Cancer Council to dispel Gardasil myths

World News Australia

01 March 2011 | 07:00:00 AM | Source: AAP

A quarter of Australian girls eligible for the free Gardasil vaccine are not taking up the offer, prompting a move to dispel the “myths” surrounding the cancer-fighting jab.

Studies into the vaccine’s uptake in schools reveal a poor understanding of the way it protects against cervical cancer, says Cancer Council Australia spokeswoman Kate Broun.

Some parents are also put off by their pubescent daughters being offered a vaccine targeting a sexually transmitted infection when the girls are only 12 or 13 and far from being sexually active.

“For some parents that has been a concern and it is a reason they have not consented to the vaccine,” Ms Broun said on Monday.

“But I guess we would say there is no evidence to suggest that a girl who has been vaccinated has gone on to have sex earlier, or have any more sexual partners, than a girl who has not been vaccinated.”

“Perhaps that is a fear for some parents but it is not a fear backed by the evidence.”

Health authorities aim to administer the Gardasil vaccine before sexual activity begins, to maximise its effectiveness.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.