Does the Church have anything "official" on the Gardasil vaccine?

I had lunch with a friend last week. We both have younger children and were talking about the challenges of raising kids today verses 20 or more years ago because of all the things they are exposed too. We were discussing vaccinations. He’s in favor of his children (when they are older) of receiving the HPV, Gardasil, vaccination. I am not.

We are both teaching our children the importance of staying chaste until marriage. My opinion is that in itself rules out the need for it. He disagrees and views the vaccination as an “insurance policy”, because we can all make mistakes. Obviously you can debate those two points ad nauseum. I’m just curious if the Catholic Church has anything specific on the vaccination itself. He asked that question and I couldn’t answer.

For an action to be moral three conditions must be met. The intent must be right, the act itself cannot be intrinsically bad, and the circumstances must be right. A vaccination by itself is morally neutral, intent and circumstances are not going to be defined in every detail by the Church. The bottom line is that the Church does not hold a specific position in favor or against the use of that vaccine.

Kids make mistakes and do things they later regret. HPV is common, and preventing it will decrease the risk of cervical cancer, and the vaccine is a one time thing, so it’s not like you are giving your kids condoms to keep them safe or anything which would give the impression that you approve of premarital sex. Plus, even if they do stay chaste, their future partner in marriage could easily have the virus. Vaccination removes that risk.

The Church does not have any sort of position on Gardasil. It is a morally neutral vaccine.

I would suggest you focus much more heavily on the medical issues surrounding it-- I have seen several posts by doctors that they have some huge issues with this vaccine and the uptick in other forms of HPV (Gardasil does not protect against all HPV strains and it seems that evidence is starting to surface that the other strains may be getting more aggressive).

Anway, I’d be more concerned about the medical need and whether or not there really is one.

A couple corrections here.

First, its not a onetime thing. Like all other vaccines it requires boosters throughout a persons life. How often? The manufacturer of Gardisil, Merck, isn’t sure. They only studied the effectiveness for 3 years. So giving it to you daughter at 14 and she may not be protected when she goes to college.

Secondly it is not a cure all. It raises titers on 4 strains of HPV, the other 11 types associated with cervical cancer account for 1/3 of cases and Gardisil does not protect against those strains. In the end it lends a false sense of security.

I decided against this vaccine for my teen daughter because I just don’t think it has been studied enough. There are a lot of anecdotal stories about girls fainting, and no one knows why. No one really knows how long it lasts, which like a PP pointed out, if you give the vaccine to your daughter as a young teen (as our Family Practice doc was a couple of years ago) it will be wearing off just about the time where she might really be experiencing exposure.

I have decided to leave this one up to my daughter – she knows the vaccine is available, and if she were to choose to be sexually active against our moral teachings, she has bus fare to the doctor to go and get it.

In the meantime, it is much more important to me to figure out why young girls are sexuality active and how to prevent it, and we have done the following:

She has a good relationship with her own father, and does not need to go looking for affection elsewhere.
She has received teaching in our moral beliefs, that sex is for marriage.
She volunteers with me at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, and sees first hand the consequences of early sexual activity.
She has a strong peer group, from which many of her needs for emotional intimacy are met.
She is kept busy with activities, strongly encouraged in her studies, and is building a future for herself.
She is well supervised. She does enjoy the company of a young man her age, and after it was evident this would be an ongoing thing, his mother came round to our house, and we discussed, in their presence, rules for supervision, and that they are never alone together. We strongly encourage them going out in groups, and spending time with each other with family present.
I pray for her, and her future spouse.

At one point, these will not have to be just my morals, but her own, and I have less control over that. She will eventually move out of the home, and may not choose the path I wish for her. In any case, she will need to take responsibility for these choices, and that includes decisions regarding the Gardisil vaccine.

Just wanted to point out 2 things:

1- Men transmit HPV, it’s all well and good hoping our children will make the right decisions and trying to bring them up as such, but you have no influence over their future spouse.
2- My OB/GYN recommended that I didn’t get the vacine as I’m northern european and we have a much less prevalence of cervical cancer than the general population, so I would actually be introducing into my body - I just thought that was an important fact to share.

I know there will be lots of medical developments beforemy unborn child gets to this stage, but I didn’t choose it for myself and I would be surprised if I choose it for my children.

Well, just because your children are chaste does not mean they will not need the Gardisil vaccine. I got raped by a boyfriend and he gave me HPV. He didn’t even know that he had it. I got the kind that can cause cervical cancer. Luckily I got it while I was young enough and my body eradicated the HPV on its own. Good thing I didn’t get it when I was older. Also just because your children don’t have sex until they are married, does not mean that their spouse waited. I think it is a good idea to get it. It could save their life.

P.S. My strain was one of the ones that Gardisil would have protected me from. My college refused only a year before I got HPV to give me the vaccination because I was 19 as opposed to 18 or younger.

I am so sorry :frowning:

I agree with you 100%. This is an issue that keeps getting (deliberately?) forgotten.

The women may be chaste, but they can have no idea in many cases as to their husband’s sexual history. I am all for the vaccine.

One of the reasons that factored into having our daughter vaccinated. Yes, we are teaching our daughter to be chaste, but crimes against women can happen and the vaccination itself does not go against any Catholic teachings, so we made the decision to vaccinate.

I, as well, got HPV from a rapist. There is also the question of getting from a spouse. It’s pretty easy to catch by skin-to-skin contact so condoms aren’t too useful. People have a false sense of security with condoms.

If they don’t know their husband’s history, they shouldn’t be getting married. Or marry a virgin. If men want to betray their future wife in that way, they deserve to be passed over for marriage.

It’s also possible that the husband himself may have given full disclosure, be a good man and be the right person for such a woman, except for some foolishness in his younger, stupider days. Such a man can be rightly loved and validly married and the vaccine for the chaste woman makes perfect sense.

A repentant, converted man is no less deserving of a good wife than an angel from birth.

My disclaimer is this though: if the Church makes an authoritative moral ruling on the use of this vaccine, I will, as always, give full assent. So far, she hasn’t.

“some foolishness”? The fact that the wife will need a vaccine in order to marry him (and avoid disease or death) is not just “foolishness”. If men cared, they wouldn’t do stupid things like that, requiring wives to take extra health risks (by vaccine and so on). If men cared, that is.

You can quit your holier-than-thou trolling anytime there bud. Seriously. I’m sure you’d be the guy scrambling for all the dropped rocks when Christ asked for those without sin gathered around the woman caught in adultery to be the first to strike her.

Not that it matters but both my wife and I were virgins when we were married. And if a doctor suggested this vaccine to our daughter when the time was right, I’m also 100% positive we would do it. Crimes happen. Sin happens. Should any party involved be sentenced to death by cervical cancer for this? No.

“some foolishness”? The fact that the wife will need a vaccine in order to marry him (and avoid disease or death) is not just “foolishness”. If men cared, they wouldn’t do stupid things like that, requiring wives to take extra health risks (by vaccine and so on).

You can quit your holier-than-thou trolling anytime there bud.

But most men with HPV don’t know that they have it, so just knowing their sexual history doesn’t do much good.

With all due respect, they would have to take the man’s word for it. I have daughters.
And there are men who can be cads.

Still for the vaccine.:wink:

They can’t find out? And men with no sexual history?

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