In all likelihood, your child can get an HPV vaccine and be fine. Listen, life doesn’t come with guarantees, so A THING could happen after your son or daughter gets the HPV shot, but the most likely thing would be an auto accident (not at all caused by the vaccine). I’m also not a science person, so my explanations will be mostly devoid of scientific explanation, but I will link you to actual science and scientists.
Many people want you to be afraid of the HPV vaccine. For otherwise happily vaccinating parents, the HPV vaccine is the gateway to the anti-vaccine movement the way they might fear hand-holding and french kissing is the gateway to early sexual exploration and orgies. (Speaking of french kissing–did you know that HPV can be transmitted that way?) And not coincidentally, parents’ fears of their children’s sexual awakening is sometimes tied to their fears of this vaccine, even though they do not worry about their newly walking toddlers purposely stepping on rusty nails just because they have been vaccinated against tetanus.
Here’s some science: apparently children who get the HPV vaccine are no more likely to become sexually active at a younger age than children who do not. Unfortunately, I have no science exploring toddlers and rusty nails to give you. There’s a research possibility for someone who wants it!
While I am not a scientist, I am fairly certain that the HPV vaccine cannot do these things to your children:
- Reactivate a tick-borne bacterial infection that your child may or may not have had.
- Explode your daughter’s ovaries.
- Cause a diphenhydramine overdose.
- Cause an auto accident.
I hope when I put it that way, that the ridiculousness of the anti-vaccine claims against HPV vaccines seem as implausible as they are. But you may not be convinced still, so here is some of the science done by other people with expertise whom you should trust:
- A study of nearly a million girls funded by a grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and the Danish Medical Research Council (i.e. not Big Pharma) found no serious adverse effects caused by the HPV vaccine. The study ruled out 23 autoimmune disorders, 5 neurological disorders, and blood clots as being related to the HPV vaccine.
- The HPV vaccine is made from one protein from the virus. It does not contain hormones and is no more likely than any other vaccine to affect fertility (in other words, not at all likely.) This outcome is probably not worth studying since the premise that it could cause infertility is based on something not possible. Dr. Kim Gecsi told ABC News: “There is nothing about this particular vaccine that would make this at all plausible. There is nothing hormonal in Gardasil or anything anti-hormonal in Gardasil — nothing that should encourage the body to stop producing ovarian hormones.” What does cause infertility? Cervical cancer, something we can prevent through vaccination.
- VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) reports are often used as proof that the HPV vaccine causes all manner of bad outcomes, but such claims fail to note that VAERS explicitly states: “it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.” Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynecologist and female genital diseases expert has this wonderful takedown on the use of VAERS as it relates to the HPV vaccine.
- Taking the data from seven different studies of the HPV vaccine, the Information is Beautiful website shows how the HPV vaccine is as safe as a placebo.
- What are some side effects from the HPV vaccine? The CDC says that after the HPV vaccine, 25% of people might have redness or swelling in their arm, 33% of people might have a headache, and 10% of people might have a low-grade fever. Teens who get this vaccine might also faint–as they may with any other vaccine.
You may have found your way to this blog post because someone you know and love posted something about a girl whose Lyme disease was reactivated by the HPV vaccine. This story wants you to believe that a vaccine made of mostly sterile water and containing just enough of what it needs (and seriously–one protein from the virus) is administered into the muscle and colludes with a bacterium introduced at an earlier time from a tick in order to make vague, bad things happen. I am sorry for the pain this girl is in and I understand that the parents want answers, but the HPV vaccine is likely not the cause of Chronic Lyme Disease.
If you want to prevent real suffering, you will vaccinate your children.