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New vaccine for girls.

(19 Posts)
Pixel Sat 06-Sep-08 19:49:24

Hi all. I've just had a consent form for dd to have the new HPV vaccine at school. My first instinct is to opt out (and dh agrees) as I've become very cynical about what the government and drugs manufacturers say and about vaccines in general.
The trouble is, I'm guessing dd will probably be the only girl in her class who doesn't have it and I'm starting to wonder if I'm being ridiculous. Am I protecting her or letting her down? From what I've read, the vaccine hasn't been tested for that long, hasn't been tested on girls under 15, and it isn't even known how long the effects are likely to last. Dd is a very 'young' 12 yo and I can't help thinking she has plenty of time to have the jabs. Maybe in a couple of years more will be known about possible side-effects or dangers and we will feel more confident.
Any thoughts?
I've posted here because I don't want to be attacked for being socially irresponsible/stupid etc for having doubts and I know you lot will have more understanding about my fears.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 06-Sep-08 20:18:23

I'm always wary of new vaccines. And you may be surprised. I've met lots of people now (people I would never have guessed) who have avoided all or some vaccinations. She may well not be the only one.

If unsure and you think she's unlikely to be sexually active (eek) for a while then I'd opt out now and talk to her about deciding whether she wants it before becoming sexually active. I think this sort of thing should be partly her decision tbh.

takingitasitcomes Sat 06-Sep-08 20:22:24

Hi Pixel - I'm like you about this vaccine. When I first heard about it I thought 'wow - how great!', but then I found out a bit more about it and I am annoyed the government is spending so much on rolling it out. It only protects against one strain of the disease and even then, they don't know how long the protection will last. Even girls who have the vaccine will still have to go for regular smear tests...which begs the question 'why bother?'.

I think you should talk to your daughter and explain what it's all about and see what she thinks; also see if she will feel embarrassed about opting out as if you're in two minds about it, then saying no and causing her embarrassment might not be worth it.

lindseyfox Sat 06-Sep-08 20:28:47

In the very long future it is hoped smear tests will stop with this vaccine.

from everything I have read i would have your daughter vaccinated other than a possible high temp and sore arm there are no side effects. its 3 injection over a 6mth period.

whats worse 3 in jections or cervical cancer?!

TotalChaos Sat 06-Sep-08 20:36:42

lindseyfox - it's not as simple as that. it's a matter of balancing the risks - of a rare but very serious side effect against the risk of contracting the strain of HPV in the vaccination and it leading to serious illness.

Even the NHS website admits that there have been rare cases of anaphylactic shock following the HPV vaccine.

Pixel - given I have a DS and won't have to face this issue, I don't feel qualified to comment, but delaying a few years unless she is very keen to have it now sounds reasonable enough to me.

Pixel Sat 06-Sep-08 20:40:52

Thanks Jimjams. After our experiences with ds we did say no more vaccines and have felt secure that we have made the right decision so far. This just seemed different somehow, maybe because your 'eek' is right and it's all tied in with accepting that dd is growing up. You are right of course that it should be her decision too but I want it to be an informed one so that's a good reason for waiting until she is older. (It's difficult when I'm so used to having to make all ds's decisions for him!). I'm not sure atm that there is enough information around to argue both sides, all I know is two extremes:- the 'best thing since sliced bread cancer prevention' thing and some very frightening stories about young girls dying or being paralysed in America.
We will stick with our original decision and opt out for now. I feel better knowing I'm not just being paranoid.

Pixel Sat 06-Sep-08 20:43:58

Oh! more posts, I'm so slow blush. Thanks everyone. One thing that has occurred to me is, if they don't know how long the vaccine is effective (because it hasn't been around that long) how do they know it won't have worn off by the time these young girls do become sexually active? It could all be a big waste of time and money!

lindseyfox Sat 06-Sep-08 20:49:02

the nurses giving the vaccine will be trained in anaphylaxsis and it is a very very rare reaction with any vaccination. The nurses will have adrenaline on site to treat any reaction should it occur.

I know you are weighing up the risks and thats good but this is the best aged for it to be given.

cyberseraphim Sat 06-Sep-08 20:51:08

I don't have any daughters so can't give a personal view although in general terms would agree with lindseyfox. Adverse reactions to vaccines can happen in very rare cases and everyone knows this, equally people have died after taking an aspirin. There is no such thing as a safe drug or safe medical intervention. Everything in life is a balance of risk. But it sounds as if you have a good pragmatic approach Pixel.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 06-Sep-08 20:51:49

Why is it the best age for it to be given?

A god question Pixel- and something that has been repeatedly misjudged with previous vaccines (the 'one jab for life' Hib was found to last less than 2 years for example).

That's the sort of thing that there should be a better understanding of when it's been around for longer.

Pixel Sat 06-Sep-08 21:00:14

I believe it has to be given before the girls are sexually active so the Govt has decided 12 is the best age to catch them all. If you ask me it shows that the Govt has a very poor opinion of girls in this country.

Pixel Sat 06-Sep-08 21:01:08

Sorry, I might disappear in a mo, computer is playing up.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 06-Sep-08 21:02:59

I suppose that's an example of a decision being made on the basis of a population rather than at individual level.

theheadgirl Mon 08-Sep-08 17:47:43

Lindseyfox - I don't think the OP is thinking of an immediate anaphylaxis type reaction. Remember this is the SN board ...

deepbreath Mon 08-Sep-08 21:14:26

I think I read that the HPV vaccine will give immunity against the 2 most risky strains of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer. Some women have cervical cancer but not HPV. The vaccine sounds like a good idea, but a lot of people (my friend included) were told how marvellous the MMR vaccine was when that came out.

Unlike other things that we have jabs for (ie, measles), most HPV infections can be prevented by using condoms. In my opinion, that is a far safer option until they know more about what this vaccine actually does. As my dd is only 5, I've got a few years to wait until this is relevant for her. If she was a "young" 12, I think I'd be tempted to not have the jab now, and wait until she was a little bit older.

Pixel Mon 08-Sep-08 22:52:19

Well, I've had a chat with dd and it's agreed we will wait for now and think about it again when she's a bit older and more is known about the long-term safety and effectiveness. She understands she will have to make a decision before she is sexually active, but she is not in immediate danger so why be a guinea pig?
She's not daft and knows that in most cases vaccinations are a good thing. She also has a little brother who had a bad reaction to his baby jabs and is now autistic so she also knows things are not always as straightforward as the glossy NHS brochures would have us believe.
Just got to fill out the form now. If we are opting out we are supposed to supply a reason, bloomin' cheek! I'm also not keen on this in the brochure:- 'If your parents are not sure that you should have the vaccination you should still return the form and speak to your nurse, doctor or other healthcare professional.' Why? so they can pile on a bit of pressure? hmm
Apparently it will also protect her 'for many years'. Well, we'll see won't we.

LeonieD Tue 09-Sep-08 08:59:51

Message withdrawn

lindseyfox Tue 09-Sep-08 18:37:07

can i just say that the nurses administering can take consent from your daughter should they deem her to be competent to understand the benefits and risks associated with the vaccine and implications of not having it done.

not saying you are right or wrong but just wanted you to be aware of that.

cant believe they ask for a reason, ours in our area just have a consent box for parent with parental responsibility to sign yes or no and a box for young girl to sign yes or no this is to encourage parents to talk to their daughters before hand as you have.

stripeymama Tue 09-Sep-08 18:43:48

My parents chose not to allow us to have any vaccinations. On days when they were being offered in school, we were kept at home and a note sent to school explaining that they were not confident that we would not be vaccinated without parental consent (think there had been cases in the news at the time where this had happened).

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