Cervical Cancer Vaccine HPV Immunization for Pre-teen Girls and Boys - Thoughts?

Updated on March 12, 2012
R.B. asks from Northridge, CA
28 answers

I just met someone who is thinking of taking her daughter out of her private school in Virginia, because they are now requiring that all the girls have the HPV Immunization (though not requiring it for boys). I tend to avoid extra medications whenever possible, but my husband and I are vaccinated. We did have our kids vaccinated as babies, but we do not do the elective shots like the flu shots (and none of us have ever gotten the flu). Cervical Cancer does not run in either side of our families, but we do have a history of bad drug reactions on both sides of the family. I have avoided developing an opinion about this particular vaccine and have not been challenged to take a stand or to make a decision. Since this conversation with this mom I just met, I was curious what other Moms think about this new Immunization for girls and boys?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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answers from Lakeland on

I think there is a lot of mis-information about this vaccine. Some of the replies are saying they would get it to prevent cancers. THIS IS NOT A VACCINE TO PREVENT CANCER!!!!!

HPV is a virus that causes warts (ALL warts on any part of the body) there are thousands of strains of HPV virus so getting a vaccine that "may" prevent 4 of the strains is not a guarantee to not get cancer or HPV. There are also a lot of reports of severe side effects from this vaccine including death.

I would not get this vaccine and I do not plan on having my daughter get it either. I will teach my daughter what HPV is and how it is transmitted and I also teach her about sex (she is only 5 now so we are not at this point yet).

I as a parent would be more upset about a school giving this or trying to make it mandatory. We live in a free country and parents should be the ONLY ones making choices for their children, not government, teachers, etc.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have read up on this since it was introduced. My children will not be receiving this vaccine while I have a say in their medical care. What they do at age 18 and over is up to them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My grandmother (on my fathers side) died from cervical cancer just before I was born.
I was named for her.
It's a particularly painful way to die.
Anything that can be done to help keep women from dying this way is a good thing.
My son got the shot soon as it was cleared for boys.
We never have reactions to shots.
Kids grow up and become sexually active eventually (it would be sad if they didn't - I want grand children someday once he's a grown man and can support himself).

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Too many people are dying from this vaccine, or they become very sick.
Teach your kids about prevention and get a yearly pap.


9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I have chosen not to vaccinate my daughter at this time. I have read too many terrible things about it and I don't think it's been around long enough to take the chance with my kid's. When my daughter was in 7th grade, she did a research paper on it and came up with the same results that I did. The vaccine was rushed and the side effects can be deadly.

I have a file somewhere of the research we both did. If you are interested, please email me offline and I could find it and send it to you.

Good luck with your decision.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

No way, no how. There was actually a very recent article about someone withdrawing their use of this vaccine because the rate of incidences has been higher than even the rate of cervical cancer is or was! Do heavy research, I'm positive you will change your mind! Be one less..person who gets this shot for their kids!

And as far as drug companies not having to report all problems?! PRECISELY. There are more problems with it then they are telling us. :(

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Our children who opt to wait until a committed relationship or marriage to have sex cannot "make" their partner do the same. Even with preventative care and a monogamous relationship, they can still get HPV, even when they themselves have only had one sex partner. In essence, you sleep with everyone your partner has slept with.

I believe that using a vaccine against cancer is the right thing to do. Eventually, cervical cancer will be beat because we choose to give this as a gift to our kids. I have done it with one child and will with the next as well.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 17. We have always followed all vaccination schedules. However, we opted against Guardisil. There are too many unknowns about this new vaccine.

My ob did not vaccinate his 3 daughters and that speaks volumes to me. Our pedi does not push it either.

I believe, along with our dr's, if someone has routine preventative care, they don't really need it. But... If someone never has routine preventative care, maybe it's worth it for them. We are proactive with routine preventative care and see no need to take the risk.

If it were mandated here, I too would take action because our daughter will not be participating with this trial.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

NO!!! The HPV vaccine is NOT mandated or required, in ANY state. Your friend is being told a lie.

I think the vaccine is one of the most dangerous. It has caused far too many deaths, and far too many injuries. I will not give it to my son, ever. It does not cover the most dangerous strains, and is one of the least effective vaccines. I encourage you to do your research, so you can make an educated decision. (Whatever that decision may be!)

ETA: If the girl is in a private school, they may have it as their policy...I'm not familiar with what private schools in California can legally require. If they are in public, there is no public schools that LEGALLY require thee HPV vaccine. Also, I HAVE done extremely extensive research on all vaccines. I am not against vaccines. I am against unsafe vaccines. I consider the HPV vaccine dangerous. I don't even look at research presented from very pro-vaccine groups (CDC, vaccine manufacturers, etc) OR anti-vaccine groups. There IS independent research out there, and it's difficult to find. However, it's out there.

For what it's worth...I avoided HPV, by only sleeping with my husband. (And just like I wouldn't walk everywhere, because I could die in a car accident...I don't get the vaccine, just because God forbid I could be raped. I prefer not to think like that.) He avoided it by only sleeping with me. I would rather make that choice, then get a vaccine and pray I get a strain that it sort-of, maybe, hopefully protects me from! I pray every day, that I can instill those kind of values in my son. I just wish people would consider protecting their own bodies, rather then relying on something that CAN work some of the time. I don't know, just a thought. I know not everyone will subscribe to those beliefs, and I respect that everyone sees things uniquely.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

This vaccine is new, has not been sufficiently tested (was pushed through in 18mos rather than completing the typical 3yr testing period) and people are suffering because of it. Yes, the idea of cervical cancer is scary, but this only protects against the few strains that are acquired through HPV. I personally would not agree to a drug or vaccine that was too new to have long-term effect studies done, especially not for children or adolescents.

I'm not sure what the laws are in your area, but while most parents are told that vaccines are required to attend school, there are still religious and philosophical exemptions that are honored.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Honestly I wish my parents had gotten it for me when I was 15 or whenver it was offered. I was going to get it when I was in college but never did.

I've only had sex with one man, but he has one of the HPV strains - we just found this out a couple weeks ago. I'll be getting checked out here real soon.

We know exactly how he got it too, and this is why I think people SHOULD get the HPV vaccine. His female roommate had it and they kept their razors on the same shelf in the shower. The doctor agreed that it could have very easily passed between the razors and into anywhere there was open wounds. He did not get it sexually.

Luckily, his showed symptoms which means it's not very likely one of the strains that causes cancer. Crossing my fingers anyway.

I do agree that their are risks but 77 deaths out of HOW MANY people have taken it? There will always be people who have a bad reaction. It's unfortunate but true. Drug companies don't even have to report all the problems that happen, as long as they have enough cases where it worked.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

In theory, vaccination against HPV by Gardisil or Cervarix is a good idea. However, the research studies ensuring its safety were lacking before this vaccination was introduced to the public and they are still lacking. There have been 71 deaths that have been associated with the vaccination according to the CDC although they are unable to say for sure the deaths were caused by the vaccine. Blood clots, Guilliene Barre Syndrome, and temporary loss of consciousness are among other side effects. The following article tells one young woman's experience:http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_###-###-####.html. I vaccinate my children against disease that are a threat to them IF the vaccine safety has been well established. There is valid concern that perhaps the vaccine will not provide adequate coverage against the strains of HPV as it promises. HPV vaccines are still not well researched in my opinion so my children will not be receiving them.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure they say. I will teach my children to save sex for their marriage and be very choosy about their future spouse. My husband and I were both virgins when we married at ages 27 and 32 so I don't think I'm unrealistic. We've been happily married 10 year. Should my sons or daughters choose risky behavior or their spouse has past sexual experience, there are a lot of years between 9 years old and adulthood in which they can take advantage of the protection this vaccine promises. Do your research, Moms, and make and informed choice. Nurse Midwife Mom of 3

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think having an opportunity to prevent cervical cancer is a FANTASTIC thing. I think it should be given to all boys and girls. I LOVE the idea of giving it early - before there is any stress on the kids being sexual so it is just part of their vaccination series. The fact that I might 'disapprove' of my son's choice to have sex earlier than I might have, does not mean I wish genital warts on him or cancer on his partner.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Virginia seriously drives me insane with their "required" vax's. I moved here a little over a year ago from CA and I loved how in CA I could just sign the waiver and be done and never have to worry about it. Here they are so strict! Although I have found a way out of it, it's not easy. Now my daughter is up to date on her shots, but my son isn't. I am being more selective with him. But for both of my kids I will not ever get them the HPV shot. We also do not do flu shots either.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am very pro vaccine. But, this is why....i have a child that has had cancer, 2 times. If I could have given him 1 shot to prevent it, I would. and, I would forever regret not having done it.

Cancer doesn't run in our families, and the whole "running in families" is sort of a myth, there are cancers with a genetic component, but, plenty that have nothing to do with genetics. Cervical cancer is caused by a virus, and if 2 virgins marry then I don't think you can get cervical cancer. For example, nuns don't get it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Reno on


My daughter turns 13 in Sept. We had her vaccinated for HPV. I see no problem with it, personally. I know some parents think it advocates sex, but I think it's just a precautionary measure. I have a friend who thinks that by her daughter having it, it would basically give her a license for sexual activity. I think it's just a personal decision between parent(s) and their children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

R.~ Please....DON'T DO IT!!!

This vaccine has caused children's DEATHS, and has NOT been proven to be effective against HPV! It is just "presumed" to be.

These kids they are targeting are far from the age that they will be sexually active, yet the pharmaceutical companies are saying they will be protected...HOW DO THEY KNOW? It hasn't been around long enough to see, and as usual testing has not been carried out long enough as it should be to determine that it is safe. And YES, there have been deaths from receiving the vaccine...check it out for yourself.

When the pediatrician asked if I wanted to have my grandkids vaccinated my response was "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" She looked at me a bit shocked and asked why, and I told her I DO read, and I have read reports of kids dying from receiving the vaccine that may or may not help them....NO THANK YOU, not worth the risk!

Contrary to what so many folks still believe, doctors are NOT know-all, unbiased gods! And they are heavily wooed and influenced by "Big Pharma" as the pharmaceutical companies are called.

My own physician is perplexed with me every year when I go in because I have a slightly elevated cholesterol and refuse to take statins.....why? Because they are known to cause blood clots, strokes, and increased risk of heart attacks! WHY in WORLD would I want to do that? There are dietary measures to decrease cholesterol, but instead of going that route, most doctors go for whatever "quick fix" that Big Pharma is currently pushing since it is easier and "the FDA has approved it!!" That in itself is another big joke! Drug after drug with "FDA approval" has been ultimately pulled from the market after it proved to be unsafe! I'm wondering how many little girls have to die before someone "WAKES UP" and realizes this vaccine is not safe either!

.....Sorry, sorta got on my soapbox there didn't ? I just really detest seeing our children made guinea pigs in order to see if a vaccine/medicine works or not!

The short of it is.....PLEASE, don't let your children get the HPV vaccination! I am not anti-vaccination, don't get me wrong. My kiddos and grandkids have all had the normal, proven vaccines against diseases that they may come into contact with (MMR, Tb, etc.). However, they do NOT receive flu shots (why? because the vaccine is based on LAST YEARS flu virus, not on whatever form it has mutated to this year! Thus it is basically worthless!)

Good luck, and stick by your decision and don't be influenced by those lucky ones who have not had any reactions to this unproven vaccine! I hope they feel blessed that their children are still alive! Think of those parents of 70+ dead children who cannot say that.

PS to Chrystine.....yes, nuns DO get cervical cancer....it CAN be caused by a virus, but it can just be the body's own cells mutating and replicating at a wildly abnormal rate which is cancer! I am very sorry that your child has had to suffer with cancer, but just think how you'd feel if that very shot that was supposed to prevent the cancer.....KILLED him/her instead? Not a fun thing to think about is it?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My friend's 28 year old wife just died of cervical cancer. She was a married mom of a sweet little toddler. She also did not have any family history and was not 'promiscuous' sexually.

I think it is wrong to legally require vaccines, but I think that there can be ill effects of not receiving them, but this particular vaccine still has a lot of kinks to work out.

I agree with teaching your children about responsible sex, but they can always get raped or end up with a wonderful husband, who had a bit of a promiscuous bachelor life.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Just a few weeks ago my best friend/business partner died of cancer and the first one that caused her so much ain was HPV Cervical cancer.

Our daughter was unsure about the vaccine, until I told her that my friend died with HPV.

It is not mandated, but highly suggested.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Is she in California? Don't they have a philosophical exemption? All but two states have religious exemptions.

Also are you sure it's "required?" I'm not sure many states have "mandated" that one.

No we won't be doing it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

We have started the process for our 14 year old boy & have no regrets. It protects him & his future partner(s).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I asked a question some time ago about the HPV vaccine, perhaps some of the responses I got would be useful? ((I suggest you start at the bottom, Riley had some good information.))


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

HPV causes cancers other than cervical cancer. It's not a "cervical cancer vaccine." That's the most well-known cancer that can be caused by HPV, but it's far from the only one. That's why it's becoming recommended that boys recieve it, too.

I don't have an opinion, yet - haven't done any research and my daughter is FAR from the age when it's recommended. Just wanted to clear up a what seems to be a misconception.

As for the post that it's recommended WAY younger than the age of sexual activity (for lack of a better term), we all may want to rethink that - my husband lost his virginity at 13 - over 15 years ago (an anomoly, I'd like to believe). The age of children starting sexual activity is only getting younger and younger.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

The HPV virus is an STD. Which, when contracted and left undetected, can cause certain types of cancer in women and genital warts in both sexes. There are several types of HPV - the vaccine helps prevent contraction.

My son, who is 15, and I, together with his doctor, have decided to wait on the HPV vaccine. Since my son is (currently) committed to abstinence, it seems an unnecessary vaccine. We are also waiting on the meningitis vaccine. In two years, when he goes away to college, we will re-visit both these vaccines.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am totally for all girls and boys getting the HPV shot - mostly because I have at 2 adult friends who contracted HPV in their 30s and now they have to be tested each year to make sure it does not develop into cancer (they also have to disclose to any potential partners that they have HPV). My 12 year old niece just got the shot with no problems. I personally believe in getting all vaccines possible. However, I also believe that every person has the right to make their own choice about which vaccines they get. I can see a school requiring chicken pox or measles vaccines because these diseases are contagious but HPV is not something that can be contracted by sitting next to someone who is sneezing or coughing. So I can see why your friend would want to pull her daughter out of that school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Here is another link to a question a few months back regarding this. The answers there may give you a little more feedback.


I'm personally still on the fence with this vaccine. My oldest turned 11 and I do not know what I will be doing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was aware of the HPV vaccine for pre-teen girls. However, today was the first time I learned that the vaccine is available for boys as well. This is really a tough one. Thankfully, my son is only three so I have awhile to decide. I do get my son vaccinated, but I do not do any of the elective shots either. Honestly, I'm glad that I have awhile before I need to make this decision because the HPV vaccination is so new as well as the research surrounding it. I'm going to wait to make a decision until there is solid scientific evidence about the effects.

"The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself." www.themommypsychologist.com.



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Thank you for asking this question. I asked it a few years ago and the responses I got were frightening. My 16 year old girls have not received this vaccine. The 2 pediatricians they see want them to get it. I am still on the fence so I look forward to seeing the replies you get.

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