Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Gardacil Vaccination

A Biblical Home has posted this about the new Gardacil vaccine. At this time, so far as I know, it is only mandatory in Texas. I was going to comment on her blog, but I felt the need to address some issues people are having in more detail. Some of the concerns I am hearing among parents and out there in the blog world have to do with giving our daughters permission to be promiscuous. This is BUNK! I do not feel that protecting your daughter against the HPV virus is giving her permission to sleep around. The HPV virus is the most common precursor of cervical cancer. And yes it is a sexually transmitted disease. Cervical cancer is a nightmare that often causes women to have hysterectomies and therefore limits their ability to give birth to children. The reason I post is this. It's not about promiscuity. It's about protection. A girl could be a virgin on her wedding night and still end up with it. HPV is often symptomless in men and most men who have it do not know they have it. So, if a virgin marries a man who is not he may have it and unknowingly give it to her. A girl can, unfortunately, be raped. What I'm saying is the only ways to be certain you will never get this horrific disease is to never have sex (where the rape problem is still out of your control) or to be a virgin and marry a virgin and both of you remain faithful and if your husband dies you can only remarry a virgin and then still remain faithful and never get raped. Ladies, you don't know who your daughter may fall in love with. It may be a man who came to Christ after he lost his virginity. It may be a man who had been married before. It may be a man who has been a Christian for years and never married but made a mistake and fell. We are not perfect. We are human. I don't believe that sex outside of marriage is right for any reason. It is sin. I'm saying we have an opportunity here with this vaccine to protect our daughters from a fertility and sometimes life threatening disease that they may acquire through no fault of their own. In 49 states it is still optional. I am against Texas making it mandatory. It is a decision for families and young women to make not for the government. Inform yourselves. Get the facts. Ask a Christian doctor or nurse practitioner from your church to give an informative seminar at your church for parents to attend.
Now, as far as the side effects and reactions are concerned, we know that there is risk with any vaccination. Discuss those risks with your health care practitioner. I am not here to promote the vaccine. It is new, and I suspect all the side-effects/risks are yet unknown. The purpose of this post is to debunk the myth that having your daughter get the vaccine = giving her permission to be promiscuous.

Now, I must also take issue with the commenter on the Biblical Home blog who stated, "I do feel like some of the newer vaccines like the Hep. A/B and the HPV are basically vaccines that allow young adults to live immoral lives without the fear of suffering some of the physical consequences."
I have received both of these vaccines. I am not living an immoral life nor have I been given permission to by the vaccine. I got the Hep B vaccine because I am a nurse. I could get it from an accidental needle stick. The Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted sexually. " It can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, cuts or abrasions in the skin, and absorption by mucosal surfaces. Direct contact with infected body fluids, such as tears, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, gastric juices, pleural fluid, semen and urine may pass the infection. Hepatitis B can survive on inanimate objects for up to 1 week. Hepatitis B virus can be found in maternal vaginal secretions, blood, amniotic fluid, saliva and breast milk." (ref.Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children/Kathryn L. McCance, Sue E. Huether.-3rd ed. Mosby-Year Book, Inc.) Obviously this can also be acquired in the community.
Hepatitis A is also a community acquired disease. It is most often spread by people who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. It can be acquired sexually but most often it is through more casual contact. I got the vaccine because I don't want hepatitis A and I could most likely get it through some food service worker who has poor hygiene. Have you ever eaten food from a street vendor? Lots of them don't have a place for the worker to wash his hands, and even if they did most of them don't wash between handling the money and your food and wiping their sweaty brows, scratching their heads etc.

So the overall point here today is that vaccines do not give you permission to live an immoral life, but they can protect you from those who do and from other circumstances beyond your control.


Carrie J said...

I agree with your post. It only seems the smart thing to do if the vaccine is safe. Unfortunately a girl can't really tell if a guy is a virgin or not. I know it may come as a shock to some but some guys have been know to lie. LOL

Rebecca said...

Thank you Carrie. I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who feels this way.

steve7500 said...

I appreciate your comments. I have a question regarding your risk/benefit analysis. It appears that you believe that the risk associated with Gardacil is minimal, or at least similar to that of any other vaccination. It also appears that you belive Gardacil is effective in preventing HPV and cervical cancer. How effective do you think it actually is and on what basis have your formed that opinion? Thank you for your assistance.

Rebecca said...

I do not know all the risks associated with Gardacil. I believe I stated that all of the risks are still unknown as it is a fairly new vaccine. At this point I do suspect that the risks are not any greater than any other vaccine but that is yet to be proven. I do believe the vaccine to be effective but not on all strains of the virus. The basis for my opinions is through the facts given in the Physicians Desk Reference and those from the manufacturer.