To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, that is the question...

The new-ish HPV vaccine has had lots of media exposure over the past few months after presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann disputed it's safety and/or risks during debates.

The New York Times reports a federal advisory committee has now recommended that boys and men should also be vaccinated for HPV. The paper goes on to explain:

HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease — between 75 percent and 80 percent of females and males in the United States will be infected at some point in their lives. Most will overcome the infection with no ill effects. But in some people, infections lead to cellular changes that cause warts or cancer, including cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and anal cancers in men and women. A growing body of evidence suggests that HPV also causes throat cancers in men and women.

The HPV vaccine must be given in a series of 3 shots and costs upwards of $300 out-of-pocket since most insurance companies do not cover the cost.

It's Feedback Friday...

How do you feel about the HPV vaccination?

Do you think the vaccine should be added to the list of state required vaccinations?

Do you think insurance companies or the government should cover the costs of this vaccine?

Are your children, boys or girls, vaccinated against HPV?

**Interesting point brought up in the comments - do you think of this as a vaccine against Cancer or a vaccine against STD's?


  1. My oldest had it 3 years ago and my youngest will be getting it soon

  2. I'll try not to go all big brother conspiracy theory on ya, but think about it....no one wants their daughter to get an std (well duh, teach them not to sleep around..bingo..that was free ;)). So, the major pharm companies make this vacc that prevents it...everyone gives their girl a shot...chaching! Those dollar signs are quite inticing, so now lets make it that every boy should get it too!

    What studies have been done to prove that this actually works?...or worse, that it won't harm our kids? I am very skeptical of an institution that's run by former executives of the industry.

    Obviously, my kiddos will not be getting it ;)

  3. My oldest is 13 (a son) and I have no plans of getting this for any of my 3 children. I'm not a big fan of mandated vaccinations and a one for all approach. I don't think my kids fit into any type of box and shouldn't be put into one just because our government thinks it's good for the whole. I have selectively vaccinated my kids and will selectively not be getting this one for my children.

  4. I've never wanted to vaccinate my son, who is now 6. Of course, with it being mandated, he has gotten all of the vaccinations up to this point. I pray hard over that boy each and every time, for God to protect him from any negative effect it may have. I agree with the comment above that said we should teach our children abstinence. I don't agree with vaccinations being manditory, but certainly understand the reason for it... however.. a vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease.. yeah I don't think that should even be available, much less mandatory. Teach your kids the importance of not having sex until marriage. Giving a teenager a vaccination for an STD is just as bad as sticking a condom in their pocket or putting them on birth control.

  5. This is such an interesting topic! To date, both of my kids have either been on a delayed vaccine plan or no vaccine plan (medically necessary for one). We skipped several and plan to skip several others. The HPV vaccine is definitely one that has always been on my skip list. I hope that it does not become mandated because I don't feel it is necessary for all kids. Parenting can just as easily help prevent HPV in most cases.

  6. my kids are 4 and 7 so this isn't on my mind right now.

    but i do know this you can teach your kids to not have sex, and they will any way. teenagers are the most hormonal group, and are not know for their better judgement.

  7. What happens when those kids grow up and ARE sexually active? Would you still want them to have protection then?

  8. You know, If I had it all to do over again I'm not sure I would be a vaxer at all. I'm really not totally on board. My husbandand I talked about it when the kids were young but we eneded up going with the majority and vaxing.

    When my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes we did lots of reaserch, of course, and the vaccine thing popped up many times in that research. As did several other factors. I find the whole vaccine thing very challegning. I can't change what I already did by getting them, but if I had to do it all again....not sure what I'd do.

  9. All Yes'! I had HPV several years ago. It's since disappeared, but since then I'm a huge advocate for the vaccine.

  10. I don't plan on having my kids get the vaccine...and if I change my mind, it won't be for a while. My oldest is only 6.

  11. For a virus that is transmitted by non-traditional means (traditional being air, day to day regular contact), I don't think it should be made mandatory because it will drive up already skyrocketing healthcare costs.

    At the same time, to not get the shot for your children because you assume in the future that they will save themselves for marriage is naive. Not only that, there's not guarantee even if they do that their partner has done the same.

    I currently have no children, but when I do, they wll all be getting this shot.

    I DO approve of mandatory vaccines for things such as the Whooping Cough and Measles. This almost-extinct virus is now making a comeback because parents believed their child didn't need it, so low and behold, you have entire pockets of communities where many kids are becoming infected. Not only that, there was at least one instance where an infected child transmitted the disease to an infant who had not yet been vaccinated and ended up dying from it.

  12. Tammy@TypeA hit it right on the head. Exactly what I was thinking! My parents taught me right from wrong. They taught me abstinence, etc. When I was a teenager I was amazed at how ignorant my parents were:-) My parents got alot smarter as I got older and raised my own kids :-)
    I don't think I would vaccinate my kids for HPV because there isn't enough "long term" research yet.

  13. I'm reposting on this one because by not having the vaccine, I'm not covering my eyes and thinking that my kids won't have sex...or multiple partners. what I am doing is educating them...just because they have the vaccine, it doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other Nasty things out there that could be Far worse than HPV...

    My kids are not vaccineated for anything...and no vaccine is really "mandatory", there are ways to get around it. all of them are very healthy, never had antibiotics and are rarely sick....wish I could say the same for my friend's kids who are frequenters at their clinic!

  14. I will probably get my kids vaccinated ~ although I'm not a huge fan of vaccinations. I did not "sleep around" and ended up with HPV AND pre-cancer cells. I had a decent sized area of cells removed and have since been fine ~ (although there could be a link with that and my early dilating with my babies I had after the surgery). The thing is, most people don't know if they have it. And you know what people ~ just because your child has abstained from sex, doesn't mean their future husband, wife or partner has!!!

  15. I am not giving this to my children. I had a very close friend whose daughter had a horrendous reaction to this ( think stroke at 16) . This vaccine only works on a handful of viruses and causes of cancer ( you can still get cervical cancer from other sources). No vaccine is worth a life long disability.I suggest anyone looking into this seriously do some research. It is heart breaking to watch a girl who was just starting out life become horrifically disabled.

  16. My 18 year old daughter has had the vaccines. My son just turned 21, I would like him to get vaccinated too.
    Vaccines save lives...

  17. Reading this article has given me a WHOLE new perspective on this vaccine and the role marketing plays in public perception of its effectiveness. I urge parents to read it before making the decision to get the Gardasil vaccine. The woman interviewed in the article is a doctor who was involved with the Gardasil and Cervarix clinical trials.

  18. I am grateful for vaccines. Unlike my great-grandparents, I don't have to worry every time my kids get the sniffles, a rash or a fever that they'll die. I play the odds-the chances of bad side effects vs. the disease it is preventing and most of the time the vaccines win. I am super morally conservative, but view it as a vaccine against cancer not as a way to have safe sex.

  19. Please, do your homework. Many girls have died, and many more severely disabled from the vaccine. http://truthaboutgardasil.org/

  20. Shelly, my mom most certainly did her best to teach me "to not sleep around," but that didn't stop me. I was a dumb kid who thought I was invincible. Just because you say not to doesn't mean your kid won't get an STD or wind up pregnant at 16. Lots of good kids end up in bad situations. You are in denial and because of that, your kid could end up with cervical cancer.

  21. I don't see any problem with the state requiring it. If it could save lives, I'm all for it. I know there is some controversy about the state making health decisions regarding children, but insurance companies have been making our medical decisions for decades now and it's usually not with our best interest at heart. At all.

  22. People need to educate themselves about both sides of the story and make their own decisions. You'll find peer reviewed, published evidence that says it's the best thing since sliced bread AND the exact opposite. The challenge is that it's a pretty new thing, and so we have no way of knowing the long term benefits or pitfalls. Established vaccines went through the same process, but so long ago that most people don't care any more but are happy to use them.

    As for people saying they don't want to vaccinate their kids (I mean in general), just remember that the only reason your kid is still safe is because everyone else IS vaccinating their kids. The more people who stop vaccinating, the more we'll see these diseases rear their ugly heads again.

    Gardasil was offered for free through my University and many of us jumped at the opportunity - I'm in a long term stable relationship, so it's not a matter of 'safe sleeping around', it's a matter of cancer prevention. I don't think it should be one of the mandatory vaccinations, but I like that it's available.

    Of course, things like this should never replace proper sex education! Teaching your kids to abstain is a nice idea, but teenagers are hormonal and rebellious, so teaching about safe sex is important too. Your kids need to be able to talk to you about this sort of thing without fear of judgement.


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