Should Your Daughter Get the HPV Vaccine?

Weighing the benefits and risks of the new inoculation

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine Gardasil, which protects against human papillomaviruses (HPV).  The category includes around 100 sexually transmitted viruses that are the primary cause of cervical cancer. By the end of last year more than 23 million doses had been distributed – enough to vaccinate seven million girls.

A new government study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has raised some concerns about side effects associated with the drug. Merck, the drug's manufacturer, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain Gardasil is safe and effective, and that adequate warnings are provided. To find out more, we speak with Diane Harper, a physician and one of the lead researchers for Merck's Gardasil clinical trials. She has been speaking out in favor of more warnings. We also speak with Sheila Rothman, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. For one parent's point of view, we talk to Kenye Jones-Downing about whether she plans to give her daughter the vaccine.

Decide for yourself! Watch the ad below. Does it go too far? Or not far enough?


Diane Harper, Kenye Jones-Downing and Sheila Rothman

Hosted by:

Amy Holmes


Clancy Nolan

Comments [1]

A Cherniack

Your story on the HPV vaccine, was extremely one sided. This week, the FDA reaffirmed the safety of this vaccine and stated that its benefits continue to outweigh its risks.

By running such a one sided story, you add fuel on the fire of the anti-vaccine movement which is not based on science and is detrimental to overall the health of our society.

Aug. 21 2009 10:18 AM

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