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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Study raises red flag for vaccine for girls



Needle_2 A lot of my friends with daughters are fretting about the June report that raised doubts about the HPV vaccine Gardasil, marketed as a preventive cervical cancer treatment for girls. The "L.A. Times" has this report on the worrisome spot some parents are in over these questions.

Some doctors and parents are worried that the expensive shots won't offer any more protection than preventive measures already available, such as regular Pap smear tests, and could give a false sense of security. And an analysis released June 30 by the Washington, D.C.-based public interest group Judicial Watch raised some alarm.  Although cause and effect were not proved, the report listed serious events such as seizures and even deaths among teens and young women who had earlier had Gardasil shots.

So that leaves parents who aren't against vaccines in most other cases weighing the choice. If you give them the shot starting at age 9 or 11, as most major medical groups are urging, you could prevent cervical cancer. If you decide to wait and let them decide for themselves when they are adults, can you be confident they won't be sexually active as teens and in need of protection?

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:56am]


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