Friday, October 10, 2008

HPV Vaccine

I've been wanting to blog on the HPV Vaccine for ages but haven't had the time or been able to do all the background research. Then I stumbled across this article over at TallSkinnyKiwi's, which prompted me to say something...

Having watched reaction from the media a few months ago, I was appalled that no-one even mentioned why this was being introduced: it can help prevent a sexually transmitted disease. Not one news story mentioned that. Why? Are we so prudish in Britain we cannot talk about STDs? is it too shocking to talk about sex and girls under 16? Well, yes, it is shocking to the public. But to not even refer to point of the vaccine is to me a conspiracy of denial.

Listen, I'm not against the HPV vaccine. But I am for a well-informed discussion, and that both the children vaccinated, and their parents, and fully aware of this is, and what it does. No information is disinformation.

Anyway, check out TallSkinnyKiwi's story, and feel free to comment here. I'd like to learn more about this.

update: This story has hit the national press: check out TallSkinnyKiwi's update here.


brunettekoala said...

My friends were actually some of the participants in the clinical trials for the HPV vaccine. It's Scottish creation btw! :) But it's been pretty stringently tested from what I know.

I read the story on that other blog, and I think that is shocking. That I hope is a one-off occurrence from a doctor/nurse throwing ethics and good practice out the window. Unfortunately there are medical staff who do this, but they are the exceptions most of the time, and I really hope this is an exception to the norm.

let's also remember that for years girls were given rubella from young age to protect them and their future babies should they become pregnant. This is similar in a way, because the aim of the HPV vaccine is to protect against cervical cancer which is one of the most common cancers amongst women in the UK. It's not contraception.

Do I agree with what that doctor did? No. I think that story would make other medical staff angry - it only takes one and it tarnishes ALL medical professionals with the same brush, I don't think that is fair.

But do I think the HPV vaccine could be a good thing and save lives? Yes.

Can we be sure until we try it? Like all medicine - we won't know until it goes mainstream.

Adam A said...

That's the sort of misconduct that would provide very reasonable grounds for the doctor in question being permanently struck off - which I believe he/she should be. My advice would be for TallSkinnyKiwi to report the matter to the GMC as they would certainly want to hear about it.

Alastair said...

Thanks for your comments!