Is the widespread HPV vaccination of teenage girls a good idea?
In today’s society individuals can be affected by a number of different viruses and infections. A virus is defined as “various numbers of submicroscopic parasites that can infect any animal, plant, or bacteria and often lead to very serious or even deadly diseases”. One of the most widespread viruses alive today is the Human Papillomavirus commonly known as HPV. HPV can be spread during any kind of sexual encounter even without penetration; it is most frequently spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity with the penis, scrotum, vagina, vulva, or anus of the infected individual. There are more than a 100 different types of HPV viruses, which can be considered “high risk” or “low risk” and often an HPV infection causes genital warts, anal warts, pre-cancerous lesions, and cancers in the cervix, anus, and other genital areas. HPV is now believed to be the leading cause of cervical cancers in women today. Fortunately in Canada there are 2 types of HPV vaccines provided for females aged 9-26; Gardasil, and Cervarix. Vaccinations have reported to be 98% effective, and are expected to protect against HPV induced cancers. Young women are often encouraged by the medical community, television commercials, and ads promoting the use of these vaccines to prevent cancers. However many adverse affects can be traced back to getting this HPV vaccination, and one may question if the vaccine to prevent HPV induced cancers is as effective as it is ineffective, and at what cost.
In the past few years there have been many questions concerning HPV vaccinations and their use. In the following paragraph it will be presented that HPV vaccinations have proven to be safe, effective, and necessary in many ways. Often individuals have doubt about HPV vaccines because of reported adverse affects, and safety concerns. Nonetheless adverse affects after the HPV vaccinations have no direct link to the vaccination itself. In the article Quadrivalent HPV vaccination reactions: More hype than harm by Douglas R.J. a case of a young women 21 years of age is outlined. She visited a hospital emergency department “complaining of a ‘funny feeling’ in the skin overlying the left deltoid muscle, approximately 2 hours after receiving a 0.5 mL intramuscular dose of quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil). There were no other symptoms”. Cases like these lead individuals to believe that the “funny feeling” is a cause of the vaccination. However that feeling is not related to the vaccination in any sort of way it is actually the result of error in the way the vaccine was injected. This is a common error that may occur with any kind of vaccine, even a vaccine as harmless as the flu shot. The adverse effects reported after the HPV vaccinations tend to be very minor affects that are common after any vaccination. Such as headache, irritation at site of injection, nausea, and brief soreness. In the U.S approximately 12 million doses of HPV vaccine had been distributed, and less than 7% adverse affects reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) were classified as serious. The report included 15 deaths following the vaccination, 10 of which lacked information to analyze the cases thus no casual relationship could be made. It was also discovered in lab tests when “10 quadrivalent HPV vaccine recipients and 7 placebo recipients died during the trial period”. None of these deaths showed any common relationship between the patient’s death and vaccine. In Canada 2 types of vaccines are used, Gardasil and Cervarix, it has been estimated that these vaccines are effective against 5 of the most prevalent high-risk HPV types and reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by 90%. Cervarix targets HPV types 16, and 18 responsible for 70% of cervical cancers, and Gardasil targets HPV types 6, and 11 responsible for more than 80% of genital warts. Both vaccines have been...
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