Thursday, October 7, 2010

The HPV Vaccine

What are your thoughts about the HPV vaccine?

Mine?  Well, I haven't established exactly where I stand on whether or not it is a good thing.

Why do I ask?

Well, a week or so ago I was at a Christian women's group meeting where a pediatrician spoke.  He was older, probably close to retirement age, and only took questions that had been emailed in ahead of time.  I had a bit if a problem with this... not the age or that he is, well, a he, but with the fact that he would only take pre-approved - for lack of a better word - questions.  I mean, shouldn't a professional be able to answer most any questions, at least generically, on the spot?

I personally didn't send any questions.  I would rather speak with my own doctors about any questions or concerns I have.  But anyway... This doctor answered four separate, but same questions about ADD/ADHD... which I found redundant, especially since these were all given to him ahead of time.  Then, after some repetitive questions about picky eaters and not-so-good eaters, comes the bombshell question... What are you're thoughts on the HPV vaccine?

While I totally get that everyone has, and is entitled to, an opinion, I sometimes feel that it is imperative to separate personal opinion from professional opinion.  And, this was one of those instances.

The doctor read the question aloud and proceeded with his answer.  He said that he was shocked to get this question because it is a Christian group and he firmly believes in abstinence.  He proceeds to give a speech about how girls are much too promiscuous these days and we as parents are allowing this... even encouraging it by considering this vaccine.

What!?!?   I'm not sure who asked this question, but I would dare to guess that she was looking for a professional, medical opinion about the vaccine and the safety of it... Not someone's opinion of the morality of it.

I totally get that we as parents need to teach our children about morality, modesty and respect for self.  I get that it is up to parents to lead our children in the direction they are to go.  I totally get that abstinence is the only safe sex.  Trust me, I will teach these things to my children as best as I can.

But, I also get that kids will be kids, and sometimes that includes making bad decisions... giving in to peer pressure.  Because I understand that, does it mean that I intend to allow or encourage this type of promiscuous behavior?  No.  Absolutely not.  All that it means is that I took off my rose colored glasses...  I am seeing reality.

So, while I haven't decided whether or not my daughter(s) will receive the vaccine, I have decided this... I will be willing to educate myself about it and consider it.

Have you seen the commercials that promote this vaccine?  To the best of my recollection, they promote this as a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer.  After seeing the commercial (and it has been a while), I took away the idea of cancer prevention.  I didn't take away the idea of being able to have safe sex after receiving it.  So, it annoys me that someone would come in to answer questions professionally and then get on their soap box about morality.

Besides, isn't this vaccine for girls around the age of 10-12?  Do you remember what vaccines you received at that age?  I don't.  I didn't care what they were giving me... Just be quick about it and let me be on my way.

So, will girls really realize that this vaccine can help prevent one STD?  Do kids really think about this type of stuff?  I mean, I know they think about/talk about sex, but how often does it get as deep as STDs and the fact that they could actually contract one?  Seriously, if they really thought about STDs, they probably would be more hesitant about having sex.  I mean, isn't that the trouble with kids... their brains haven't finished developing, therefore the area that allows them to think things through and handle decisions that can affect their future isn't ready to handle this type of thing.  Though they think they know what they are doing, they can't yet truly comprehend the long term.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the issue?  Like I said, I haven't made a decision whether or not my daughter(s) will get this vaccine.  Luckily, I still have time to research, soul search, and most importantly pray about it.  Give me your feedback, whether you're for it, against it, or like me... still on the fence!


  1. My off the cuff that the HPV vaccine is a way to protect my daughter who will hopefully marry as the purest form of herself....but what IF she marries a man who dated and lived LOTS but loves her fully, and she gets cervical cancer and suffers for it? bet that dude didn't think of it that is a responsibility that we owe our children to keep them safe from all POSSIBLE harms! Put that in his pipe and smoke that...we are not put here to judge! God blessed me with a brain to learn to help people...he might do good to remember this blessing as well..

  2. See, I haven't even thought in that direction! Great point! Thanks!
    P.S. I heard/read somewhere that there is discussion to make this vaccine mandatory AND that they are working on one for boys too!