Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And she's...SAFE!

There has been quite a bit of media attention surrounding Gardasil, the vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer- does it cause blood clots? miscarriage? shock? death? Well, the 2 year safety study of Gardasil is out, and the verdict is...Gardasil is safe.  Four independent reports on the vaccine's demonstrate safety and specifically the reports show no link between the Gardasil vaccine and potential problems such as blood clots, allergic reactions, strokes, seizures, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. 
What good does this vaccine do? Gardasil provides immunization against the two HPV (human papilloma virus) strains that cause 70% of cervical cancers, and the two strains of HPV that cause 90% of genital warts. Is that a big deal? Ask the families of the nearly 4000 American women who died of cervical cancer last year, or the 11,000 who were diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Ask any of the one million  Americans  each year who have to suffer the physical and emotional pain of being treated for genital warts- they'll tell you this is a great vaccine.
Why do some people fear the Gardasil vaccine will promote promiscuity? Did they complain when their child received the hepatitis B vaccine on day two of life? News flash- hepatitis is also transmitted via sex (or IV drug use, but I don't think vaccines promote drug use either.)
BOTTOM LINE: I believe Gardasil can virtually eliminate cervical cancer for our daughters' generation, and greatly reduce the trauma and drama of genital warts. Its safety is well documented, and yes, I will give it to my own daughters. 

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