Wednesday, September 14, 2011

HPV vaccine

At the recent debate of hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination, Michelle Bachman apparently made a series of ugly false claims about the safety record of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.  It was the usual dribble of fear-spasms calculated to appeal to a rabid anti-feminist sub-group of the electorate.

It was ugly because HPV kills: along with the initial, rather unpleasant* disease, HPV causes cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancer.  In fact it causes most cervical cancers which mean that the HPV vaccine might be the first pharmaceutical which lets us cure a cancer.    HPV vaccine also has a shiny safety record, better than the safety record of Tylenol/aspirin/ibuprofen which I'm sure Bachman regularly throws down her gullet.  So, here's the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to set the record straight:
 “The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have
been administered, and it has an excellent safety record."
Furthermore, this is only an effective way to cure cancer population-wide if it happens in the right time-frame, i.e.-before sexual activity.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s
important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.”
Dear parents: do it.  Dear everybody else: if you're considering voting for this woman, or any other Republican candidate, please convince them to engage in political grandstanding less likely to cause the death of women and the destruction of families.
* Sorry if you clicked that.

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