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Risks with HPV vaccine?

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    My mom won't let me get the new HPV vaccine, but I wanted to. Sounded like a good idea. She said that later down the road (She's an RN) they'll find that the *stuff* in it will hurt us.

    So what is she talking about? Or hinting at? Is there something to be worried about, or is this another I'm-afraid-of-vaccines thing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2010 #2
    There are many groups on the internet that are anti-vaccine and the spread silly rumors with no proof so watch out for them!

    Here is what I could find on a website that I trust:

    http://antiantivax.flurf.net/#Gardasil

    Go to that website if you have more questions.
    I recently got the H1N1 vaccine and my tetanus shot -- I had no side effects --I recommend that you get the vaccine because the risks are tiny and the benefits are great! To be protected from some types of cancer and from certain types of warts is a big upside!

    Please make your decision based on SCIENCE not on urban legends!
     
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3

    lisab

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    Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest maybe there's something else going on here. Perhaps it's the idea of mom's little girl being sexually active that's an issue?

    I would hope that a health professional would know better than to have a negative reaction to vaccines, without giving reasons for it.
     
  5. May 14, 2010 #4

    Moonbear

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    I think it is really unfortunate that an RN would have such an anti-vaccine view (especially since future RNs are among the students I teach).

    Vaccines just kick your immune system into responding to a virus before you get infected with it. This is a good thing as long as you don't have any allergies to anything within the immunization (a lot of these are generated in eggs, so if someone has an allergy to eggs, many immunizations are contra-indicated).

    I suspect it may be more of what lisab is suggesting, a fear of one's daughter becoming sexually active. So, my suggestion to you is that if you are still living under mom's roof, avoid activities that would put you at risk for contracting HPV (I'm sure you know what they are...and if you aren't, they are the things your mom would be horrified to learn you were doing). When you are no longer living under mom's roof, and are considering activities that might put you at risk of contracting HPV, then save your pennies and get vaccinated...and use a condom too, in case the vaccine doesn't work for you.
     
  6. May 14, 2010 #5
     
  7. May 14, 2010 #6
    Wait, wait. You don't necessarily have to be sexually active to get the vaccine. Doesn't it still do good if one isn't?

    Right? Cause I'm not. :P
     
  8. May 14, 2010 #7

    lisab

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    The vaccine works whether you're sexually active or not.

    HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. So I was making a leap of logic when I linked the vaccine to being sexually active.

    But ideally, a young person (I've read they give it to males now, too) would get the vaccine before becoming sexually active, to fully protect themselves and their future partners.
     
  9. May 14, 2010 #8
    Ah, I can see the connection now.

    Well, I'll still try with her. Thanks. ;)
     
  10. May 14, 2010 #9
    "But ideally, a young person (I've read they give it to males now, too) would get the vaccine before becoming sexually active, to fully protect themselves and their future partners."
    ______________

    With all respect, suppose it is the case (and it probably is) that there are thousands of viruses that could cause serious illness in some portion of the population. Suppose we could develop a vaccine that is at least marginally effective against each and every one of them.

    Would you seriously advocate taking every shot? Where do you draw the line? What is the cumulative effect of a lifetime of "jolts to the immune system?" Are there any studies?
     
  11. May 14, 2010 #10
    Would I get a shot for a cold? Nope. Other petty viruses? Nah. Something that could do serious damage to my system? Duh.

    If there weren't studies done it wouldn't be on the shelves.
     
  12. May 14, 2010 #11
    You didn't answer the question I asked.

    If HPV is our threshold for a serious health threat, we could end up with hundreds of different recommended vaccinations. The American Cancer Institute says about 4000 women die of cervical cancer each year. No one dies of a cold (by definition) so that was not a question. And my question about studies related to longterm cumulative effect of multiple vaccines. Why bother to answer my question if you can't cite a study of the kind I asked about?

    If they're on the shelf the studies must have been done? You are an ideal vaccine customer! Even the insurance companies aren't persuaded the vaccine is worth underwriting--and they are the ones dealing with the treatment costs of cancer down the road.
     
  13. May 15, 2010 #12
    I don't think HPV is our 'threshold'... this is an isolated case. Just because this mother doesn't want their daughter to get the shot doesn't indicate in anyway that the rest of the population feels that they can stop at HPV vaccines.

    In my opinion I think that this young girl should consult her family doctor about the matter. There is absolutely 'nothing' wrong with getting the HPV vaccine regardless if you are sexually active or planning on being sexually active or not. I feel that the only person that should be giving medical advice to this person is her family doctor. Her mother shouldn't be telling her daughter from her position as a RN these things about vaccines... I don't believe in that at all. It's called indoctrination.
     
  14. May 15, 2010 #13
    "In my opinion I think that this young girl should consult her family doctor about the matter. There is absolutely 'nothing' wrong with getting the HPV vaccine regardless if you are sexually active or planning on being sexually active or not. I feel that the only person that should be giving medical advice to this person is her family doctor. Her mother shouldn't be telling her daughter from her position as a RN these things about vaccines... I don't believe in that at all. It's called indoctrination."
    ______________________________________________

    Putting aside the HPV question for a moment, there are plenty of questions about which doctors disagree (with each other). What do you do then? Toss a coin? I thought this was a science forum. You are saying that someone must be correct because of his putative expertise? If you're planning to become a doctor's secretary that's fine. If you're planning to study biology it is an odd way to think. There are PhDs who don't believe in evolution. Do we accept it because of their expertise?

    Whether it's a secretary or a doctor or a nuclear physicist, the expertise means they have a working knowledge of the basic work in their field. You have a right and in some cases an obligation to ask for the basis of an opinion and check it out for yourself.
     
  15. May 15, 2010 #14

    russ_watters

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    Well your initial premise is faulty. If there were 1000 viruses equally as deadly as HPV, they would together kill 4 million people a year in the US, which is higher than the 2.5 million who actually die - and of course, only a small fraction die from diseases treatable with vaccines.

    But if we change it to, say, dozens, then yes, I'd get vaccinated for dozens of things that each have a 0.1% of killing me over the course of my life if the vaccines were available. And it isn't just death we're protecting agains. Diseases like chicken pox and measles don't kill all that many people infected (0.3% for measles), but since they affect a lot of people, that's a lot of minor misery spread around. Measles, before vaccinations started, killed on the order of 1500 people a year in the US, but infected hundreds of thousands. Now, it is almost eraticated.

    And that's another potential possibility: a vaccine might be required for 50 years or so, then get dropped because the disease is eradicated. Ie, smallpox.
    Dunno. I do agree that HPV is probably relatively near that limit. But I'll vaccinate my kids for chicken pox (if I ever have any) and that has a death rate of only 0.0023%.
    I'm not sure there is even a hypothesis in there to test. What basis do you have for believing these "jolts to the immune system" might have a cumulative effect??

    [edit] Remember, there are already a lot of people who get dozens of immunizations, as the flu vaccine is administered yearly. I don't yet get it regularly, but when I get to an age where my risk factor becomes significant, I will.
     
  16. May 15, 2010 #15

    russ_watters

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    You're moving the goalposts: this isn't one of those cases. This one is clear-cut: the woman is supporting a crackpot position.
    No, you got it backwards. We're saying we shouldn't believe this woman just because of her position - thats why what this woman is doing is so bad! She's using her resume to forward a crackpot idea.
     
  17. May 15, 2010 #16
    "You're moving the goalposts: this isn't one of those cases. This one is clear-cut: the woman is supporting a crackpot position... No, you got it backwards. We're saying we shouldn't believe this woman just because of her position - thats why what this woman is doing is so bad! She's using her resume to forward a crackpot idea."
    _____________________________________________

    I think you are being disingenuous here. Questioning of "expertise" includes that of doctors, and that was my intent. The OP's mother is an RN and not a virologist. She is making a commonsense observation that longterm effects of a vaccine are seldom studied. Well, she has a point. You said it yourself--HPV is probably near the threshold of a sensible vaccine protocol. It can't be near the threshold and be clear-cut at the same time.
    _______________________

    "I'm not sure there is even a hypothesis in there to test. What basis do you have for believing these "jolts to the immune system" might have a cumulative effect??"
    ___________

    The problem is not forming a hypothesis but finding anyone with the means and incentive to do the study. Here is the idea. Make a list of diseases that can be prevented or helped by vaccines in order of seriousness. Find populations that have had subsets of the vaccines (and no vaccines).

    What basis do I have for believing there is a cumulative negative impact of vaccines? Vaccines are invasive and do in fact affect the immune system for better or worse. I think the onus is on those who want to vaccinate even beyond your (I think reasonable) threshold to show there is no such effect.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2010
  18. May 15, 2010 #17
    Well first of all daniel if you could use the quote function on the forum it'd be a lot easier to read your posts.

    Do you want to contract HPV? You might not die from it but it definitely WILL effect your way of life and will change your sex-life forever. Have you ever seen a case of genital warts?
    'long term studies' Here in Canada at least vaccines under go EXTENSIVE testing just within the nation. Testing on vaccines also occurs at an international level and any adverse effects that are brought up by any other organizations are looked at very seriously and studied in depth. It is NOT common sense to be against vaccines prior to looking up the required information to make an INFORMED decision.
    This person, in my opinion, is in a position of 'medical knowledge' and she is also in a position which people may rely on her for medical advice. She is not giving medical advice she is giving a personal advice from a medical position. Not right at all, especially since it's her daughter. She should present to her daughter available information on the HPV vaccine and probably set her up to meet with a person who is qualified to give medical advice to her daughter. I.e. family doctor.


    What do you mean by 'benefits' Do you mean not dying younger? Or do you mean not contracting the disease. If it's the latter case the benefits will obviously all fall under the people with all the vaccines. Regardless of how serious the disease is. Is it worth the costs? Well that's a different question far removed from a benefit analysis between vaccine and non-vaccine persons.

    I would find it hard to believe that any person who has contracted HPV would like to say that they do not believe that in their life they would have benefitted from spending the money to get the HPV vaccine. Regardless if they die or not... it has nothing to do. Vaccines are not designed to lengthen life or protect against specifically deadly diseases. They are designed to prevent major outbreaks hitting the population and protecting the population from whatever effects that disease may have.

    You can head over to your national medical advisory body and they will show to you the facts. They have always been there, the onus has always been fullfilled. People don't accept that so they onus is now on THEM to prove it otherwise. Which, in my opinion, has failed miserably.

    Getting vaccinated is a personal choice. IF a person does not want to contract HPV and that person would like to seek out a vaccination for HPV then it is entirely up to that person to seek out a medical professional who has the proper qualifications to help the person make an informed decision about the vaccination.
     
  19. May 15, 2010 #18

    Evo

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    Please learn how to use the "quote" button.

    You could have easily done a quick search to find studies. I'm afraid that you do need to back up any statements of fact that you make.

    Vaccines are released when the overall benefit far outweighs any isolated problems such as allergies.

    Here is a link.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12444178?dopt=Abstract
     
  20. May 15, 2010 #19

    Monique

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    Note that there are multiple studies on the long-term safety of vaccines and that researchers are conducting long-term safety studies on the HPV vaccine. It should be clear that speculative posts are not allowed and that controversial claims must be supported by valid sources.

    Edit: since the thread ran off-topic fast, it has been cleaned up. Please let's keep the discussion on the topic of risks associated with the HPV vaccine.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  21. May 16, 2010 #20
    *jumps back on the on-topic bandwagon*

    Is there any way I can figure out if I am more prone to get the side effects? Or is this more of a take-a-risk type of thing?
     
  22. May 16, 2010 #21
    It's a 'discuss this with your doctor' thing :tongue:. Really this isn't the place to be getting medical advice. While some of the people here would certainly be qualified to give you the advice it needs to be someone who first hand knows the situation. Knows all your medical records, everything.

    So I stand by my original statement that you should go in and discuss this with your family doctor.
     
  23. May 16, 2010 #22
    :P

    Okay. I'll work on that.
     
  24. May 17, 2010 #23
    I had to do a little research on this topic. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons issued a Statement on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine on Feb 5, 2007.


    I hope at least some of the above statement by the AAPS is of help to this topic. Mandating HPV vaccine for schoolchildren is absolutely absurd! That is unethical. Apparently, there was a time when it was considered. Honestly, I don't know if I should cry or be mad. Deep breath, I think I'll do a little of both.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  25. May 17, 2010 #24

    russ_watters

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    What's a "schoolchild"?
     
  26. May 17, 2010 #25

    Evo

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    I have someone very close to me that has just had an abnormal pap smear and they are now doing further tests and it might be HPV. If caught in the early stages, cryosurgery is effective, but I wish they'd have had the vaccine.
     
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