Tuesday, June 02, 2009

To Gardasil or Not To Gardasil

I have been in a bit of a tizzy about Gardasil, the HPV vaccine. As anyone who knows me knows, I am generally pro-modern medicine from a personal standpoint (hooray for successful emergency appendectomies!), and pro-vaccines from an ideological standpoint (the only reason you can get away with not vaccinating your precious little Artemis is because all the rest of us are vaccinating, so Artemis is unlikely to be exposed to any of the diseases we are vaccinating against) (i.e. herd effect).

So I was all set and good to go with the HPV vaccine, and then one of M's good friends had the vaccine in November and has been terribly ill ever since, with no other diagnosis or cause. Then the physician parents of another of her friends said they were not vaccinating their daughters, because they've heard of a few such cases. And, really, I do not usually go for this kind of anecdotal anxiety, but I just felt, in my gut, that I did not want to vaccinate her. But that feeling was very odd in itself, because it was so counter to my usual position.

Luckily, today I was saved by our fabulous pediatrician. She said that there is no reason to consider the vaccine until a girl is sexually active, which means we can--and should--wait (the reason the public health recommendation is to vaccinate at 10-11 is because many girls do become sexually active at that age--which I know is true--but that recommendation is moot when it comes to individual girls) (that was really hard to phrase, but I hope it's clear what I mean). Since the vaccine is only five years old, a few more years will generate significantly more data. So we are definitely waiting on this one, and I am shelving my tizzy, for now.

4 comments:

Kate said...

As someone who works with Gardasil everyday, I say don't do it. At least, not right now.

Libby said...

hmm. interesting. Mariah had it some years ago--not at 10 or 11, certainly, but also earlier than stated need...and has been mysteriously (but not terribly) ill off and on for the last year. But certainly not immediately post-vaccination. Still, worrisome.

landismom said...

Interesting. We've been talking around this one too, since at the Bee's last check-up, the doctor mentioned that next year would be when it was recommended. But I haven't totally made up my mind about it yet.

Stephen Tunley said...

My daughter has had an extreme adevere reaction and 2 of Sydney's leading medical specialists a Prof of Immunology and leading Neuro bioth believe Gardasil was the trigger. I am particularly worried where an exisating AID or predisposition to AID is present. My daughteres story is here http://www.gardasilactiongroup.blogspot.com/ and my website gathereing evidence on Gardasil here http://www.gardasilactiongroup.com/

I would suggest you take great care before you vaccinate.