Thoughts on HPV Vaccine for Boys and Girls

Updated on March 08, 2012
A.J. asks from Norristown, PA
28 answers

I saw the news story last night that the HPV vaccine has now been recommended for boys as of age 9 as well as girls. My kids are younger, and I'm sort of not in love with any vaccines. I dont' trust the CDC on lots of things, and I get annoyed by the fact they don't tell you things like "There are many strains of HPV this vaccine does not protect against" (true) when touting it as the next great cancer prevention miracle drug. And the long term studies are always lacking in the beginning. But I'm torn.

Who's for it, who's against it? Are you vaccinating your sons too, or just your daughter's? Anyone not going to vaccinate their daughters and sons for HPV?

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answers from New York on

I asked my GYN who has a daughter around the same age as mine. She said "NO, my daughter is not getting vacinated". That's all I need to know.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That vaccine scares the hell out of me. WAY too many girls have died from that vaccine. (That's not fear mongering, read about the statistics.) No way I would pump that into my child.

Hopefully, I will have instilled common sense and morals in him. I would hope he wouldn't be sleeping around, or having unprotected sex. So many diseases can be prevented, by just having a sense of moral decency.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Absolutely against it for all of my kids. I have a 13 year old boy and 13 year old girl as well as younger boys. If they decide to opt for it as young adults that's fine but on my watch? No way, no how, no thanks.

11 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

Sorry. NO GO.

It doesn't guard against much. It gives people a false sense of security when there really is none. There is NO miracle drug and there is no miracle cure.

There have not been enough studies done. And I certainly would NOT give it to my daughter...or my boys.

I vaccinate my children against Mumps, measels, rubela, chicken pox and the like. We do NOT do the flu shots - too many strains. But the HPV? NO FREAKING WAY.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Absolutely not.

I think the marketing behind this vaccine has been intentionally deceptive and aggressive.

This vaccine is dangerous - several kids have already died from it. (

It's too new - we don't know what all of the side effects are and how they will affect adolescents' development and reproductive health.

This only protects against the strains of cancer that are linked to STDs. It is not consistent w/our parenting to be advising our kids against risky behavior choices and then provide a "just in case" measure. Behaviors have consequences and I think this generation already has a sense that isn't the case - they can do whatever they want and be immune from the effects. When he is old enough to decide to get it himself, that will be his choice. For my part, I'm not willing to inject toxins into his system on the chance that he will not make good choices in the future.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Absolutely under NO circumstance would I allow my children to get this vaccine.
This is Big Pharma at its best.
There have been so many girls hurt by this vaccine-documented cases-I can't understand why anyone would inject this into their kid.

Right there under DEATHS:

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I only have a daughter and I won’t be letting her get this. There are so many reasons that I have to not get this. I would start with the fact that there are thousands of strains of hpv virus and this only covers a few that "may" cause cervical cancer. I am disgusted that the advertising it is so misleading. I read the article on CNN and in the blogs under it there was a comment that this is a cure for cancer. I couldn't believe that someone really believes that.
I know they have been working on a vaccine for aids for decades. I often wonder how many people will line up for that when it hits the market. I also wanted to add that I don’t like that you have to sign a waiver to receive ANY vaccine. That makes me distrust the companies making these things.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

26 girls have died so far from it. Get a yearly pap instead. Vaccines aren't 100% effective anyway.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Absolutely no way. This is one of the most dangerous vaccines. And, parents who do not plan to get this for your children, be warned that public schools are administering it without parental consent. At least one boy has died already from it after being vaccinated at school without his parents' knowledge or permission. Warn your children about this danger. They may just go along with their friends, totally unaware about what you believe about it. Use the opportunity to have them research it fully and come to a conclusion about it. Make sure they look up side effects, efficacy, the trial period, the fact that they are indeed the guinea pigs. When they research and find out for themselves, they won't need you to hammer it into their heads.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My son turned 15 this summer. At his annual check up he asked his Dr. if he was due for any boosters - Doc listed a few things, one being the HPV vaccine. I declined it at that time. At 15 my son is very much planning to wait until marriage. Realistically, I think he is a little idealistic, but this is something he speaks of often and relays, freely, to others (family, Drs., friends, etc.). Our Dr. did tell us that the HPV vaccine should be administered up to a year prior to sexual activity - which, to me, is like putting a "due date" on permissiveness.

HPV protects against certain STDs - but so does abstinence and many forms of barrier birth control. I have managed to live (and love) for 46 years and have never contracted an STD. Am I lucky? No, I have been cautious, and protected myself, even during my most foolhardy years. I expect with education, self respect and respect for others, that my son can make his own decision about this new vaccine. We have had, and continue to have, an on going conversation about sexuality on both the physical and emotional levels.

I went along with all of the immunizations that were required for him through childhood, but this one is, for me, just too new, and on many levels, unnecessary.


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 16 yr old daughter will NOT be vaccinated with Guardisil.

We have followed the traditional route for all other vaccinations but this one is not for us. TOO new, TOO many horror stories, and it supposedly only protects against certain strains of HPV.

That said, we are proactive with our health... we do get regular physicals, etc and take care of ourselves. Daughter and I also have a very open relationship when it comes to communication and we talk about everything, no topic if off limits.

I am not naive enough to think my daughter will never ever have sex and I know this vaccine claims to prevent some strains of HPV which could lead to cancer but we are not taking any chances with a new vaccine like this which has caused so much controversy. This was a joint decision as well... it is her body.

Now, I DO think is there are young women and men who do not take care of themselves, do NOT get regular physicals and practice good health care, then maybe it would be ok for them..

My Dr. (well known and respected Ob/Gyn) did not vaccinate his 3 daughters, that said a lot to me. My daughter's pedi has talked to daughter about it but completely respects where we are coming from on our decision and it has never been mentioned again.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi A.-

I have a 'slew' of 15 to 22...

I have always been 'leary' of any new vaccine...BUT this young people a false sense of security...

I recommend with ALL my kiddos condoms.


Of course, I also have taught monogamous long term loving relationships ...

I have waited for each of the age of decide for themselves...

The 'youngers' and I have discussed it...and based on research they (and I) have one here has opted 'for' it...

"They" are 15 to 22 now.

Best luck!


There are a GREAT many sexually transmitted diseases....some deadly....some not 'deadly' but surely 'life long' 'gifts'...

Condoms reduce the possibility of ALL of them...

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

AGAINST! There have been serious side effects and it doesn't protect against many strains. My favorite vaccine author's website is, I haven't looked lately to see if he has anything new to say about it. Won't be getting it for my kids and it's the one vaccine I would tell anyone not to get as well!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have already declined for my daughter since this vaccine is preventing something that with self control my own daughter can prevent:). God forbid after injecting thousand of kids they find out it causes fertility problems or something else. I simply do not think there is enough research, especially long term studies, to possibly risk my daughter's health. If at some point she believes she is in need of the vaccine she can have it. Since this vaccine does not protect against all HPV viruses however, I fear young people will have a false sense of security.
My friend is a nurse practioner at an OBGYN office and she will have her boys get the vaccine.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have a son and a daughter. I will not be getting it for either of them. I am not 100% all for vaccinations anyway.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My kids have both had the vaccine. The doc recommended it for my daughter and my son. If I can give my children even a minimal chance of preventing them from getting a form of cancer, I'll do it.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I will be giving both my son and daughter the vaccine. As nice as it would be to try and teach them not to have sex until marriage that's not always the case. My husband and I didn't wait. I will still teach them to be responsible for their actions but if this vaccine can help prevent certain cancers that they could come in contact with regaurdless if they wait for marriage, say a spouse cheats, then I'm for it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Absolutely I will vaccinate my son (he is only 5 now). The best time to protect against sexually transmitted diseases is before the kids are old enough to have sex. Such a simple thing to protect women from cervical cancer and men and women from genital warts. Protecting your child does not 'give him permission' to have sex anymore than putting him in a car seat gives him permission to be in a car accident.

Looking at the CDC vaccine event reporting, there is no evidence that anyone has died due to the vaccine.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My two youngest daughters were vaccinated. If I had sons, I get them vaccinated also.

Like Laura, I believe that we can teach our kids how we'd like them to act but that is no guarantee that they'll follow what we teach them.

I expect my daughters to be moral women who respect themselves and others. I expect them to be supremely cautious about their bodies, their health and their responsibilities to themselves and to any future partners they may have. I am, however, realistic.

Trust -- but verify.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My kids are grown but there are now grandchildren. I hate to think of them getting this and feel there are side effects and down the road who knows what they'll find. I also believe in abstinence. I know all kids won't do that and some will pay a price for it but you asked for who is against it and I am.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Not enough information for me yet. My son is 8.5. No WAY will I get this at his 9 year well check.

The ONLY reason I might consider it is that it is more about cancer than a sexually transmitted disease.

In any event, I believe it should be optional. Not mandatory.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Very likely going to vaccinate both the boys and girls.

You are right that there are more strains than what is vaccinated aginist but the stains it covers represent something like60% to 90% of the cancer causing strains mattering on which doctor you a talking to.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My doc told us about the recommend for boys last year so this is old news to me. But he is not too happy with the fact that I will let my kids decide. They are 12 now. The shots are for 12 to I think 24 yrs old. Plenty of time to decide and I really hope plenty, way plenty, of time before they are active. I will let them know exactly what it is, what is supposed to do and they can tell the doc if they want it or not.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I don't know if anyone mentioned this aspect yet, but I just wanted to add some food for thought. My husband works on head and neck cancer and they have found that a relatively large proportion of their patients developed head and neck cancer due to HPV (most patients with head and neck cancer have a history of smoking and drinking and it is believed this is the cause of their cancer). I do not know about the vaccine and the strains it covers and their link to head and neck cancer. My kids are still young, I'll research that when it is time to make the decision. So much could have changed by then with the vaccine. I do know that my pediatrician, who is pro-vaccine, says that's one that he doesn't recommend. He didn't say why.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is 4, so we're a couple of years away, but if he were a young teen, I would get him the vaccine. HPV causes head, neck, and anal cancer in men, and there are some new studies linking it to heart disease as well. Not to mention, girls get HPV (and therefore cervical cancer) from men... so it is his responsibility to help fight the spread of HPV just as much as it is a girl's. There is, according to the CDC, no evidence to suggest that the people who have died after taking the vaccine were killed because of the vaccine. Just because someone gets vaccinated and then dies, it doesn't mean the vaccine caused it-- they also ate and breathed before they died too, right? But we don't say that eating and breathing causes people to die. There have been 34 confirmed deaths after Guardasil, but again, they can find no link between them, and many of them have causes of death that are known NOT to be related.

There have been some reports of blood clots that may be associated with the vaccine. These were mostly in women who had other risk factors for blood clots-- like being obese, smoking, and taking birth control pills. Which is a great argument for getting the shot BEFORE your teens are old enough to start smoking and taking birth control pills, IMHO.

It is worth mentioning that there are actually 2 HPV vaccines, Guardasil and Cervarix. Cervarix is not as popular in the US, but seems to have a lower rate of serious vaccine-associated risks, and has been widely been used in Europe for longer. I would probably choose Cervarix over Guardasil for my son.

Here's the link to the CDC report:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i'm leaning towards no but it is a ways away for me. And i right that this prevents an STD that can cause cancer---some cancers but not all???. So if a girl and boy BOTH waited until marriage ( meaning they were both clean) then neither would need this vaccine. But people with multiple partners then are at risk???? do condoms do the same as this vaccine???

guess i need to do some research.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just saw this post and had to chime in...I will be getting my 16 year old son vaccinated. My husband is fighting stage IV throat cancer right now and it was caused by HPV!! We went to the head and neck cancer center at MD Anderson in Houston (the top cancer treatment hospital in the nation) and were told by the drs there that HPV related throat cancer in men is now an epidemic. They see 6-7 new patients there every week with this type of cancer. The virus can stay dormant in your system for decades before anything developes.

My husband is in his 6th week of chemo and radiation. He will be getting a feeding tube inserted tomorrow because he cannot swallow anything and has lost 25 lbs already. He's lost his hair and his skin is damaged from the radiation. He lost his taste and doesn't expect it to come back for 3-6 months. He's in so much pain he is on fentenol patches and morphine syrup. He won't feel a sense of wellness for upto a year after treatment. If I can avoid the same pain for my son I am certainly going to do it. Also, I had my daughter vaccinated at 15 (she's now 20) and she had no side effects at all from the vaccine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I am watching this vaccine...I have not made up my mind. My kids are 3 and 5 so I have a few years to watch the effects.

1 mom found this helpful
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