Should I vaccinate my tween for HPV?
Real Mom Problem
“Has anyone gotten the HPV shot for your preteen yet, or thought about getting it for them? I'm going back and forth with it for my 11-year-old daughter.”
- 1. Vaccines can prevent the spread of HPV, the human papillomavirus, an STD that causes most forms of cervical cancer, as well as other rarer cancers
- 2. About 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year
- 3. The CDC recommends vaccination against HPV beginning at 11 or 12 years of age
- 4. Research the risks and benefits associated with the HPV vaccine before getting your teen vaccinated
- 5. Boys can be vaccinated against HPV, too
- 6. Always discuss your vaccination questions and concerns with your child's healthcare provider
Real Mom Solutions
Whether or not to give your preteen the HPV vaccine can be a difficult choice. Check out these moms' reasons for and against getting the HPV vaccine for their preteens.
Yes--The Benefits Outweigh the Risks
At first I said no to the HPV vaccine for my kids. Then I ended up with cervical cancer and a hysterectomy at age 27. Since I know everything I went through, my daughter got the vaccine. Her pediatricians gave it to their daughters and son also. If I can prevent her going through just a little bit of what I went through, I say yes.
I started the HPV vaccine series this week for my 11-year-old son. My oldest did the series at age nine and so will their younger sister in a year. Our daughter even said with the history of all the types of cancer, that anything that can help is good. She also stated that she knows getting the vaccine now doesn't mean she is free to have sex.
I did the HPV vaccine with my son when he was 15. I spoke with my OB/GYN and she said if I know for a fact that my daughters are not sexually active, then I can wait until they are 15 to get it. But if I think for a minute they might be active, then to get it before.
Most likely, we will do the HPV vaccine. Every single person in my family has died of one kind of cancer or another. My mother has battled cervical cancer twice. For us, this is something with more benefits than risks.
I hope my 11-year-old son waits until he is older to participate in sexual activities, but I have a friend who is a cancer survivor from a cancer that may be linked to HPV, so I decided to be proactive and get him vaccinated.
I'm going to get my son the HPV vaccine. In case anyone doesn't know, it is approved for boys, too. They can get HPV, too, and there is a very suspicious link between throat cancer in men and HPV.
We have a very conservative pediatrician from India. He is raising his daughters conservatively, and tells my daughter every time he sees her how important it is for a girl to be chaste. His daughters have gotten the injection, and he said my daughter should, too. He and I had a great discussion about this. The people that say that it leads to promiscuity are being ridiculous and not thinking things through. HPV can be an invisible disease. Some strains cause genital warts, but some cause no symptoms at all. Males can be carriers, and not know it. So even if your daughter remains a virgin until she is married, if the boy she chooses to marry has EVER been with ANYONE before (sexually), he could pass the HPV to your daughter, and neither would know it, until it's too late, and the cells of her cervix have mutated (into precancer or cancer). NOT vaccinating against it is irresponsible and quite possibly a death sentence, considering the fact that she could contract the cancer-causing disease.
I am dealing with both my paternal and maternal families ripped up by cancer of different varieties. I think anyone who has seen cancer hit their family is going to see the HPV vaccine differently than someone who has not. Don't keep your daughter from getting this vaccine. Yes, you can get the vaccine well into your 20s, but you can catch HPV a lot sooner. The immunization is no good if you already have the disease, you know? Kids aren't as naive as we think they are sometimes! Chastity is still best, but the amount of people catching this cancer-causing virus every year scares me, and it's not bad people passing it around.
No--Concern About Negative Reactions
No way! There have been too many negative reactions and side effects with the HPV vaccine. Plus, there has been minimal research done.
We were just at the pediatrician and I didn't permit my 11-year-old son to get the vaccine. I quickly read the information sheet on it and was slightly surprised at how they put a spin on the fact that the vaccine is newer and not well tested long-term and was surprised that they downplayed the side effects as well.
I will not be getting my daughter the vaccine. At this point they are not sure of the long-term effects it will or can have.
No, I didn't do it for my 12-year-old son, or for my 17-year-old daughter. There's not enough information and the side effects for it were scary, too.
My answer is no. I have read about the side effects of the HPV vaccine and learned some kids have died from it. No way.