Robert Onder’s As I See It column (8/14, “Measure would have made guinea pigs of preteen girls”) caught my attention. He listed the current childhood vaccines, “measles, smallpox, polio, rubella, pertussis,” conveniently forgetting to mention the Hepatitis B vaccine.
The Hepatitis B vaccine prevents a virus that causes an infection of the liver, which can lead to liver cancer or death. I think he may have purposefully left it out, because it is a sexually contracted virus, just like HPV. Is it the abstinence issue?
The HPV vaccine is for the protection of women from cervical cancer. However, men are carriers of HPV. Even if a young woman abstains from having sex until marriage, there is no guarantee the man she marries has done the same. He could give her HPV.
The percentage of strains that the vaccine inoculates against is irrelevant. As a father of a girl myself, I will do anything to protect her from any danger. I doubt that receiving a vaccine will be the tipping point on her decision on whether to have sex when she is a teenager.