Now that I’m mother to a daughter, the idea of requiring HPV vaccines seems even scarier than before. In just ten years, if Virginia keeps its requirement (one of two in the country, D.C. having the other), we will have to do some kind of opt-out form if we want to keep our daughter from receiving a shot that might not do her a whole lot of good and could do her some real damage.
I am disappointed to look through my archives and find that I wrote only about HPV vaccine injury and didn’t write a full piece on the talk I heard Diane Harper give two years ago at the conference of the National Vaccine Information Center. Suffice it to say that one of the researchers who helped develop the Gardasil vaccine doesn’t exactly think it’s worth the risk to tell all young girls to get it. It’s pretty amazing when someone paid to create something suggests maybe you shouldn’t take it — and that for sure you shouldn’t take it without knowing the risks (which tend to get very little attention).
It was startling to hear this woman talk. Here are some links for further information on Harper’s concerns and insights:
CBS News: Gardasil researcher speaks out
Medscape’s HPV Vaccine deemed safe and effective despite reports of adverse events
Huffington Post interview with Dr. Diane Harper
That last one should clear up any confusion. Quite a back and forth!
Even if you don’t want to get caught up in the medical side of things, the pitting of possible risks against one another, I still don’t see how anyone can justify telling someone what to do with her body. Or her daughter’s body.
For more on this issue in a political light, see Joanne Bamberger of PunditMom’s post, “Dear Michele Bachmann, Leave My Daughter’s Cervix Out of Your Campaign.”
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