10 June 2006

FDA approves cervical cancer vaccine

And the Discovery Channel notes that "conservative groups" oppose making it mandatory.

I can't understand how anyone could possibly support making this mandatory. We're not talking about a disease that's transmitted by breathing. We're talking about a disease that is transmitted by genital contact (the vaccine is actually against HPV, which causes cervical cancer as well as warts). And we're not talking about making the vaccine available to adult women. We're talking about forcing it on nine-year-olds, who don't even know what sex is and certainly aren't in a position to make choices about their sex lives.

Obviously, this vaccine can save lives. I support making it available to adult women, and definitely would support efforts to educate the public about it (provided such efforts also point out that HPV can be prevented by simply keeping one's legs crossed). (Insert usual caveats about danger of vaccines, follow-up studies to monitor for side effects, etc.)

But how on earth can anyone possibly support mandatory administration to preteen girls?

I would really like to hear well-reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue. I can't distance myself very well from the visceral revulsion I feel at the idea.

Update: I have a question about this vaccine that the article didn't address. While it's said to prevent the vast majority of cases of warts, and prevent cervical cancer entirely, does it also prevent you from being a carrier? I mean, that's part of the reason HPV is ever so terribly difficult to prevent, right? Because some people (especially men) don't show any symptoms?

Update II: I also want to remind y'all that not all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. The main factor in cervical cancer is the number of partners. Literature on this vaccine needs to stress this point so that women don't think they're safe from cervical cancer simply because they've had the shot.

It all boils down to this: If you don't want to get various disgusting diseases, the effects of which can range from itching to infertility to death, then don't sleep around.

I remember when Ace was posting about this issue a while back, he said something to the effect of, "Sure, two monogamous people who were virgins prior to their relationship aren't going to give each other anything, but..." and then went on to say something else. Apparently, the cogent point he had just made completely eluded him.

Update III: I just posted about this on AOSHQ. More science and less controversy, though. I should have reversed the posts, 'cause it's easier to start fights on AOSHQ than it is over here.

Stirring up shit on other people's blogs is fun. Mwa ha ha ha!

That reminds me, I need to post at RWS's site, too.


Anonymous Matt30 said...

From everything I've seen (which is a lot), there is a stong enough correlation between HPV and cervical cancer that it could be said to approach 100%. Which, just to be clear, does NOT mean every woman who contracts HPV will develop cervical cancer.

I hadn't heard of this vaccine, thanks for pointing it out. And no, I wouldn't support any mandatory vaccination of 9 year olds. Leave it to parents to decide when, but if this vaccine works, every young woman with the potential to be sexually active should get it. And now that I think about it, is there any reason this vaccine won't work on men? After all, the source of the problem for most women is their male partners.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

There are dangers inherent in vaccination...I'd want to see the results of some long term studies before I recommended it to anyone.

For some reason, no one's advocating vaccinating males. I suppose that's because men generally don't show symptoms. And as I said, I'm not entirely convinced this vaccine prevents the contraction of HPV rather than merely preventing the outward symptoms, as the latter is all the articles seem to mention (this vaccine has been popping up in science news articles for at least half a year iirc). I'll have to find the actual papers on it when I am somewhere that subscribes to scientific journals.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Feisty Republican Whore said...

Now Mrs Peel, you know as well as I that vaccines only really make a dent in a problem if everyone is vaccinated and it's mandatory. Getting a shot doesn't make anyone promiscuous, but it does prevent cervical cancer. The point is that you have to get it before the start of sexual contact. The longer you wait, the greater chance that you've been exposed to HPV.

I know you have your life all planned out and there's no chance that your future children will ever have sex before marriage ever, but sometimes they turn 18 and go off to college and are out of your control and want to rebel against the iron fist of mom.

This country's health care costs are astounding, and preventing most cases of cervical cancer before they happen is A GOOD THING for the individuals and for the country and for the freakin' world.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

I see your point, but I just can't shake how incredibly wrong it feels to even have this discussion.

I guess we run in different circles. I don't even know anyone my age who's had sex, because none of my friends are married yet, and we are all waiting.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Feisty Republican Whore said...

I guess we run in different circles.


I don't even know anyone my age who's had sex...

My goodness. What do you people talk about when you're drunk and high then? I'm confused.

3:23 AM  
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12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear stupid whore: imagine that the guardasil shot doesnt work and down the line we are getting the negative reactions from it,and now doctors dont know what to do for you, but the drug companies have the solution....... enough already. Please go to VAERS data and check "died" and have a moment of silence for all of those innocent deaths oh, i mean coincidences. the bush gov knows about this danger you idiot.

The drug company is only selling you on your imagination that it works. because they cant prove it. IT is likely the contrary that it doesnt work, same as the measles shot doesnt work. only makes you get a nastier version of HPV. and you Never become immune to it. So if we want to argue based on imaginary effectiveness of a shot the i can argue on imaginary ineffectiveness. I a m not going to gamble with this, these drug companies have a poor track record and are making millions off you imaginations while shattering the lives and leaving many disabled from these shots.

2:02 PM  

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