HPV Vaccine for DD 13 Yrs Old….. What Did You Do?

Updated on April 23, 2012
M.S. asks from Aurora, IL
18 answers


I am trying to learn more about this HPV vaccine that is out there now for girls. My daughter is 13 and our pediatrician had asked if we were interested in the vaccine but I put it off until I was more informed. I am curious, what did you do and why? Thanks in advance for the advice!

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answers from Washington DC on

i would not. the risks of the HPV vaccine are under-reported, and the possible advantages over-hyped.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I had my daughter vaccinated. She had no side effects. If it might help prevent a disease, why not?

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answers from Seattle on

I would never get it for me, my girls, and I'd tell everyone I care about or who asks not to. Not enough research into it and waaaayyyy too many injuries and side effects to date. Regular paps are the best plan for catching and treating any precancerous cells one may get.



10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I encourage you to do as much research as possible about this vaccine. I would not EVER get this vaccine for my child. Not in a million years. Seriously, this vaccine terrifies me. I'm not anti-vaccine. I am anti dangerous vaccine. This vaccine is dangerous. It was rushed, for one. Rushed much more then any vaccine ever has been. It does NOT prevent cervical cancer. It is NOT a cervical cancer vaccine, though marketing would have you believe it. It is an HPV vaccine, and HPV can cause cancer. You CAN still get HPV and cancer, even if vaccinated. There are thousands and thousands of women out there, who get cervical cancer and not HPV. It CAN protect against HPV. There are over 100 stands of HPV , and this vaccine CAN protect against 4. (Can, not always will.)

Anyway, I could write a novel about this vaccine. Google "Dr. Diane Harper" she is the lead researcher and developer behind this vaccine. She has been pretty outspoken about the risks of this vaccine, and the fear mongering marketing approach the vaccine manufacturers have taken. (That aren't true. Pap smears and screenings STILL prevent cervical cancer more then the vaccine. She addresses that.) She has also addressed the myths of how effective it is, among other things. Keep in mind that the vaccine has shown NO effectiveness past 5-6 years. So, if your daughter has sex after 18...she won't be protected anyway. To be clear, the Dr. has never said she is against the vaccine. I believe she is against the misinformation about the vaccine, and feels like the marketing campaigns prevents proper education.

ETA: I should have been more clear. (In response to what someone else said.) Dr. Harper is not a developer behind the actual vaccine, but a researcher behind the diseases, that helped in the TRAILS of the vaccine. So, she worked on HPV research in conjunction. Anyway, like I said...which is exactly what the link provided above says...she doesn't agree with the way it was pushed and marketed. And, she feels there is misinformation surrounded the vaccine. Like I already pointed out, she is not against the vaccine. I DO think her position on the marketing of it is VERY important. Which was the whole point of telling you to google her. Because, vaccines shouldn't be marketed so companies can make money. Nor, should they be rushed. I wanted to point out that an honest and prominent scientist has said that as well, is all. Oh, and while I appreciate factual information both FOR and AGAINST vaccines (both sides have facts and are important in researching and testing vaccines) wikipedia is a user sourced website. I would personally not use that in research.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

Don't bother, it's just another money making scheme. Can cause more problems then it would prevent unless cervical cancer runs in the family i wouldn't do it

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Just do it.

It takes only one bad moment, one bad decision, one male liar in her life, one time with the wrong individual over her life to become infected with a virus that can end up with enormous negative consequences, like infertility.

There is no shame in protecting your daughter from the unknown.

What I am currently bothered by, is my youngest sister's generation of mom's. My sister partied with a very loose group of girls in high school, and these very friends, mom's with teen girls, are not opting for the vaccination. That is irresponsible and major denial IMHO.

Also, the vaccine is available for boys now too. Both should get it, but for some reason it's only free to girls, and not boys.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I just asked my OB/GYN this same thing regarding our daughters. She has a daughter the same age as my oldest, so I decided to ask her opinion. She said in 14 years she has only seen cervical cancer once, and to her there is no reason right now to get the vaccine. She said it is hard to vaccicnate for something she does not see a need for. I made the decision that for now, we will not be getting the vaccine. I have researched it as well, and I feel they pushed this vaccine through before really knowing all the side effects. I was already on the fence about it, but my doctors opinion gave me a clear answer. I have been with the same doctor for 12 years, so I trust her opinion fully!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My daughter is now 17 1/2. I was verbally abused, by a doctor, in front of my DD when I politely declined this vaccine just 2 months after it was approved in 2006! I only said that it was too new and I wanted to get a little bit more information and the doc went off! What I did find out just solidified my opinion that I will not allow my daughter to get it.

I do agree with another poster, that there are strong opinions on both sides and it is hard to get objective information. But here are a few facts that helped me make my decision.

- It was poorly researched.
- There were less than 2000 girls in the age group targeted in the original studies.
- And the "thousands" of woman in the studies were from all over the world. Many from countries that do NOT encourage routine pap smears for early detection nor do they have the health care we do. Which by the way, just the institution of routine pap tests decreased the incidence of cervical cancer in this country by 74%!
- The original study was just a 2 year trial with only a 5 year follow up.
- The FDA allowed a "placebo" that contained aluminum as a control instead of a saline solution which is usually standard in research. Using the aluminum gives kind of a false safety impression of the actual vaccine, which also contains aluminum. You can Google the risks and dangers of aluminum and see why this may be an issue itself.

- There were no safety trials (at the time of my research) of getting Gardasil at the same time as other vaccines which is what our doc wanted to do.

- Just by having the HPV virus does NOT mean you will get cancer. Source after source, including government agencies like the FDA say that for most women (up to 90%) the body's own immune system will clear the virus.

- Dr. Christiane Northrup said it best in my opinion, "Remember, it's not the HPV per se that causes the cancer. It's the immune system's inability to fight the virus. It is far more prudent to optimize a woman's nutrition and lifestyle so that her immune system is functioning optimally in the first place".

- Even a doctor at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Dr. Hershel w. Lawson stated, "the greatest risk factor for cervical cancer in the United States is not being screened or being screened at intervals greater than 5 years."

- Cervical cancer is so uncommon in the United States it is listed as a RARE disease by the National Institutes of Health.

- Gardasil has never been proven to prevent cancer. Only to possibly prevent a couple of strains that may be linked to cervical cancer cases.

- One of the original researchers, Diane Harper, has been very vocal about the fact that it is being marketed to the wrong demographics. I have spoken to Dr. Harper personally about this.

- It will knot be known whether this vaccine prevents cervical cancer for another 15-20 years.

I do have much more I could share about the politics behind this vaccine like more than 40% of the study co-authors were Merck employees. Or how at 2 members of the FDA committee that approved the vaccine are former Merck employees. But in my opinion the facts speak for themselves.
Oh, I am a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience. I also have experience within the research industry too, so this wasn't just an angry mom with her panties in a wad!

Those of you in California and New York need to be aware. There currently is legislation in both states that would allow your children (boys and girls) to get this vaccine without parental consent. *Sorry I don't have the link, but it is true. Your kids need your permission to get a cough drop from the school nurse, but will be allowed to go in and get this vaccine without your consent!

Now here is my snarky comment about the politics. . . . HPV actually stands for "Help Pay for Vioxx". Merck, the company that makes Gardasil was also the company who made and marketed Vioxx which was pulled from the market. *In my research I came across the transcripts from the Congressional hearings about Vioxx. Merck purposely covered up the risks and dangers of Vioxx. How do we know they aren't doing the same now?

Just in today's news was the little blurb below.

The Department of Justice on Thursday said the settlement involved allegations that Merck made misleading statements about Vioxx's heart safety to boost sales of the medicine, and that it prematurely promoted the drug for rheumatoid arthritis.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We chose NOT to get this vaccine. TOO new, I personally feel there was not enough research, I feel it was pushed into the market.

My pedi has mentioned it more than once but when we have politely declined and given our reasons, she backs off. My daughter is 17 and this converstaion started with the Dr. when the vaccine came out.

I expressed my feelings about it to my OB who has 3 daughters and he did not allow the vaccine for his children. That says a lot to me.

Bottom line... I believe if you have preventative, routine care, you are ok with out this unkown vaccine because your pap, etc will catch things.

If someone has no preventative care, never goes to the Dr. then maybe the vacciine would be for them.

It is a hot topic and as a caring mother, I am not going to introduce this to my daughter because I don't want my daughter to suffer the side effects or death. We get routine preventative care.

Do your research... there is a lot of info on both sides. I feel much of the info is a scare tactic geared toward moms to introduce this unknown to their daughters.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Good luck figuring this one out. I'd make a Pro and Con column and just fill them in with all the info in the posts below, your own research plus your gut instinct. I don't have to make this decision for a few more years, but my gut would say "no" at this point. I am not anti-vaccines, but working in the medical field I have no problem believing that trials were rushed, that scare tactics are being used, and that higher ups are more interested in making money that offering safe, true preventative care. (In Texas, the politician trying to make the HPV vaccine mandatory by law was eventually prosecuted for being on the drug company's pay roll.) I haven't sorted through all the facts, but it seems that the risk of the vaccine might outweigh the chance that it will actually prevent one of the 4 strains (out of 100s) of HPV that might possibly (though in most cases doesn't) contribute to cancer. It seems like a good sex talk, awareness and regular check-ups would suffice until you make an informed decision. I'm sure I'll be trying to sort this all out myself in a few years...Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Smith on

MMM, that's a hard one and I would get REALLY informed before I gave it to her. From what commercials say, and from the research I've done, it is a vaccine that will help prevent a VIRUS that if you get this virus could increase the risk of cancer in the future. However, what they said in the first commercials is that VIRUS that girls can get is a STD. If she's not sexually active, she won't get the virus, therefore won't have the increased risk of cancer. So you decide.
Also, from the research that I've done, the vaccines have actually been causing girls to become sterile.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I got it for myself when I was 25, close to turning 26...There is cancer in my family and while I understood it won't prevent it, I felt that if it helped prevent a couple strains, it was worth it! My mom has also gotten it for my 17 year old brother, who wanted it as well - boys are usually the carrier so they need to be vaccinated against it as well...We have really good friends who found out they have it (they are in their 30s) and he was her 1st sexual partner - if she had been vaccinated against it, she wouldn't have HPV...she said she wished she was younger when it came out so she could have gotten it...
All I have to say is, like with any vaccines, you have to weigh the risks against the benefits...
A lot of vaccines have risks of death of causing another bad illness or other things as well...granted I understand the reason you are not sure is because it's newer and you feel you don't have a lot of research/info yet....but think of it this way too - all the vaccines that are out now were new at one time...
I'm not trying to sway you one way or the other, just trying to help you see both points of view...
I hope this helped a little.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My daughter was 17 when it came out. I explained to her what it was and gave her the option of getting or not getting it. She opted not to, simply because she can avoid STD's by practicing safe sex.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am letting my girls decide for themselves if they want it. We have plenty of time as they are only 13. Yes, I know, time flies and they are starting younger all the time. I tell them about it, what HPV is, what it leads to etc. They will make the decision themselves, with my guidance since they need ot know what they are decidig on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

I have had the same ped for 11 years. When she brought it up about my 3 boys ( 11, 12, 15) getting it at their physicals. I told her I wasn't sure I have heard things both ways.

She told me that she had both of her children vaccinated and told me pretty much what Sue W said. She said its most effective before they do become sexually active. They have to get two shots a couple months apart.

The reason I did it is because I trust my Dr 100%.. I don't feel that she is one just to push vaccines.. she sat with me and explained it and left it up to me on what to do in the end. I felt comfortable giving it to my children.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Yes, totally do your research first! While it is a virus that can cause cancerous cells, it is a form of an STD.
I have a friend who got this from her FIRST sexual encounter. She doesn't have any cancerous cells, but at some point this disease will make her unable to conceive any more children. She married this man who gave it to her. She was an adult, and had dated him for quite some time before sleeping with him. It's scary what is out there, and that you seriously need to have any possible sexual partner screened before sleeping with them...which no one would really do.
But first and foremost, educate YOURSELF about this vaccine AND the disease it would be preventing. Don't let anyone strongarm you in to introducing a vaccine into your child!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I dont know if this helps at all. I will be 23 in July. My mom and gyn had me get the shots (Gardasil) at 17. I was not sexually active at that time and they said it was best before sexual activity. I never really did any research on it but in my opinion I probably would get the shot for my daughter if I had one. If the vaccination could help at all I would do it, I would feel worse if something happened because I didn't protect my daughter be simply getting it. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Never! I agree with TJ.

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