Saturday, July 19, 2008

To Gardisil or not to Gardisil

Pete is 10. It won't be long till the pediatrician asks us if we want her to have it- Gardisil. If you've been living in a cave and don't know what it is- it's a vaccine to prevent a girl from being infected by HPV, a virus that causes a large percentage of cervical cancer. Should we get Pete's opinion? Should we wait for more data? Will it make her more likey to have unsafe sex?
It will seriously reduce her risk of a few types of cancer, but we're hearing about problems. I read a review over at Web MD.

So by the end of this year, Merck, the company that makes the vaccine should be reporting their findings. I have asked every doctor I can their opinion about the vaccine. One of the arguments against it is that girls might get a false impression of safety- which I'm pretty sure I can dispel. It's about her health. Not her ability to have sex more often or unprotected (oh, man, that one's gonna give me nightmares)
I know the risks are very small that she might have a reaction to the vaccine. (The most common one is pain at the injection site. Heh. My husband will have to take her for that shot... ) But what are her chances of getting HPV? If she's anything like me, sheesh, we'll need body guards soon.
So, all you parents out there- what say you? And BTW, I've been told that boys can get the vaccine too so's they don't pass it on to their conquests, er, I mean wives.


Bou said...

Every one of my friends with daughters is having or has had them get the vaccine. My pediatrician's daughter has had the vaccine.

Me? I would wait about 6 years to see what happens. I don't like my kids being part of a pool of any kind where they're determining 'the effects' of something. The use of thalidomide in pregnant woman seemed like a good idea at one time too.

I know, extreme example, but I just don't trust the drug companies.

That said, no, even if available for my sons, they will NOT be receiving it.

I'm in the vast minority on my views on this, however. None of my girlfriends with girls feel this way. None.

Mrs. Who said...

My 13 year old daughter and I have talked about this. At this time, she will not be getting this immunization. Too many unknowns. Plus, it only protects against certain kinds of hpv and thereby only certain kinds of cervical cancer.

Girls face way too many pressures communication with your daughter is more a key to prevention of stds, pregnancy, etc., than an 'easy' shot. Too many parents want to take the 'easy' way out and protect their daughter 'medically', instead of the talking and listening necessary to give their children the strength to make good choices.

Now, for sticking my nose where it doesn't said:

If she's anything like me, sheesh, we'll need body guards soon

Did you have a good, open relationship with your folks? Open enough for you to talk about these things? I know I was no angel, and very lucky with the risks I took. But at the same time, my mother was one of those 'good girls don't, end of discussion' mothers. So I had no guidance when faced with the pressures of sex. That's why I work with my daughter to be open about things...all things.

(whew...getting kind of long...sorry) Anyway, there's too many risks in Gardisil at this point in my daughter's life. Down the road, we'll see. But she won't be afraid to ask for it if she needs it.

Holder said...

Bou, I'm with you. I'll wait for the phase III results to come out this year.

Mrs. Who, I would sooo love to meet you! You rock. And you can say whatever you like here, if it breaks any rules (mine) I'll just delete the comment. :)
But think on this- the vaccine, yes, only works on "certain kinds" of viruses and cancer, but it reduces a girl's risk of getting cervical cancer by 70%. That's a pretty big reduction.
Also, I'm sure we'll have plenty of chats, since we do have an open dialogue going on already, but while I can help her make choices, that doesn't mean her spouse/SO will make those same choices. My number one job is to keep her healthy and safe.

And, no, I did not have an open dialogue with my folks. I moved out when I was 15.

Michelle said...

I like my cave...

RedNeck said...

I'm pro garden stills, and pro garage stills, back in the woods stills, hell, I'm pretty much pro still wherever you wanna put it.

Enough moonshine... will kill just 'bout anything.

H2o said...

I'm choosing not to do the shot as of now. Her two friends have had it and no side effects but one never knows.