Friday, August 17, 2007

Canada and HPV Vaccinations

CBC had an episode about the human papillomavirus vaccination in Canada on August 3's The Current. You can listen to it here. Although I think it’s wonderful that Canada is pushing for girls to be vaccinated against HPV, I can’t help but agree with Shelly Page, that the urgency is suspicious. Women’s Reproductive Health issues are often ignored and the profits that the pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co., (currently the only maker of a vaccine for HPV) will make for distribution of Gardasil, seem to answer the question of “why the sudden rush?” It’s always, always about profit. In forty years I hope we can look back and say, “yes,” Gardasil was a revolutionary prevention agent against cervical cancer. I hope it saves lives and does not cost lives. I hope the tests are accurate and the research is complete. If I had a daughter I would want to do everything in my power to protect her from cancer, but my skepticism of the motivation for the development of this vaccine, would definitely drive further research of my own. With proper education and regular screening processes, we should all be confident of our sexual and reproductive health.

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