Should The HPV Vaccine Be Mandatory?

by Yesha Callahan

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. According to the CDC African-American women are 40 percent more likely to develop cervical cancer caused by the STD human papillomavirus (HPV) and 20 percent more likely to die from it compared to white women. HPV in many women just clears up on its own, but researchers found that Black women have a harder time with the clearing up process. Depending on the strain of HPV, it can develop into cervical cancer. Researchers thought that less access to health care made black women more susceptible to cervical cancer, but a new study conducted by the University of South Carolina in Columbia suggests that it might be a biological issue. If other research confirms the finding, the HPV vaccine could be more important to black women.

The HPV vaccine is not without controversy. Last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry was at the center of a national debate about the controversial HPV vaccine. In 2007, he signed an executive order that required all sixth-grade girls in his state receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Although the order included an opt-out for those parents who didn’t want their daughters to receive the vaccination, it was met with opposition and overridden by the state in 2008.

Although the vaccine has proven health benefits, there are still plenty of unanswered questions and issues. In regards to health, many people are concerned that the vaccine doesn’t provide enough protection, since there are several strains of the disease. Since the vaccine is fairly new, people have also questioned the long-term side effects. Many parents also feel that the recommended for the vaccine is too young. The U.S. Advisory on Immunization Practices suggests that boys and girls receive the vaccination between the ages of 11 and 14. “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12,” the AAP said in a statement released last year in response to Michelle Bachman’s bashing of the HPV vacinnation. “That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.” Although the intent is to protect children before they become sexually active, many parents feel that the age is too early for an STD vaccination, and others feel it will encourage sexual promiscuity amongst teens.

There is no disputing the fact that HPV affects African-American women at a higher rate, and the risks for cervical cancer are relevant. But should there be mandates when it comes to a HPV vaccine. Should it be left up to the parents whether or not to have their child vaccinated?

Do you think the HPV vaccine should be mandatory? Do the benefits outweigh the concern?

  • Kimmy

    Of course it should be left up to the parents to vaccinate. Not just with the HPV but with all vaccinations. If parents feel like injecting formaldehyde, aborted fetal tissue and monkey species(just to name a few, there are plenty more disgusting ingredients but it would take all day to name them all) into their child’s bloodstream from birth just because the government said so and is make billions of $$$$ of of it without knowing the risks. Then so be it! Vaccinations actually weaken the immune system not strengthen it. Do your research, and stop listening to the government and pharmaceutical companies when all they care about is making $$ not our children.

  • Miss Anonymous

    It should be left up to the parents, even my mother wouldnt let me get one when my doctor tried to push it on me and she had hpv once herself. There is too many strains of the virus and I think that it only protects against 3 from what my physician told us. I wouldnt want protection from 3 if there are more than 50 other strands I could catch and be left out to dry since Im not protected for that one.

  • Sasha A.

    Hell no. No one’s messing with my body like I’m Operation.

  • Bell

    I just got the first shot a few weeks ago and my body has started acting wonky. So I read up on Gardasil and I don’t think I will be getting the other two shots. I’m not having sex anyway. I’d rather wait until that drug and other vaccine has been out for at least 10-12 years with no major class action suits.

  • Kathleen

    Yes but those 3 strains cover well over 90% of all HPV cases. And fyi men CANNOT be tested for the strain of HPV that causes cervical cancer and experience NO symptoms, the only way they will know they transmitted it is if there partner contracts the disease and tells them….look it up.

  • LemonNLime

    When this shot came out, there was no long term testing done. The general population is being used to test the long term effects of the it. I have not had it and will not have it. Foresee lots of lawsuits in the future about this vaccine.

  • Justanotheropinion

    My daughter’s peditrician (who also is black)said he won’t give it to his 2 girls and suggested I not give it to mine. Said he felt the same way I did – it hasn’t been out long enough and there were some side effects he wasn’t comfortable with. THat was all I needed to hear. If your own doc won’t give it to his kids, I’m not looking to throw my kid in.

  • Rue

    HPV…no. Others such as Tb that can infect an entire school district and not just your oh-so-precious kids…yes.
    Also can some smart person please explain once and for all why black people have HPV and other STDs in greater numbers? No I’m not being sarcastic or snide, I’m just curious (and a little lazy)

  • Chika

    No, no, and No.

  • Miss Anonymous

    I understand that but when someone in healthcare and they tell you HE double hockey sticks because she works in immunizations it makes you question it. Also I just read from cdc that one covers 16 and 11 and the other covers 6 and 11. It only covers 2 out of 11 that causes cervical cancer. Not to mention it is somewhat new and Im not one for being a guinea pig. There are even commercials on tv for people who was affected by Yaz and the like for a class action lawsuit. I will sit this one out until it has been around longer.

  • QB727


    Your comment is completely ridiculous. The pharmaceutical companies would make a hell of a lot more money off of treating your HPV than vaccinating you. Vaccines don’t weaken the immune system. The only “studies” that say so are based on junk science aimed at people who will believe any conspiracy theory.

    Our population’s health depends on the herd immunity we get from people having vaccs. The real issue is that people these days don’t know anyone living in an iron lung or crippled from polio. No one knows of newborns who died at the hospital of Pertusis. It’s easy to be anti-vac when you know that herd immunity will protect your child.

  • Deborah Delp

    @ QB727, you my friend are what we thinking folk call sheeple. Follow along without questioning a thing as long as it comes from some “official” source. What a dupe. Do some research honey instead of relying on PHARMA and CDC for your information. Remember they have great financial incentives to LIE!!!

  • Nicksmom

    No, acutally the HPV vaccine is a HUGE blockbuster drug. Most expensive vaccine to date. Heck yes Merck wants it mandatory. It has made billions so far, and they want more. HPV treatment involves surgery, not drugs. They don’t get a piece of that. They spend more money on lobbyist than any other industry, and they want results. They want their blockbuster product on the mandatory requirement list.

  • sweet pea

    Watch the Film ‘the Greater Good’
    The reason they want to give it at 11 is because if you already have a covered strain it actually increases cervical cancer risk.
    It is extremely unscientific to say all vaccines are great & work the exact same way. That is like comparing xanax to penicillin.

  • Chrsitine

    Read about these side effects and then decide:

  • Adam

    The vaccine results in a 0.6% reduction in incidence from those strains, but a 3.5% increase in incidence from the other strains. Your health, your choice.

  • Adam

    Vaccination has zero effect on transmission of pertussis, the herd immunity argument fails miserably with pertussis and influenza. Have you seen what an iron lung looks like in 2012? If you have you would know that no-one would recognize it. Did you see what a cell phone looked like in 1980?

  • Adam

    That’s right, $250 million at the federal level alone last year was what pharma spent to try and make sure the regulatory agencies are run by pharma-friendly folk. See last CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding. Where is she now? Head of Vaccines at Merck. Funny how quickly people are to label science as “junk” when it’s publicly funded and independent yet call it trustworthy when there are huge conflicts of financial interest (ie – paid for by seven different vaccine manufacturers). The biotech/GMO-food industry works the same way.

  • Karen

    I agree totally with your comment! Just take the time to research these vaccines. Do your own homework. Seems like there is a new one every day and this gardasil is causing all kinds of side effects, even death from what I am reading. Mandatory, give me a break. There is no reason in the world why this should be mandatory. Regular pap smears will do more for women in preventing cervical cancer than this dangerous vaccine. Follow the link suggested above and also go to the National Vaccine Information Center for all the information you could ever want on all vaccines.

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