Monday, August 24, 2009

one less: Gardasil

I've been fumbling around on this page all morning, trying to collect my thoughts and decide whether or not Lexi should complete the Gardasil vaccination series we began last month, in light of some medical concerns about the safety of the vaccine.

What caught my attention? The mention of autoimmune disease, namely RA and Guillain-Barre, two diseases I know too much about to ignore.

So I am left to wonder: What would you do? Would you continue with the series or would you stop while you're ahead?

(I'm leaning on postponing any further shots; I am curious to hear my rheumatologist's take.)

Recent Blogher post

Dr. Timothy Johnson and other doctors answer questions on ABC's blog

CDC report

CNN report

Another recent ABC report


Anonymous said...

Though I have only had one sexual partner, he has had several before we met. He's a very different person now, but still had that past, and now I have HPV because of it. It's a little scary, but vaccine safety is scary too, and more immediate. Even with my background, I would lean toward waiting while you have time, getting as much information and informed opinions as you can before taking the next step. (sorry for posting anon. - I don't normally but this is still sensitive for us)

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Thank you for your input; I completely respect your privacy. It's a sensitive subject and I appreciate hearing your thoughtful response.

lapoflux said...

That is worrisome - I too would wait (I haven't checked out those links yet, but I will). I am not sure how long the vaccine has been around, but it sounds like you need to find out a bit more about it.
Thanks for brining this to my attention! Good luck!!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Given your experience with those particular issues, I think waiting is wise for Lexi.

Why does parenting have to be so hard sometimes?

brandy101 said...

I am not getting Gardisil for my daughter. When I was in college, AIDS was so high-profile, that condom use was expected (and ENFORCED) by a very high number among the sexually active. Sadly, people have been lulled into thinking otherwise, but condoms take care of so many issues in one swoop - and with no side-effects. There are even alternative material condoms for those who are latex-sensitive.

I also know that as long as you get an annual pap and have good screening, taking care of HPV or cervical cancer is...not a very involved treatment (again, if caught EARLY).

Now if they said it also prevented, say, the more difficult to detect ovarian cancer, then maybe Id line up for it for my daughter.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Brandy101, condoms don't actually protect a person from HPV; I should know. As for regular screenings- a "regular" screening is once a year. Fortunately for me, I made it a habit to go in whenever I changed sex partners, on top of my annual- which is how I discovered that I had gone from "clear" to "pre-cancerous" (as in cervical, as in the doctor MADE ROOM in her schedule to carve a piece out of me) in a scant five months. So please don't make it seem like HPV (and it's potential effects) are as easily avoided and dealt with as a paper-cut. Regarding my thoughts on immunizing one's daughter- well, I will probably get mine immunized. But the beautiful thing is, you DO have time to back off and do your own in-depth research, until you feel comfortable one way or the other. All immunizations are risky- after all, they are INJECTING YOU WITH A BAD THING. Yes, it is to hopefully make you immune to said bad thing, but still. Children DIE from regular immunizations every year. It is (like so many decisions in parenting) a gamble, but those are odds that I'll take.

(PS I too apologize for the Anon, for the same reasons)

Stephanie Breuner said...

I would wait.

At the appropriate times in my daughter's life I would thoroughly discuss how GOOD abstinence is on so many levels.

Maggie May said...

I would stop the shots, definitely. And I have had precancerous cells and cryosurgery, and I would not give the shot to my daughter ( who is seven right now ) I have many reasons why, but the main thing to consider is the youth of this vaccination, and how little we know about any future implications.

Cervical cancer is better dealt with my frank discussions and regular check ups, which can and usually DOES catch pre cancerous changes while they can be easily dealt with. I drink green tea and take garlic and C and D etc for immune health and in the over decade since my problem have had no cervical issues.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Those links you provide raise some extremely large red flags for me. I'd been considering vaccination for my daughter. Having read all this, I would not do it.

And while I will certainly tell her abstinence is good, I don't kid myself that will totally protect her. Even if she waits until marriage and is totally faithful, so many men commit adultery. I've read statistics that anywhere between 40-60% of married men are unfaithful. :(

What caught my attention wasn't the possibility of autoimmune disease from Gardasil. It was the deaths of young women after receiving the vaccine.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Both my 14 year old daughter and I agreed that she would not get it. I think there is too much unknown at this point, and I don't like the idea of her being a guinea pig. At all.

The other day I was half listening to some program on the TV as I worked, and they were talking about "reported deaths" (!!!) in regards to Gardisil, as well as other things that you've already mentioned.

I think there were very few grade 8 girls getting the vaccine when it was offered in school. Certainly none of my daughter's friends got it. Our doctor doesn't agree with our decision, but I feel confident enough that we made the right one.

Just my 2¢...

The Girl Next Door said...

I have typically been very against any "new" vaccines, having just a little knowledge (seriously just a little - I am not much of a scientist) of new drugs and clinical trials and "adverse events" reports and things as a sometimes pharmaceutical patent litigator. My doctor's brother was actually one of the doctors who was somehow very involved in testing the vaccine. She's normally a "no drugs" kind of doctor. She hounded me to get this vaccine - and I was weak b/c I had just been told I had HPV despite having 2, yes 2 partners my entire 42 years (and no not simultaneously). So we started the vaccine. But the more I hear and read, the less convinced I am we did the right thing.....