Thursday, September 9, 2010

Prends Gardasil à toi!

Cervical cancer is anything but warm and fuzzy. (Image credit: Giant Microbes)

A few years ago, Merck developed Gardasil, a vaccine against two strains human papillomavirus (HPV), or the virus that causes 70% of cervical cancers in women.

It's a vaccine against cancer! Brilliant!

Not so fast. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. The CDC recommends the vaccine to girls aged 11-12, and girls and women aged 13-26. The vaccination course consists of three shots at $125 each, spaced out over six months.

NPR asks, "Should boys also get vaccinated for HPV?" DUH, YES. Although boys are cervically challenged, they're also carriers for HPV and should get vaccinated.

OK, so that's a total cost of almost $400 to vaccinate girls--and boys--as young as 11 years old against a sexually transmitted disease.

According to that NPR article, Dr. Doug Lowy, co-inventor of this vaccine, says that only 11% of girls get the full course of shots.

Why such a low vaccination rate? Come on, it's a vaccine against cancer!

Cost is one factor. Some of those greedy insurance companies out there may not cover much--if any--of the cost of the full vaccination course.

According to CNN, "Some parents aren't comfortable vaccinating young children against a virus they can only get from having sex."

Really? Let me repeat: IT'S A VACCINE AGAINST CANCER!

These parents would rather put their children at risk of cervical cancer than protect them against it. Would these same parents not be comfortable with an AIDS vaccine, either, because such a vaccine would obviously encourage needle sharing and sinful gay sex?

Ugh, the stupid makes my head hurt.

Topic via Jezebel.

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