Should Sacramento parents vaccinate their boys and/or their girls against genital warts and HPVs that may turn into cancer? Check out the October 26, 2011 article in today’s Sacramento Bee, by Gardiner Harris of the NY Times, “HPV vaccine advised for boys.” This is going to be a controversial issue, whether to have your preteen son vaccinated against HPV just in case he contracts cancer from oral or anal sex in the future. Also see, “Panel: Boys should get HPV vaccine given to girls.”
HPVs are a group of related viruses that cause genital warts. Some of the viruses classified as HPVs also cause some types of skin warts that are basically harmless. Other strains of the HPV viruses are labele as “high risk.” The HPV type that causes genital warts or severe abnormalities may possibly turn cancerous. See, Men’s Health Network Releases Statement in Support of New HPV Guidelines for Men.
Should parents vaccinate young boys as well as young men just in case they have sex outside of marriage as many do? In the past the vaccinations were touted for young, preteen girls to prevent cervical cancer from this type of virus.
If you are the parent of boys or girls, should either or all of your children be vaccinated or not vaccinated and told to stay away from sex outside of marriage? The issue is the huge statistics of teen sex and teenagers contracting the human papillomavirus, or HPV. But the vaccinations for boys are to protect against anal and throat cancers that can result from sexual activity, a federal advisory committee announced yesterday. The question now is, should the federal government tell you to vaccinate your children against viruses caused by sexual activity?
The recommendation by the panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is likely to transform the use of the HPV vaccine. Now the question arises about who pays for the vaccinations, should you want them for your male and female children. Most private insurers pay for vaccines once the committee recommends them for routine use. See, ACIP/main page – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do you think the government will pay the huge expense of the vaccines? Inoculation requires three doses. Who can afford the price? Pediatricians pay more than $300, often charging patients hundreds more, according to the Sacramento Bee article, “HPV vaccine advised for boys.” Back in 2006 government recommended that the vaccine be given to preteen and teenage girls between the ages of 11 and 26. Also see, Many Teens and Pre-Teens Skip Crucial Immunizations.
There’s a lot of difference between an 11-year old girl under her parent’s control and roof who has no intention of having sex and a 26-year old woman who lives on her own and is free to make her own choices. This year, the vaccine now is recommended by the federal government also for boys. But does your child need this vaccination? Nobody is forcing you to vaccinate, but what will your public school recommend? z
Have you had a talk with your children yet about their intention to be sexually active at a certain age and whether they want the vaccine or not? It’s hard for a parent to accept the idea of vaccination a boy age 9 or 11getting vaccinated for what he may do in the next decade. What would you do if you were a parent of a boy and girl in this age range?
The panel recommended that boys ages 11 and 12 should be vaccinated. It also recommended vaccination of males ages 13 through 21 who had not already had all three shots. Vaccinations may be given to boys as young as 9 and to men between ages 22 and 26.
Many parents in the USA are not vaccinating because the subject is controversial among families. The disease it prevents results from sexual activity. And most parents don’t want to think of their preteen child as sexually active. The controversy is likely to include parents of boys now due to the committee’s latest recommendation since many of the cancers in men result from homosexual sex. So would you vaccinate your boy in case he turns out to be homosexual or bisexual and has oral or anal sex with other men (or women)?
Should a presidential candidate require that girls in a specific state be vaccinated? That’s even more controversial. It’s already happened when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas tried to require that girls in his state be vaccinated. Parents disagreed about being required or controlled regarding whether they vaccinate children against sexually-transmitted viruses.
On one hand you have a vaccine against cancer. But it won’t protect kids against all cancers, just the cancer caused by the specific, sexually-transmitted genital warts virus called HPV infection.
It’s not a rare cancer or a rare disease. It’s the most common sexually transmitted disease – 75 percent to 80 percent of females and males in the United States will be infected at some point. Most will overcome the infection with no ill effects. So if most kids have immune systems strong enough to beat the infection, should you still vaccinate your child?
If perchance your child’s immune system is stressed and can’t beat the virus, infections also may lead to cellular changes that cause warts or cancer, including cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and anal cancer in men. A growing body of evidence suggests that HPV also causes throat cancers in men and women as a result of oral sex.
What’s the statistics? HPV infections annually cause about 15,000 cancers in women and 7,000 cancers in men. Imagine the cost of vaccination 11-year-old boys. Think almost $140 million annually. Will the government pay for half of all vaccinations? Should taxpayers pay for vaccinations against sexually-transmitted diseases when the vaccinations are going to children in elementary or middle school?
Will the disease become more rare if kids are taught not to have all that sex, if kids are taught about the disease? Most girls are not vaccinated against HPV. Think three doses at a high cost.
Presently, only about 1 percent of boys have received the HPV vaccine, according to the Sacramento Bee article. Should only homosexual boys be vaccinated, some parents ask? Or should all boys be vaccinated? Or none? The disease is higher in homosexual males. How can parents ask an 11 or 12 year old boy whether he’s going to be homosexual in a decade?
Will vaccinating boys save their lives? The problem is that the vaccine loses effectiveness as teenagers and young adults become sexually active. More than 20 percent of boys and girls have had vaginal sex by the age of 15, surveys show, according to the Sacramento Bee article.
Why vaccinate when there are so many different strains of HPV, and Gardasil – the HPV vaccine manufactured by Merck – protects against four of those strains. Researchers also noted that vaccinated men in their 20s may be too late. So what would you do if you are the parents of a boy and a girl? Would you vaccinate? Would you discuss the topic with your middle-school age children? And what if children aren’t interested in talking about whether they will become homosexual in the future? If your family is conservative and religious, perhaps you don’t even want the topic mentioned in front of your kids at the dinner table. How would you handle this approach to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?