 3 girls unprotected who could benefit from immunity conferred to the boys.  So 12 boys have been vaccinated to potentially protect 3 girls.  We're already at 4 times the aggregate risk and none of the benefit.

Add to that now that the actual statistics are that it takes the vaccination of just under 800 girls to prevent one lifetime death from cervical cancer.   That's the girls directly protected themselves.  So by the time we statistically get to that special case where that one vaccinated boy who would have been among the percentage of people who otherwise would have contracted HPV, who now doesn't give it to the minority unvaccinated girl he's slept with, who now has to be among the small minority of girls who doesn't clear the virus on her own and instead develops a persistent infection, and further is one of the percentage again whose infection develops into cervical cancer, and that cancer is not caught during a regular screening of the type that is available to all of us from our late teens, and finally that the cancer is not cured or managed and eventually proves to be fatal - well by this time we have vaccinated at least several thousand boys to prevent the death of one woman from cervical cancer in her lifetime.  Given that that same woman could have been protected at a ratio of one girl:one shot it's clear that we would have asked a lot of our boys who's health and bodies should be just as valued.  Vaccination risks are small but real, from personal reactions to unsafe clinical conditions to getting hit by a bus on the way there.

Further thought experiment:  what if for every x number of women whose lives were saved under the above scenario one boy died from some circumstance of the vaccine.  This would fall under a purely objective 'greatest good' and you can choose the magnitude.  At what value of x would it become morally acceptable to adopt/encourage such a policy that would see, in effect, a boy who lost his life to cervical cancer?

That's all a little simplified and hypothetical but again I just thought it deserved more thought because such a scenario would neither be as straightforward or as morally clear as it seemed to me that people were presenting it.

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Posted: 19 Nov 11, 02:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I really hate all these statistics and "what ifs". In fact I do agree that people should not be forced to get vaccinated if they do not want to but first there is nothing "ethical" in not getting vaccinated and secondly most people who decide against vaccination are not making an educated risk assessment but are mostly uneducated, uncaring or even bizzarely misinformed or paranoid about the implications of vaccination. I googled the Michelle O'Bachmann incident and I have to say I am horrified about the ignorance and stupidity in a civilized person, just incredible.

Funny how we agree about the facts but disagree about the discourse: )


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Posted: 19 Nov 11, 14:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote: . In countries like Sweden and Finland vaccination is so normal that parents do not even think about it much. Once it is recommended by the government, people simply get the vaccination. As a result dangerous diseases like the measles are virtually non-existent in such countries. Health insurance usually covers vaccination.

Although the majority still opt for vaccination, the disturbing thing is that the anti-vaccination conspiracy-theory groups have gained popularity in Finland. For example, http://www.rokotusinfo.fi/english_html poses as a source of neutral information, whereas in reality they are really just another anti-vaccination group. I think these groups and their followers, mainly parents who opt not to ever vaccinate their kids, could start something disasterous, considering that they still put their own kids into public daycare and so forth. Then again, they can always count on all the other kids being vaccinated, so their non-vaccinated kids are less likely to get anything serious, right?

The microchips that I have received from all the vaccinations I've been injected with made me type this pro-vaccination message. Help me!


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Posted: 21 Nov 11, 12:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote: I really hate all these statistics and "what ifs". In fact I do agree that people should not be forced to get vaccinated if they do not want to but first there is nothing "ethical" in not getting vaccinated and secondlymost people who decide against vaccination are not making an educated risk assessment but are mostly uneducated, uncaring or even bizzarely misinformed or paranoid about the implications of vaccination. I googled the Michelle O'Bachmann incident and I have to say I am horrified about the ignorance and stupidity in a civilized person, just incredible.

Funny how we agree about the facts but disagree about the discourse: )

Because this is a hypothetical situation, I didn't think we were discussing a discourse. :)  It is really more of a philosophical question than a scientific one.  Still, statistics are so integral to public health decisions that I don't think I've ever even seen the word "Epidemiology" without the words "and Biostatistics" trailing behind in any scientific, academic, public policy or think tank setting.   I laid them out to illustrate that far from catqueen's example of vaccinating one boy to save three girls the reality in any reasonably well accepted vaccination program with the goal of preventing cervical cancer would see the vaccination of 3 or 4 or 5 thousand boys to save one woman - one woman to whom the vaccination was equally available in the first place. I'm old enough to still swoon a little over chivalry but, jeez, I've got wonder a little how entitled we've gotten as a gender if we imagine this would ever be considered responsible policy or a reasonable expectation.  If the goal of a vaccination program was exclusively to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, as seemed to be assumed here, and not to prevent HPV infection for broader benefits on several fronts, it would simply never happen in my opinion.  Anything above 50% adoption would see an increasing statistical likelihood that the boy had undergone not only a completely unnecessary medical procedure for himself but for anybody else either!   If we agree that there is nothing ethical about not getting vaccinated, surely we can agree that there would be even less ethical about expecting thousand of boys to pick up the slack for every girl who didn't without exploring every single last other option first.

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Posted: 21 Nov 11, 15:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm starting to wonder if the idea wasn't to recommend boys receive the vaccine as a way to get more girls vaccinated. Seriously. Most women know better than to wait for men to do something that would protect them (the women). Hearing that boys should be vaccinated in order to help prevent the spread of the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer should alert women to the fact that most men won't do it and so THEY should do what needs to be done for themselves... and their daughters. Of course, there will always be some who will sit back, blindly believing the vaccine is either harmful or will promote promiscuity, but I think - hope - they are the minority.


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