Vaccines are generally accepted as a health benefit because it helps people to develop immunities against potentially deadly diseases. The HPV vaccine was developed to help people, especially children, be able to fight off one of the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is known to cause genital warts and it can even be responsible for cervical cancer. Men and women both carry the virus and it is known to cause cancer in other parts of the body as well. There are some advantages to getting this vaccine and there may be some disadvantages as well. Here is a look at some specific pros and cons.
Pros of the HPV Vaccine
1. There are no serious health issues associated with the vaccine.
With millions of vaccines distributed, the primary complaints that are attributed to the HPV vaccine are headaches. This is in line with other vaccines and the data shows that the HPV vaccine is just as safe as the Tdap and meningitis vaccines that are widely distributed.
2. It could proactively prevent common forms of cancer.
Although HPV is typically spread through sexual contact, any infected body fluids that come into contact with other body fluids can also spread the disease. It is recommended that children receive the vaccine before becoming sexually active so that it can begin working to build up antibodies when they are needed.
3. It is relatively affordable.
Under current health insurance plans, the HPV vaccine is often included in the cost of a visit to the doctor. This means that many families can have the vaccine distributed for the price of an office co-pay. Children at the age of 9 can receive the vaccine, which is in the window between 6-10 when most kids don’t need any vaccination updates, so it is less traumatic as well.
Cons of the HPV Vaccine
1. There are rare side effects that could cause complications.
Although most of the complaints that have been filed with the CDC about the HPV vaccine are not of serious side effects, some recipients have noticed problems with deep vein thrombosis or the development of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
2. It requires multiple appointments to complete the vaccine.
Most kids at the age of 9 are only going to the doctor once per year. This means that more appointments than usual are required to get the vaccination up to therapeutic levels and that may not work for every family. Kids may also be reluctant to receive multiple shots in the same year after going for multiple years without any shots.
3. There is no long-term data available.
Only time will tell how effective the HPV vaccine happens to be. The distribution of the vaccine is based on sound science, but because it is so new, there is no long-term data that can be examined to see how viable the medical treatment happens to be.
In many people, HPV can be fought off by the person’s immune system. Does the immune system benefit from the boost of antibodies that the HPV vaccine can provide? By weighing the pros and cons of this vaccine, parents can determine if these are shots that they feel their children should receive.