HPV was a new concern when I reached adulthood. I thankfully never got involved in hookup culture, and never tested positive for HPV. But it’s become such a common aspect of modern society that the CDC is now recommending children ages 11-12 get vaccinated against it.
I would never have known, except that my ex-husband recently told our eldest daughter she needs to get her HPV vaccine. My daughter is a shy 11-year-old girl. She mostly spends her time reading, writing stories, and playing with her younger siblings.
When she relayed the message, I was shocked and confused. I messaged him thinking there was a mistake, but no, he truly believed our young daughter needs a vaccine for a sexually transmitted infection. So I decided to research the situation before passing too much judgment.
What I found astounded me.
CDC Guidelines for HPV
The CDC urges all preteens to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. I was told that this is a preventative measure when discussing it with others. So many parents believe it’s best to get it taken care of before it becomes a problem, just like birth control or other issues, but when I checked the data, the numbers just didn’t add up.
The CDC states that “HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.” Apparently, there were 43 million cases of it recorded in the latest report. But the CDC also states that “In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems.”
The CDC urges all preteens to get the HPV vaccine.
I had a few friends and family members who thought their lives were over when they tested positive for HPV 10-15 years ago. Not one of them now has cancer or even HPV today, and they never displayed symptoms. They would never have known they even had it if it weren’t for the test.
So why the need for the vaccine?
HPV can sometimes, in rare cases, cause cervical cancer. Based on most of the vaccine ads and commercials out there, that seems to be the number one concern. So again, I compared the data.
The CDC noted that about 45,300 cases of HPV become cancerous each year. In doing the math, that comes out to 0.1% of infections. So not even 1% of HPV cases turn cancerous. Which is good news for our health.
But then why should non-sexually active prepubescent children be vaccinated for HPV? Especially since the average age when Americans lose their virginity is 17 and 45% of Americans are still virgins when they turn 18?
Public Pressure and Vaccines
The vaccine debate has a dark side. The media pushes the image that anyone who doesn’t choose to take a vaccine, any vaccine, is uneducated and dangerous. We’ve witnessed that throughout the pandemic.
At the start of 2020 everyone was terrified of COVID-19. The predictions were horrific, and we really didn’t know what we were dealing with.
Over a year later, we understand that it’s not as deadly or as contagious as previously feared, but instead of celebrating that fact, the media and politicians are pushing everyone to get an experimental vaccine and demonize anyone who wants to wait for clinical trials to finish and full FDA approval to go through.
Vaccines are treated as a “yes” or “no” issue instead of individual medical treatments which serve individual medical needs.
Vaccines are treated as a “yes” or “no” issue instead of individual medical treatments which serve individual medical needs. Newer vaccines have not been on the market long enough to display long-term side-effects, and plenty have been recalled in the past. I know this because my eldest ─ the girl who was told to get an HPV vaccine ─ had a bad reaction to a vaccine when she was a baby.
Not All Vaccines Are Created Equal
I trust older vaccines more because they have had decades to be tested and perfected. But when my eldest was a baby, I didn’t question them. I just did what the doctor said.
Then my daughter got her rotavirus vaccine. This oral dose seemed like nothing at first. My baby girl got tired, but she had a few other shots, and doctor visits were always a little over-exciting for her.
When we got home, she was asleep in the car seat. I let her sleep because I figured she needed some extra rest. That’s normal after vaccines.
For the next 12 hours she was unresponsive. Her breathing grew shallow. I couldn’t get her to wake up for anything. She wouldn’t eat at all. I was a breastfeeding mother, and my milk supply was overflowing because my avid eater was limp. She wouldn’t even sleep-suckle.
It was terrifying. I thought I had lost my daughter.
It was up to me to do the research. Not my doctor, the CDC, the FDA, or any other institution.
It was only after she got through it that the doctor admitted that my daughter didn’t really need that vaccine because she wasn’t in daycare and rotavirus only really circulates in daycare centers. That batch of the vaccine was recalled, and I was left with the knowledge that it was up to me to do the research. Not my doctor, the CDC, the FDA, or any of these institutions that claim they’re working for our safety.
Make an Educated Personal Choice
It’s hard to trust a medical industry that treats people like cattle. The CDC makes a lot of money from vaccines, and last year they learned they can capitalize on fear too.
Regardless, as a mother, I want to properly educate my children and allow them to make decisions for themselves based on factual evidence. So I sat down with my daughter and discussed the potential risks and causes for the HPV vaccine. I told my ex-husband that it’s her body and she’s old enough to make her own decisions.
I want to properly educate my children and allow them to make decisions for themselves based on factual evidence.
She has decided not to get the vaccine for now. When she becomes an adult and/or sexually active we’ll revisit the discussion because she admitted she values my opinion and that the topic is scary. I told her I will offer her advice anytime she wants, but in the end, the decision is ultimately hers.
HPV can lead to life-threatening cancers, but it doesn’t in most cases. 99.9% of infections clear up without issues. Instead of pushing women and children to get vaccinated against sexually transmitted infections, maybe we should examine the data first and make sure there’s truly a necessity.
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