- Obispo, Stacey L.
Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledging vaccinations as one of top 10 impressive public health accomplishments of the twentieth century (Malone & Hinman), vaccines have still been cause for debate over the years. Fears over the years have resonated over vaccination risks and side effects. Sadly, parental unacceptance of general childhood vaccinations may have been persuaded from accepting incorrect beliefs (Gamble, Klosky, Parra, & Randolph, 2010). For example, the early childhood vaccination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) was of recent controversy because many believed it caused autism (Gamble, et al., 2010). Gamble, et al. (2010) found that this controversy along with some vaccines inability to be fully successful with some recipients has contradicted vaccine effectiveness. As a result some parents within the public question whether all vaccinations which have risks will outweigh the benefits. Today I implore all parents to listen to the research and scientifically proven information I am going to share about vaccines so that your questions about its effectiveness can be put to rest. In addition, I will share with you pertinent facts that you should know about the vaccine Gardasil so that you can make an informed choice as to whether you should get your child vaccinated.
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Balancing one’s individual rights with the rights of society to prevent their own illness versus the need for public health officials to prevent large scale epidemics should be thoughtfully considered. Today we can easily say that societal interest has conflicted with some parents’ interest. This occurs because in our society vaccinations are taken in efforts to not just aid the child from disease and illness rather, it is done to protect and prevent diseases and illnesses from the whole community. The way to balance individual rights with the rights of society regarding preventing individual illness and large scale epidemics is by modeling the practices of the US government regarding vaccinations.
The CDC states that some individuals argue that every adult with an s sound mental capacity should have the right to choose what should be done to their body (Malone & Hinman). The CDC’s response to such an argument was directed to the Supreme Court ruling on Jacobson vs. Massachusetts which upheld the rights of states to mandate vaccinations (Malone & Hinman). The rationale behind the court ruling was this: As long state wide vaccinations exist because of the need to prevent outbreaks of disease individual rights should not be held .The idea that one should have a choice in regard to their own being cannot be upheld because each being affect others .In other words, as long as humans remain social creatures , personal privacy and choice in regards to required vaccinations cannot exist. Each individual makes up a whole community. The ruling concluded that if all individuals had the choice to choose whether or not they should be vaccinated public health and public safety can become endangered when epidemics arise (Malone & Hinman).
The ruling on Jacobson vs. Massachusetts is enacted to ensure that through vaccinations disease prevention is granted to everyone. The ruling allowed states to have police power regarding vaccinations (Malone & Hinman). With police power, states are then empowered by the Constitution to make sure those rationale guidelines that were recognized by legislative depiction as will safeguard public health and safety ruing empowered states (Malone & Hinman). Another way states make sure that its constituents are getting vaccinated is through mandating school laws and prohibiting school enrollment to children who have not been vaccinated(Malone & Hinman). States have the authority to assert authority of the welfare of a child (Malone & Hinman). This is called parens patriae. Under this doctrine the Supreme Court states that there are no rights of religion or parenthood that are beyond limitation (Malone & Hinman). Furthermore, the Justices state that one’s right to practice religion freely does not give one the liberty to expose the child or community to communicable disease, ill health, or even death (Malone & Hinman).
Despite these safe guards that our government has enacted, there is exemptions that are offered for individuals who elect not to get vaccinated. Currently 48 states have exemption laws which ensure that religious and in some cases philosophic beliefs are protected and allow such individuals to be excluded from vaccinations (Malone & Hinman). Although these individuals have no constitutional rights under religious or philosophic beliefs, states allow these individuals to practice their freedoms (Malone & Hinman). This delicate balance appears to be working well since their has been an growth in numbers of vaccines being presented with a majority of the public taking them and a commonly low level of observable risk from disease (Malone & Hinman).
The vaccine Gardasil protects against precancerous lesions, such as CIN1/2/3,VIN2/3, cervical cancer triggered by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18, and it also is a defense against infection and disease produced by HPV6 and11 as well as genital warts (Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013). The age of Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices state that the HPV vaccination is targeted for females aged 11 and 12 years through the series of 3 injections given over 6 months (Gamble, et al., 2010).Boys ages 9-26 can be given the vaccination to prevent genital warts caused by the HPV (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014). The vaccine is approved to be given to girls, boys, women and men that are within the ages of 9-26 years (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014) . The vaccine Gardasil is intended for administration before sexual onset (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014). The HPV virus can be transmitted through: oral and digital infection by digital –genital contact or genital digital contact, vaginal and anal intercourse (Gamble, et al., 2010).
The Gardasil vaccine prevents spread of HPV. Around 70% of sexually active people will contract the Human Papillomavirus within their lifetime (Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013). The HPV genotypes 16 and 18 have been accountable for approximately 73% of cervical cancers as well as the bulk of HPV-related vulval and vaginal cancers (Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013). In addition 90% of genital warts affecting men and women are HPV 6 and 11(Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013). The vaccine Gardasil prevents the transmission of HPV 16 and 18, HPV 6 and 11, and cervical cancers(Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013).
On the individual level the impact of contracting HPV can be devastating because in some cases genital warts develop or even cancers (Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013). This can effect not just the quality of one’s sexual life but their life expectancy because in some cervical cancer remains undiagnosed until it’s too late for treatment. The decline of HPV can only be accomplished by targeting the cariogenic types of HPV, making sure the protection is resilient, targeting the appropriate at risk population, and by ensuring that the medical community and public adhere to the recommended screening guidelines(Gamble, et al., 2010).In fact the American Cancer society estimates that 70% of cervical cancers can be prevented if HPV vaccinations are given over several decades(Gamble, et al., 2010).
The most common side effects associated with HPV vaccine Gardasil include: fainting, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, headache ,fever, and at the injection site; pain, swelling ,itching, bruising, and redness (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014). Like all vaccinations there can be an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include: difficulty breathing, rash hives, and wheezing (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014). Inform your child’s doctor if after vaccination they have: chills, skin infection, bleeding or bruising more than normal, swollen glands, joint pain, unusual tiredness, overall feeling of being unwell, pain in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain, aching muscles, or seizure. (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014). Remember the vaccine Gardasil has been evaluated and approved for use by the FDA and safety is continually evaluated by the CDC for safety on an ongoing basis (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014).
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Psycho-social impacts of whether the Gardasil vaccination will be utilized is associated with doctors recommendations, parental views and adolescences attitudes (Gamble, et al., 2010). Health care attitudes and recommendations by doctors impact families because their views influence whether an individual will get vaccinated with Gardasil. For instance, if the pediatricians attitude and intention is to promote the HPV vaccine research has shown that they will have a successful delivery(Gamble, et al., 2010).
The choice as to whether a parent will immunize their child can be influenced by their cultural beliefs and also by a parents view or personal factors regarding one’s susceptibility to HPV(Gamble, et al., 2010). Research documented by Gamble, et al., (2010) states that parents who make the decision to vaccinate against sexually transmitted infections are inclined to do so based on their personal beliefs and their adolescent’s attitudes about contraception use. Parents who have open communication regarding sex with their child have the tendency to vaccinate against HPV(Gamble, et al., 2010).Adolescent attitudes regarding HPV vaccination have been found to be similar to parental views(Gamble, et al., 2010).
A concern that may arise from some parents who may consider giving their adolescent the vaccination is; will the vaccination give my child permission to become sexually active because they have been vaccinated against HPV? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2013) research studies demonstrate that children who receive the HPV vaccine do not engage in sex any sooner than those who have been given other teen vaccines. Essentially the findings indicate that children do not see the HPV vaccine as a license to engage in sexual activity (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013).
In conclusion, parents vaccinating your children with Gardasil will not make them prematurely sexually active. The benefits of taking Gardasil can lessen their risks at cancers and genital warts. This preventive vaccine has the potentially to reduce cervical cancers by 73% and vulvular cancers by 50%. The side effects associated with taking Gardasil are no different than other vaccines your children have already been given. Being uncomfortable about having a conversation about HPV and sex should not deter anyone from getting their child vaccinated. The benefits of being vaccinated are far too great to the individual and society as a whole to let a moment of being uncomfortable potentially dictate an individual’s life expectancy.
Facts about Gardasil and HPV
- The vaccine Gardasil protects against precancerous lesions, such as CIN1/2/3,VIN2/3, cervical cancer triggered by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)16 and 18, and it also is a defense against infection and disease produced by HPV6 and11 as well as genital warts (Dominiak-Felden, et al., 2013).
- The HPV vaccination is targeted for females aged 11 and 12 years through the series of 3 injections given over 6 months (Gamble, et al., 2010).
- Boys ages 9-26 can be given the vaccination to prevent genital warts caused by the HPV(Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014).
- The vaccine is approved to be given to girls, boys, women and men that are within the ages of 9-26 years (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014) .
- The vaccine Gardasil is intended for administration before sexual onset (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014).
- The HPV virus can be transmitted through: oral and digital infection by digital –genital contact or genital digital contact, vaginal and anal intercourse (Gamble, et al., 2010).
- American Academy of Pediatrics (2013) state that children who receive the HPV vaccine do not engage in sex any sooner than those who have been given other teen vaccines.
- Most common side effects associated with HPV vaccine Gardasil include: fainting, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, headache ,fever, and at the injection site; pain, swelling ,itching, bruising, and redness (Merk- Sharp and Dohme Corp., 2014).
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2013, August 7). Vaccinating your preteen: Addressing common concerns. Retrieved from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccinating-Your-Preteen-Addressing-Common-Concerns.aspx
Dominiak-Felden, G., Cohet, C., Atrux-Tallau, S., Gilet, H., Tristram, A., & Fiander, A. (2013). Impact of human papillomavirus-related genital diseases on quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing: results of an observational, health-related quality of life study in the UK. BMC Public Health, 131065. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1065
Gamble, H. L., Klosky, J. L., Parra, G. R., & Randolph, M. E. (2010). Factors Influencing Familial Decision-Making Regarding Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. Journal Of Pediatric Psychology, 35(7), 704-715. doi::10.1093/jpepsy/jsp108
Malone, K. M., & Hinman, A. R. (n.d.). Vaccination mandates: The public health imperative and individual rights. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov.
Merk-Sharp and Dohme-Corp. (2014). Side effects of Gardasil. Retrieved from http://www.gardasil.com/about-gardasil/side-effects-of-gardasil/
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