Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm not sure about this.


K Belle just recently got her last round of immunizations before school started.

She's 12.

The doctor discussed the Gardasil shot with me ... the shot that protects against certain forms of HPV, which could possibly lead to cervical cancer later in life.

I'm torn.

This shot is quite controversial for many reasons.

While we all pray that our daughters would make right choices, would we want to not protect them from something that could lead to cancer?

Would we just flippantly say "everything has consequences and they get what they deserve"? (This could mean cancer for your child, which I would think no parent would want, no matter what actions their child took.)

Is the drug too new and not enough known about it to make an informed decision?

Do the potential risks of the shot outweigh the possible benefits?

Is giving your daughter the shot saying that promiscuity is OK? Will your child, knowing that they have had the shot and are protected, be more likely to be promiscuous?

Lots of questions.

Your thoughts?

32 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I had the same reservations, but decided to go ahead with it. She understands some of it(mine is 11) and says "I sure hope I never need it". Ha! But I think she is too young to fully understand all of it so as of now she does not understand the promiscuity part of it. Like you said, I decided to teach her the right way, but still opt for the shot in case she chooses other ways. Or her husband chooses other ways before her. Trish

Anonymous said...

The form of cancer that you're talking about can only be spread through sex.
So basically if all the unwed teenage girls stopped having sex with many partners, we could easily wipe out this cancer.

McElroy Family Happenings said...

Oh...this is a tough one. Thankfully I don't have to think about this immunization just yet. This parenting thing is never going to get easier is it? I'll be checking back to see what others have to say about it.

RainEdayWoman said...

I suggest going on you tube and searching gardasil. There are so many warnings and young women who have had severe reactions to the vaccine that are seeking ways to tell their story and warn the public. The powers that be are not sharing all the information about this drug and it's dangers.

Cassandra said...

"The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer."

This quote alone would give me peace about taking a pass on it. I would be declining.

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

Well, I have my own opinions about childhood vaccinations and I won't get into that, but as far as the HPV vaccination, I would personally say...NOT in a million billion years.
The risks for me are huge trump cards....greater I think, than the risks of cervical cancer. From what I understand from this article, it's not even a super-reliable prevention.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/19/cbsnews_investigates/main5253431.shtml

Teresa @ A Life At Home said...

If you have reservations about it, trust your mama instincts. That is always a clue that I need to research something more before I do it. Research it and then talk about it with hubby. Make the decision together. Then you'll be able to have peace about whatever you decide.
Have a great day, girl!

thedomesticfringe said...

For me, I wouldn't do the shot. It's too new and I've heard too many bad things and it's not absolutely necessary and it is avoidable. So that's my thinking.

Decisions for our kids are SO HARD! I know you'll make the right choice for yours.
-FringeGirl

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Hmm...interesting you should bring this up, I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I just recently read an article where a doctor voiced some serious concerns about the risks vs. benefits of the vaccine. I think I'd probably wait on it since the drug is so new.

Do I think it's "wrong" to get it? No. I think it's another one of those gray areas that you have to judge based on your understanding of Scripture and your personal convictions. But for me, I think I'd pass.

Stephanie said...

In response to anonymous' comment: Yea, in a perfect world! But alas, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where teenagers have always had and always will have sex. Obviously not all girls choose this path, and I am praying that my 15 year old daughter makes the right decisions.
Her pediatrician was after me year after year to give the shots, and finally at 14 I gave in. Not because I condone her having sex. Not because I think she will. But because I did when I was 16. I am not proud of this, but I remember all too clearly what myself and many of my peers were doing, and I as a mother think it would be irresponsible of me to not be realistic about this.
I resisted when she was 12, I resisted when she was 13, but at 14 and about to enter high school, I finally agreed to it. For her sake, not for mine.

H-Mama said...

well, considering my youngest still has not had her 4 yr shots, my opinion on expanding the list of immunizations is obvious. i believe there are a number of 'symptoms' and diagnoses that are not associated with immunizations that should be. mine is not the most popular opinion. oh well. ;)

Molly said...

I am thankful that I do not have a daughter and make this choice, but I do feel that I would decline it.

As someone else mentioned the cancers this shot prevent are only contracted through sexual contact. But, saying that if our kids just quit having sex with multiple partners...doesn't cut it, what if she is raped or sexually assaulted?

When I was in college several women who lived together all got HPV from sharing bath towels (not sure which strain because not all of them can be transmitted in that fashion).

I also don't know if this shot protects against all strains of HPV there are more than 75 of them!

Daiquiri said...

I see your point. It's sort of like the swimming pool analogy...you tell your young child again and again and again "DO NOT GET IN THE POOL, you are too little, you don't know how to swim, you will get hurt, I might not be able to reach you in time. Stay away from that pool!"

So then, do you walk away with your little one standing at the edge of the pool hoping she won't jump in? Or do you put a life jacket on her when she's near the water and build a fence around the pool to keep her away as much as possible?

My kids live in life jackets in the summer time.

AND I preach and preach and teach and teach of the dangers of water.

To me, it's not a morality issue. You do whatever you can do to protect your kids. In fact, if we decided to give this shot, I don't know that I'd even describe it to my girls as being at all related to sexuality. "It's just another shot we get to help you stay healthy".

This shot, however, is new. The data doesn't seem to be in quite yet. Personally, I'm thankful that I have a few years to research this thing before we have to decide for my oldest daughter. Doesn't help you though...

Research. Pray. Trust your gut. Do your best with the info you have. You'll do the right thing :-)

PS. When you make your decision, would you please drop me a line and let me know the "right thing"? ;-)

BaronessBlack said...

Really interesting post!
Have you discussed it with K Belle? After all, she's the one getting the shot!
I am not anti-immunisation, but I do research very carefully the vaccinations that my children do have, and I find that some of the illnesses are not as bad as some of the reactions from the vaccines!
Also, this vaccination will (hopefully!) protect against one type of cervical cancer,(admittedly the most common) but not ALL forms of cervical cancer.
I think all of these black and white medical and governmental statements are made up from shades of grey. It maybe that one one family have a particular genetic pre-disposition towards gynaecological types of cancer. In which case, I would think they would jump at the chance to have the jab. On the other hand, if there is no history of cancer in the family, it may be just as helpful to avoid the shot, and have regular check-ups and pap smears.
I'm glad I don't have to face this one for a while, but I think my daughter's feelings would be highly influential!

Sara@i.Sass said...

Ever since I first started hearing about this drug/vaccine have I been thinking about it.
It a perfect world my children will wait until marriage, BOTH of them. I will NOT be getting the shot for Nina, no matter how long her Doctor pressures me. It is not absolutly necessary. I am conflicted about the H1N1 shot.
I just think it is too new, I've read tons of stuff about it, and watched youtube videos. For us and our family there are too many risks. And there are TWO other ways to gaurd against HPV. NO SEX, and using a condom. I won't be condoning sex, but both my kids will know HOW and WHY to use condoms.

The Wixom Zoo said...

Alls I can say is that it seems that you're teaching your kids good moral values. Trust them. Pray about it and then do what YOU feel is best.

Tante D's better half said...

I think she's too young. If it were me, I wouldn't do it and, if I'm concerned about it when she gets older, then I'd do it. Also, if you do decide to do it, you don't have to tell her what it's for. You can just tell her it's a vaccine for cancer -- not for a cancer caused by an STD. Then she won't feel protected.

sara said...

my daughter is 20 and has not had the shot. we have discussed it together and I have talked to my gyn. I feel the risks b/c it's new out way the protection it provides.

I have talked to my daughter though and she knows that even though she has not been sexually active, she may fall in love with someone who has. She knows it is something they would need to talk about and if that is the case, she can still get the shot.

Mike, Brie and The Three said...

I would pass on it until the time comes when she is sexually active and lets all pray that won't be until she gets married. At least then, you can wait till something better comes along or until they get this form of the vaccine right.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

My sister just had to do this with her little girl...heard what the doctor had to say and her gut told her to go through with it...so she did :)

Jeanette said...

Both of my girls are getting ready for their last round of shots in October (they are 14 & 15). I was on the fence for a long time but discussed it with their pediatrician. He thought it was a good idea for the girls (yes, he is a believer!) and said that his daughter would be getting it too.

I discussed the reason for the vaccine with both my girls. It can help to prevent some forms of cervical cancer. Not all forms of cancer but SOME forms of cancer. We pray that they will not become sexually active until marriage but we do think about the possible partners that their future spouses have been involved with.

My girls "get it" but they are also a bit older than your girls. You need to be honest with your girls and explain what the vaccine is for. You don't have to get it right away either - take your time and research it some more.

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I'm really against young-unmarried girls having sex. I would like to believe as parents that if we pray & teach values @ a early age that young girls will abstain from sex & not have to worry about cancer/std. But I always worry about the what if... rape, date rape? perhaps falling in love w/ a young boy. Who has been w/ someone who has already had the std.
Best of luck w/ your choice.

sa1tyeyes said...

i'm a 20 year old college student and a few years ago, i made the decision to get the immunization. i was raised to practice abstinence and by no means do the gardasil shots promote the acceptance of promiscuity. in my opinion, if you instill within your daughter a strong moral system, the shots would simply serve as a precautionary measure, especially now that STI rates are increasing at an alarming rate each year.

Lily said...

We said no to guardasil. Too new... too many horrific side-effects.

Kodi said...

Leaving aside the moral argument- I'm going to pretend it's just a flu shot- I want to let you know what I know about Gardasil. They started giving this immunization in my hometown to students a few years ago, but have already stopped. SEVERAL girls have had severe side effects, the worst of which has terrible nerve damage and has been permanently removed from school due to pain and is being home-schooled. I would say that the risks FAR outweigh the benefits with this medication.

Autumn said...

I am so glad you posted this! I was JUST having this conversation with a good friend. Her daughter is about the right age to get the vaccine, and she asked me what I thought. My first thought was, "I'm glad I have a son!"
All joking aside... I don't think the shot condones promiscuity... we don't tell our kids it's ok to share a soda with someone who has the flu just because they've had the flu shot. My concerns would be with the "newness" of the vaccine. Praying for guidance for you as you decide...

Tracie said...

I'm so glad you posted about this Mama Belle. Before going on, I will let you know that I DID in fact have my oldest vaccinated. I will also have my next one...who is now 10, vaccinated when it comes time. Yes, as you know, I am a believer. However, as much as we will teach our children to do the right thing when it comes to pre-marital sex, we have no control over who they fall in love with...and eventually marry. We also have no control over the fact that that particular person might have had pre-marital sex and be a carrier of something unknown to our daughters. This is why I chose to have Jenna vaccinated...and will do the same with Karsyn when it is time.

Tracie said...

And another comment - to Anonymous...the 2nd one on your comments roll.

If all the "unwed teenage girls" in america stop having "sex with many partners" won't actually fix the problem, you see. Because there are unwed teenage boys who continue to have sex with many partners as well. And a woman who has never had sex before her wedding night...happens to be married to a man who was promiscuous prior to the wedding, could still result in the woman "catching" the HPV virus, which in turn can lead to cervical cancer.

Sera said...

Just say, "NO!" to the Gardasil vaccine! I am with those who posted that this vaccine is just too new and comes with many severe side affects that far outweigh the chances of getting the HPV virus. And as a mother, I would feel so completely terrible if I could have prevented my daughter from having those terrible side effects if I would have just been more informed. I am all for being wise, well-informed consumers on EVERYTHING, especially our health. And as for the concern about getting a terrible virus - or even the swine flu - my family has been using natural health alternatives for the past 3 years that completely wipe out viruses of all kinds. We believe in utilizing what the Lord has given us and had taught His people to use for their health even in Bible times. And what the Lord has provided has NO bad side effects and are so very effective against illness and disease. And as far as someone getting cancer in my family, my grandmother naturally beat basal cell skin cancer last year at the age of 75 - no chemo or radiation - and I have MANY friends who have naturally beat all kinds of cancers with NO recurrence - all using natural alternatives that the Lord has provided for us.

JenT said...

We don't do immunizations. At all. We did with the first 3, but stopped after the 4th got his first set. We studied and researched and after much thought and prayer, decided to NOT do any vaccinations. I would NOT give that to my daughters.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Wow, interesting discussion! Love that you bring up topics like this, because it is something that affects so many of us.

It's way off for us to think about, but my gut right now is telling me that we won't be doing it. Too new, too many risks. I have talked with a doctor friend of mine and he has been horrified at some of the side effects he has seen. So for now - I'm not in favor. Not that I think it's horrible if someone chooses to get it - it's just something everyone has to decide for their own situation.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Wow, interesting discussion! Love that you bring up topics like this, because it is something that affects so many of us.

It's way off for us to think about, but my gut right now is telling me that we won't be doing it. Too new, too many risks. I have talked with a doctor friend of mine and he has been horrified at some of the side effects he has seen. So for now - I'm not in favor. Not that I think it's horrible if someone chooses to get it - it's just something everyone has to decide for their own situation.