Would you give your adolescent girls an STD vaccine?


#1

Hi all!
I’m in a class that is doing a debate concerning potential vaccines for HPV (human papalova? virus) which is an STD that causes genital warts. According to our research, it is the highest contracted disease, has no cure and is spread even through condoms–even skin to skin contact. It also is one of the most common causes of cervical cancer.

There is a potential vaccine out there right now that could possibly cure this virus and help/cure cervical cancer. However, (here’s the catch) it must be administered to MOST females (so that noone will contract and carry this disease) by puberty. That’s right, it must be given as a shot to almost all young women before the age of 10 or so.

What do you guys think about this? Most opponents of this vaccine say that it will just encourage kids to have more sex, but I don’t buy that. Although this may prevent HPV, it does not prevent the spread of AIDS or the chance of pregnancy, so kids shouldn’t be less cautious. Also, I think that not all girls have to know that they have this vaccine, (like you wouldn’t say "Well, Jennie, now that you have your vaccine, you won’t get harmed by having a little sex,) so it won’t affect their mindset. My only concern is the potential side effects of this vaccine on young girls (since it is so new) but I have no moral problems with it. If other kids are going to have sex (hopefully mine won’t) and it can prevent them from contracting and spreading this harmful disease to women, I don’t see why we should not give it. Am I totally off on this one? What do you think that the Church would say, since it has nothing to do with contraception?

Please give me your opinions so that I can respectfully and accurately represent our faith and parents in general!

Thanks!


#2

I, personally, would not give it. If my children decide to get it for themselves later in life, that would be their choice.


#3

Understanding of Theology of the Body seems like a pretty effective vaccine to me.

I would not be morally opposed to an opt-in vaccine as described, but really it is just masking the problem. The problem is that parents are not taking the responsibility to morally educate their children and arm them with the knowledge that will motivate them to be chaste and pure.


#4

Thanks mum, but I don’t think that that is an option. This seems to be a once or nothing deal (as in it has to be administered during puberty). Also, if you all could think of it as a voting issue, (which way would you vote) as in would you want it to be given to all young girls or say that you don’t think it should?
Why or why not?
Thanks again!


#5

Vluvski,

I know that we as Catholic parents feel that it is our obligation to educate our kids on morality and encourage them not to have sex before marriage, SO if we succeed, what harm does it do to give our child the vaccine? (just representing a viewpoint that I know one of my classmates will present)

I agree that the STD problem is because of rampant and irresponsible sexual behavior! That is the problem and that should be what we focus on finding a solution for. However, this disease can be spread through hand-to-genital contact, oral sex, etc, not just intercourse (inside or outside of marriage). So, it’s not necessarily the traditional “fornicators” who are only getting this disease.

Thanks for your contributions and reasons why!
Jess


#6

[quote=JessHav]Thanks mum, but I don’t think that that is an option. This seems to be a once or nothing deal (as in it has to be administered during puberty). Also, if you all could think of it as a voting issue, (which way would you vote) as in would you want it to be given to all young girls or say that you don’t think it should?
Why or why not?
Thanks again!
[/quote]

Well, I dont’ give any unnecessary vaccines as my eldest daughter had a very scary reaction to her first vaccine and I’ve been told that all my other children would be at higher risk of reaction due to this family history. We are currently grapling with whether to do the 11 year old vaccinations let alone optional extras.

First, I wouldn’t give it at this time as it is new. We’ve recently had a new one released here that has since been admitted to be the test round (on our children) and a lot of stuff that came out was quite shocking in terms of what they with-held from the public before the campaign began.

My thought, if it was an option for later years, would be not to do it and let them decide for themselves if they want to have it before they expose themselves to risk. But if it’s not an option, I don’t know. Probably not.


#7

No. I don’t think I would for my children as they already know of a very effective “vaccine” (a.k.a. not having premarital sex).


No. I don’t think I would vote to allow it for all girls either. No matter how safe a medical decision may be - there are ALWAYS some people who should not have it for health reasons. There is ALWAYS a certain amount of risk to a percentage of the population. No drug is for everyone. And all drugs are a danger to someone.


#8

I would give it to her because she may be raped, or marry someone who is not a virgin. Those two reasons alone are good enough for me.


#9

As for the voting issue, I always would vote no on mandating any vaccinations. Some people choose not to vaccinate their children and I wouldn’t want to require anyone to have it.


#10

For truly sexually transmitted diseases absolutely not! Abstinence will do, and is expected.

BUT…HIV is not only sexually transmitted…I as a healthcare worker would want that protection. There have been instances of doctor to patient transmission…dentist to patient (being investigated right now, and looking likely)…HIV is found in every human fluid…including spit and tears…blood to blood as in open cut to blood contact or transfusions (even though there is screening precaution due to human error would be nice)

Something to think about anyway


#11

[quote=Anglican77]I would give it to her because she may be raped, or marry someone who is not a virgin. Those two reasons alone are good enough for me.
[/quote]

:hmmm: The example given was hpv/cervical cancer. I’m going to go on a limb here and say I’m assuming (dangerous I know!) that the vaccine wouldn’t protect against ALL std’s?


Rape is always used as the feared possiblity. (it’s the last ditch case for abortions too.) I prefer to live my life knowing of these things, but not assuming they will happen to me or my dd. I know it happens, but I’m not going to make medical choice assuming it might happen, kwim?


Many states require blood testing for std’s before granting a marriage license. The purpose is not to prevent marriage, but to make sure those getting married know what they are getting into and so both may plan (or not) accordingly. Not all std’s are untreatable or uncurable.


I’m also interested in the concept of vaccines for viral diseases. It seems there should be concern about the virus mutating into a worse disease than it now is, rather than actual killing off of the entire desease.???


I guess in a nutshell, my answer would still be no because there isn’t enough data to convince me of effectiveness and safety. I know I would NEVER vote for an across the board mandatory vaccine of all pre-puberty girls.


#12

shoot, I might get one


#13

This is a good question. My initial response is no, but I don’t know what I will do if the vaccine becomes available. You have to consider I have what some may consider a skewed perspective of people after working in a public health clinic for 7 years. I managed too many abnormal paps. I know genital HPV infection causes 99% of cervical cancers.My DD may not marry someone who has refrained from all gential contact (hand-to-genital contact, oral sex, etc). I’'ve read the estimates that up to 80% of the population has been exposed to HPV; however, “the estimated prevalence of genital warts is only about 1%, and less than 10% develop detectable cervical subclinical HPV-induced lesions”. There is the possiblity of nonsexual transmission. I just don’t know.

Autumn


#14

Why don’t they vaccinate the boys?


#15

Wow robswife, good points! I will definitely think those over. Also, thanks for all the different perspectives, guys! I love hearing good sound opinions and using those reasons rather than our group just using the old “kids will have more sex” argument and leaving it at that.

Jess


#16

[quote=CatholicSam]Why don’t they vaccinate the boys?
[/quote]

It isn’t cost effective.


#17

Many states require blood testing for std’s before granting a marriage license. The purpose is not to prevent marriage, but to make sure those getting married know what they are getting into and so both may plan (or not) accordingly. Not all std’s are untreatable or uncurable.

[/quote]

HPV is not detectable via blood testing.


#18

[quote=astegallrnc]It isn’t cost effective.
[/quote]

I don’t understand this statement… it seems to me that if there is a vaccine available to protect against HPV, it would cost the same to administer to boys as it would to girls. Can someone explain please?


#19

[quote=CatholicSam]I don’t understand this statement… it seems to me that if there is a vaccine available to protect against HPV, it would cost the same to administer to boys as it would to girls. Can someone explain please?
[/quote]

This will probably explain it better than I…
cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no11/04-0222.htm


#20

Maybe you know this already, but HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Well over 90% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV. A woman has almost no chance of getting cervical cancer if she remains abstinent before marriage.


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