Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cervical Cancer Immunisation for Young Girls

While I was at the paediatrician to give my boy his hepatitis jab she raised the issue of vaccination my girl against human papillomavirus to prevent cervical cancer. She mentioned that the vaccine is to be given to young girls at age 9 before puberty or before they become sexually active.

At age nine???? Do they really expect young girls to become sexually active at such a young age? Maybe times have changed. I don't know. Apparently this has caused quite a controversy and some parents fear a vaccine against a virus which effectively is sexually transmitted could promote underage sex. However some have this to say:

I can't believe that a young girl would be encouraged to engage in sex by thinking, "Well, it's all right to go ahead and have sex. I got the vaccine so I'm not going to get cervical cancer 20 to 40 years from now." The reality is that young girls may choose to have sex no matter what we adults think. Why not protect them now from a disease that could kill them? Though I have mixed feelings about mandatory vaccination, I would surely advise it for every girl before puberty. Once an infection occurs, it is too late to provide this protection against cervical cancer. Read more here.

I guess he is basically saying that while we can educate our young girls not to be sexually promiscuous, there is still a risk. Cervical cancer kills over 200,000 women worldwide every year so maybe its better to be safe than sorry.....

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  1. they've introduced nationwide vaccination for girls against cervical cancer in taiwan, and this has brought the rates down totally. i think it's a really good idea and everyone in malaysia should get it too. our country isn't lucky enough to provide us with free pap smears or cervical screenings.

  2. misstan,
    Yes prevention is better than no cure in this case.


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