On Your Side: HPV Vaccine Fears

ABC 7 News

July 1, 2010

A new report finds only one-third of girls under age 17 are receiving the vaccine against HPV, the human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer.

That vaccine, known as Gardasil, was considered controversial when first released. Now some experts question if that’s the reason so few girls have received it.

Wendie Lubic says she’s already learned the pain HPV can cause, when it leads to cervical cancer.

“One of my very good friends, she died of cervical cancer,” Lubic said.

After learning about the HPV vaccine, she wasted no time getting her teen daughters vaccinated.

“I hear about people who don’t get the shot, and I’m glad that my mom made the decision to have me get it,” said Sasha Lamb, Lubic’s daughter.

But Lubic’s daughters may be in the minority. In a recent survey of 1,700 girls between 13 and 17 years old in six states, only 34 percent of them had received the vaccine, even though it’s been highly recommended by the American Cancer Society and immunization officials.

“I’m not surprised that only about a third of young girls are getting the HPV vaccine because it has been associated with so much controversy,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, president and co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center.

She says there’ve been more than 18,000 reports of adverse reactions ranging from extreme fatigue to convulsions.

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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.