Routine childhood vaccinations are a touchy subject. The majority of people don't ever question them, simply giving them to their children on the usual schedule. I'm not going to go into that here, though for the record I vaccinate my daughters on a delayed schedule. (Should I have any more kids, I intend to follow the schedule proposed in The Immunization Book, by the younger Dr. Sears.)
What this post is about is this story:
Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out
Gardasil, if you aren't immediately familiar with it, is the new vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus, a sometimes sexually-transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer.
Those who promote the vaccine--which they want us to give to our preadolescent daughters--have been doing a pretty good job of painting the opposition to the vaccine as coming from a bunch of buttoned-up far-right-wingers who are terrified of their precious daughters *gasp* having TEH SECKS.
And for some reason, we've let 'em.
Here's the crux of my opposition to this vaccine: It is incredibly new and I am not convinced of its safety. I am not the only one, but a good many of those bitching about it aren't exactly believable (Mercola, anyone?).
Dr. Diane Harper was one of the researchers for this vaccine. She helped bring it to market. If anyone has credibility, then, she should. And she has her doubts:
This raises questions about the CDC’s recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. “If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn’t last... we’ve put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit,” says Dr. Harper. “The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated.” She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings.
What it boils down to for me is this: I have daughters. Each one is an individual. Her own person. She has, therefore, an inalienable right to bodily integrity (nope, not a one of my girls has holes in her ears). I'm not gonna fuck with that for the sake of making them guinea pigs.