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August 17, 2007

HPV vaccine

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.

Dustin Griffith
Overland Park

Comments

Lost_In_Ambivalence

This was a really dumb position. The reason many of these vacines are mandated is that the person has no choice in exposure. However, MOST women who get HPV have made a choice, and if they want the protection, they can choose to go get it.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Maybe everyone should take AIDS prevention drugs, everyone.
You never know! It could end up being contagious and they just aren't telling us until they can find a way to tax us on it.

mike d

"I will do anything to protect her from any danger" Dustin Griffith

As I will with my daughter, including giving her unproven drugs. Hope it works out well for you

irishguy

I was also taken aback at Dr. Odner's position that if a disease isn't highly contagious, there is really no public health issue involved.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

It should be a choice not mandated, I think that is the issue at hand. More government intervention where it is not neccessary.
Maybe we could stem out of wedlock under age pregnancy with government mandated hysterectomies too, then we would reduce welfare roles and prison populations hence saving hundreds of millions of dollars and grief for families.

 
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