|This Pumpkin's Mommy Refused to Get It Vaccinated (image from Flickr, cjc4454)|
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical, anal, penile, vulvar, vaginal, mouth and throat cancer and can affect both boys and girls. Thus the CDC is now recommending that boys and young men, as well as girls, be vaccinated against HPV.
- HPV is the only known cause of cervical cancer, which kills roughly 300,000 women annually, one of the highest causes of cancer death for women globally.
- HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world, infecting half of all sexually active men and women in their lifetimes. One estimate suggests that between 75 and 80% of all Americans will be infected at some point in their lives
- The majority of those infected never know it, which means they may unknowingly be transmitting it to their partners, but that it is persisting in their bodies where it could be contributing to the development of tumors
- The vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are 70% effective at preventing cervical cancer and 90% effective at stopping genital warts
- Clinical trials show that the vaccine has no serious side effects While there have been claims of vaccine-related deaths, none have been verified and no causal links between the vaccine and fatalities have been proven
- The vaccines are much more effective when administered to young teens than when given to older teens and adults
- It won’t make them sexually promiscuous (either they will be or they won’t be, depending in part on how their parents talk to them and support them). The only drugs that might promote promiscuity are those that lower their inhibitions, like alcohol
- It won’t make them mentally retarded, contrary to Michelle Bachman’s claims. In fact, there is no credible evidence that anyone has become retarded because of the vaccine.