Tuesday, January 30, 2007

HPV Vaccine

Recently, I have been reading up on the Gardasil vaccine. This is the vaccine that protects against HPV - which causes some forms of cervical cancer. HPV is an STD, and I must admit that my first reaction was an absolute "no way!"
My mind has changed. When I first heard that Michigan is trying to pass legislation that would REQUIRE the vaccine for all girls ages 11 and up, the mom in me got really defensive (and I don't even have a daughter.) I still don't think that the government should make it a requirement. I don't think they need to be parenting my children.
As far as the vaccine is concerned, I have many years to watch the effectiveness and side-effect issues before it would ever be needed by a child of mine (this vaccine is actually approved for boys/men too...they can carry HPV and pass it to a woman.) IF the vaccine is indeed safe, I would have to say I would consider it. If my child makes a mistake and falls into sin, would I deny medical help from a doctor to help them in a time of need (for a pregnancy, a disease, or otherwise?) No. So, why wouldn't I try to protect her/him from a deadly cancer? Here are a couple of instances that could make a good case for the vaccine:

1. Your daughter remains pure but is marrying a man who fell into sin as a college student. He has turned his life around......but could still put her at risk down the road.

2. Your daughter is raped.

3. Your daughter falls into sin and starts engaging in premarital sex.

If I were to immunize my child, I would simply tell them that this shot protects against a type of cancer and would leave it at that. I don't think that having this vaccine would necessarily make someone head down a path of promiscuity.

I'm certainly not 100% on any of this....I'm really just thinking out loud. Any thoughts?


mitchells2000 said...

I don't know much about this (surprise, the nurse!) However, I would say that I personally think you have to be very careful with vaccines in general. It would take a lot of research on my part before I make a decision either way. I'll have to think on that one a while.
My instant reaction is this: are you taking away consequences of their sin? Other than the rape scenario, all the others involve choices that they make to be involved in sin. Now I don't think you should hold that over their heads, but maybe God is allowing that in their lives as a consequence of their sin.
I don't know... just a thought.

Dawn said...

Good thoughts, Heather. As far as the consequences of their sin, I think that in the case of promiscuity, cancer would be only one consequence. There are so many more consequences (emotional and physical, let alone spiritual) that would still have to be battled, vaccine or not. If my child were to get pregnant and have life-threatening complications, I wouldn't deny her medical care. She'd still have to deal with the consequences of the sin.
Again, I'm still thinking all of this through...and I don't even have a girl!!

DreaM said...


I have a girl & I have been thinking about this very much. I not against the vaccine because there could be as you have said some instances where my daughter could be exposed without her choosing an sinful lifestyle. Also like you have said if our children were in a sinful lifestyle we would still take them to the doctor to get care (that was an excellent point that I had not thought of). I myself have not figured out what I would do. I have been frusterated about the advertisements, because I feel like they are only giving half the information. If the girls only knew that it was a sexually transmitted disease, maybe they would think twice before their actions. I really appreciate your comments on this.

Debbie said...

Hey Dawn,

I lean more to the HPV is a consequence of sin, would you get the AIDS vaccine when it comes out? Same idea. And the difference in the pregnancy out of wedlock, in my mind, is that too is a consequence of sin but I would not provide an abortion to help resolve that consequence. Nor would I put my daughters on birth control, just in case.

On a different note, I read an article some time ago that in the beginnings of cancer research some scientists found that cancer seemed to act like a virus, most particularly a Tuberculosis type. I think it's intersting that these scientists were shut down in order to promote radiation therapy and later chemo. Yet a major discovery in cancer is that HPV is a virus.