HPV Vaccine, the first vaccine against cancer

SS Member Image By drodriguez 03.19.07
HPV Vaccine, the first vaccine against cancer
In 2006 the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine Gardasil was FDA approved for 9-26 year old girls and women in America. HPV is the most common STD in the US, it's known to cause cervical cancer in women and 3,700 deaths per year. The vaccine tested 'effective' against the particular HPV strains for genital warts and strains leading to cervical cancer. This is the first vaccine to prevent cancer.

So what's the debate? The immunization committee has recommended this vaccine for all 11 and 12 year old girls. It is the first female only vaccine, the first to target an STD and most importantly the first to protect against cancer. However, in some states the decision to mandate this vaccine has been unpopular, watch the video to learn more.



Do you think all states should mandate this vaccine? How young is too young? And do you believe girls will become promiscuous because of it?

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  • crazed_mama07 By crazed_mama07
    05.03.07  

    I applaud the vaccine, but not the mass influx of direct-to-consumer marketing. People see this as a way to prevent cancer. It's not. I know a woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few months back. Her fiance was devastated, as was she, but not for the same reason. She was dealing with a diagnosis of cancer at the age of 23. He was wondering how his fiance, the only person he'd ever been with, had contracted HPV. She did not have HPV. Because of the media hype for this vaccine, he believed that her cervical cancer was caused by HPV.

  • lovelystar184 By lovelystar184
    05.01.07  

    This seems like it should be a good thing, but the fact that is still so new and since we have no idea what the long term side effects of this vaccine are there is no way that the government should make this mandatory.

  • mamaof2dvlkids By mamaof2dvlkids
    04.27.07  

    I wish the HPV vaccine had came around a little earlier. I had HPV that developed into cancer and had to have a hysterectomy. Since then i got remarried and my husband has not children of his own. My advice to all mothers and young women is to get the vaccine and never miss a pap.

  • StaceyLynne By StaceyLynne
    04.26.07  

    Seems like more research is warranted and until then it should be optional.

  • rebeccamarbas By rebeccamarbas
    04.20.07  

    Hi all,

    what a very serious question and so many different veiw points. I have been a nurse for over 17 years. Unfortunately there are many times when a woman or girls life can be endangered....by sex and by violence. I think the thing to remember here is the prevention of cancer. I have a daughter and 2 son's. Morally my husband and I have taught abstinance. Realistically speaking it is doubtful that any of our children will make it to marriage a virgin or their partner one either. Rape whether it's date rape or whatever occurs in 1 in every 4 women. There are so many variables to think of if you wanted to make this about morality. To me it's much more straight forward. Choice is not always with our daughters...and having to tell a 12 year old and her mother that she now has AIDs because of a violent attack on her person...I had to stop and think when I read this blog. Is this vaccine really about sex?? or is it about giving our children as much protection as we can? Like I said for me it simple. Do I want my children having sex? No. Do I want my daughter to die from cancer when I can prevent that? Never

  • TXMomma3 By TXMomma3
    04.19.07  

    I do not think anyone should make me vaccinate my child. There needs to be more testing done on this vaccine!

  • mrs_hambone By mrs_hambone
    04.14.07  

    I did hear though that the vaccine is more effective the earlier the girl recives it.  If she's already sexually active than it's MUCH less effective, even if she hasn't contracted HPV yet.  So the age mandates make a lot of sence in that context, especially considering many girls are have sex at ages that are drastically younger than years ago. 

    That being said, I still don't think it should be a required vaccine for going to school.  I think a mandate is fine as long as parents have the option to op-out after being fully informed about the vaccine from a Dr.  Though that's putting a lot of pressure on Doctors to fully inform patients, and unfortunatly many do not do so.

  • mom2aroo By mom2aroo
    04.13.07  

    Even if my state *required* it to be given, I would not gve it to my daughter until I chose to do so, if even then. I think its a good new vax but its too new to be *required* and I myself havent gotten it & wont until its been around a little longer. If I knew my child was sexually active or even might be, I might but I think the age/requirments for this have been taken out of control.

  • mrs_hambone By mrs_hambone
    04.13.07  

    I think that it should kind of be mandated... I'm in Texas where it already has been mandated.  I think when you take your daughter to the Dr. he/she should inform you of all the details of the vaccine and then allow you to opt out of having your daughter have the vaccine.  It should be address at each Dr's visit until the girl has been given the vaccine or she turns 18. 

    I don't see the harm in any vaccine that will protect your child's health.  But it should be an option that is desided on after all the information has been given.

    If it is mandated I don't think it's fair to have the price be awful either.  The drug company should be forced to offer it at a reasonable price.

  • Flowergirrl By Flowergirrl
    04.13.07  

    I agree with the posters who stated they didn't feel it was correct for this to be a prerequisite of attending school.  However, that would make insurance coverage mandatory for the vaccine.  I can't call this a moral issue with statistics as high as one in four girls being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.  With this disease being so common, and asymptomatic at times, there isn't any guarantee that a partner would even be able to disclose their infection status.  I want my daughter vaccinated as soon as it's covered by our insurance.  This is a female only vaccine as of now, but men carry this disease too and I am looking forward to the vaccine being approved of and used for men so that I don't have to worry about my son accidentally infecting a partner.

  • kscouple By kscouple
    04.11.07  

    I wished I would have had the shot or had it available when I was younger.  I got HPV from my partner without knowing about it until well after I was infected.  I hadn't been to the doctor because I was young and afraid to tell my mother that I was having sex.  Yes, that was 15 years ago, but still, girls are not all that comfortable talking to their parents about it.  I think that if it was something required, it would be an asset to girls.  I had pre-cancer cells and had to have laser surgery to get rid of the pre cancer cells and it hasn't been right "down there" since.  I wished I would have had this option and known about it.  My girls are 12 and 11 now and I will be getting them this shot for sure because I dont' want them to have the pain that I had and that I went through with the pre cancer.

  • Tiffanyfree By Tiffanyfree
    04.11.07  

    I have a 16 year old daughter and when I took her to her last Dr. appt he recommended that she get the shot and explained everything to me and I felt that better safe than sorry...  When I told my family that she had the shot - they were all against it.  Kids now adays are having sex a such a young age.  The shot is takin in a series of 3 shots months apart - so it something that your really have to keep track of.  My daughter is getting her 2nd series in 2 weeks -- I hope I made the right choice...

  • libgrl By libgrl
    04.11.07  

    It’s an important point that the value in a mandated vaccination program is that everyone—or the closest we can get to everyone—participates. That’s how you eradicate a disease—no one is left to get or to pass on the disease. You’ve not only protected yourself, but everyone else out there who had less or more risk of being exposed. It’s okay to not agree with mandated vaccination on principle (moral or otherwise), but we should recognize the trade-off . . . that without widespread use of the vaccine, which will only occur by mandating it’s use, there is limited value to vaccination.

    This debate provides a wonderful opportunity to become better informed about health and social issues, and to think both clearly and compassionately about difficult choices we face.

  • jwelde By jwelde
    04.11.07  

    I think it's disappointing that this issue has been turned into a "morality" issue, which draws attention away from other aspects of this vaccine.

    According to the CDC:

    "Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year....

    ...most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms; therefore, most infected persons are unaware they are infected, yet they can transmit the virus to a sex partner."


    These figures are astonishing. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection! This is a serious issue, in that HPV is directly linked to cervical cancer. As far as whether it promotes promiscuity among unmarried people, I'm not convinced that people will be more likely to have sex just because they are protected from HPV. The fact is that unmarried people are having sex even with the very real possibility of contracting other illnesses, or even having a baby 9 months later!

    I think the real story here, and the one that has been glossed over by the mainstream media, is just what the blog entry above emphasized: this is the first vaccine to prevent cancer, the first female-only vaccine, and I believe the first time cancer has been linked to a virus. This is a huge, important step forward in medicine, and I'm hopeful that it will lead to other breakthroughs in a devastating disease (cancer in general) that affects way too many people.

  • violetb By violetb
    04.11.07  

    Needs more research and shouldn't be mandated but suggested.

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