Tuesday, 16 September 2008

ABC Wednesday - I

I apologise now for the grave nature of this post but it is something that weighs heavy on me.

I is for Injection.

Specifically the new jab for HPV that is currently being offered to our children.

Now, I am not a scientist, a doctor or a chemical expert, so the things I write in this post are from research and my own opinion, so please make up your own mind.

There are over a 100 different kinds of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Some cause the common warts we experience on our hands and others can cause genital warts. It is thought that a few strains of the virus are responsible for around 70% of cases of cervical cancer. These strains are obviously sexually transmitted and are carried by men and women. The virus can stay in the body for some time, some will cause cell abnormalities, some will lead on to cancer, the majority will have no affect at all and will be cleared away by the body.

Two drugs have been developed in the hope of vaccinating against some of the strains that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil, which has been used in America, and Cervarix which is due to be introduced shortly in the UK. There are 15 strains of high risk, sexually transmitted HPVs, but strains 16 and 18 together are the ones most thought to cause cervical cancer. Gardasil protects against strains 16, 18, 6 and 11. (6 and 11 are thought to be the cause of genital warts). Cervarix protects against 16, 18, 31 and 45. Neither of the vaccines protect against ALL of the potentially cancer causing strains of the virus and they don't even protect against the same strains.
Apparantly trials have shown 100% effectiveness, although I'm not quite sure how they can prove that. Trials have been very short term and they are not yet even sure how long the vaccine will last. This to me raises huge questions about the safety of the vaccines. There have already been widely reported cases of serious side effects from the use of Gardasil in America, including some, possibly unproved, deaths. Aside from short term side effects no one has any idea what long term issues could be caused. The Uk has opted to use Cevarix, not, I discovered during my research, because it was more effective or because it was safer, but because it is cheaper.
I have two daughters one of which has just two years before she will be offered the vaccine. She will NOT be having it. I myself have experienced having abnormal cells on my cervix and had to undergo a very traumatic colpolscopy to remove them. Whether they were caused by HPV I was never told. She still isn't having it. The vaccine doesn't cover all HPV strains that are potentially dangerous, and neither does it safeguard against other sexually transmitted infections and diseases. The NHS has already raised the age of Smear tests to 25 and I believe this vaccine is an excuse to do so. I had my stage 3 abnormal cells removed at 24, after having a normal smear test result just two years previous, and I have friends who have also been through it that were younger.
I personally believe the way to tackle the problem is to re-inforce the message of safe sex. I am open with my children in regards to love, sex and relationships. I have already spoken to my eldest daughter, who is just 11, about the repercussions of irresponsible attitudes to sex and how condoms, apart from abstinence, are the only way to protect yourself. I can't guarantee that this approach will work, but at least my children will have had all the facts and been able to make decisions for themselves. There would be no guarantees if they had the vaccine either, so I am happy for them not to be filled with potentially dangerous drugs.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I want you to make up your own minds as to whether the drug is a good idea or not, this is just my opinion. I just think that sometimes the truth about these things is not quite as open as we are led to believe and we are not necessarily given all the facts. I offer you these websites, from which I got some of my information;
As a final note to this post I would like to also bring to everyone's attention that the British government is proposing to make all vaccines compulsary for school admission. Which would mean that if you declined ANY vaccine your child would not be allowed into school. Whether you believe vaccines are right or not you have to agree that this proposal is a complete abuse of Human Rights. I have written about this previously but I will again post the link to sign an official petition to get this proposal stopped.
That's it! I'm finished!! I promise next weeks ABC Wednesday will be more light hearted! Thanks for reading.
P.S. It looks like my spacing has gone all dodgy AGAIN, I do apologise!


shutterhappyjenn said...

Really, the children won't be admitted to school if they decline the vaccine? That's so bad! Even I would do a petition should that happen here! I wish you well in your cause.

My "I" picture is posted here. Happy Wednesday!

babooshka said...

That was a very thoguth provoking post.


a very informative post, it is a tough decisioon to do sometjhig that goes against the government's decisions

Island Rambles Blog said...

Thanks for this valuable post...I wonder what they will find out in the years ahead...sometimes all the results are not known right away....kinda scary...please come and see my post, it is my first ABC.

magiceye said...

very informative and interesting post.

leslie said...

Thanks for bringing all this to our attention! I believe the same as you do in being open about sex, love, and relationships but I'd be hesitant to have my child given a vaccine that hasn't been proven. If it works, it's still important to understand everything that goes along with the decision to have sex, especially at a young age.

Dragonstar said...

Thank you for a very informative post. I think I get a whiff of a double-bind situation here. Your children won't be admitted without the injections, but they'll prosecute if you keep them home. Heads I win, tails you lose.
Mind, it gives excellent ammunition to home-educators ...

Anonymous said...

I think Britain has gone mad. I am glad to be out of it despite the almost physical pain of separation from my Welsh roots.
I think this will lull some into a false sense of security. My wife has made the point about home education - which we did. Nanny state didn't like that either.
An excellent post - thank you.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

That was an important public service announcement! Thank you!

Bear Naked said...

You have done your research on this thought provoking topic.

Bear((( )))

mrsnesbitt said...

A very thought provoking post, indeed we are rarely in possession of all the facts.

Thanks so much.

photowannabe said...

I echo the others one this one. Thanks for doing your research and informing us.
Its scary how fast some things become the answer to everything. Education and Frank talks with our children is first and formost to keeping them safe.

Berthddu Suit said...

Thanks all for your comments. I am glad you found this heavy duty post useful. What amazes me is that instead of ploughing money into fairly pointless vaccinations, why they don't use it more wisely by educating us. Even though I have had to have cells removed from my cervix I was unaware of HPV until this vaccination was announced.

blogthatmama said...

I hadn't thought much about the jab, having boys, but it must be very worrying for people with young daughters.

Miss_Yves said...

It's important to look after the respect of human rights
Miss Yves