From the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report: “One in Four Teenage Girls Received HPV Vaccine in Its First Full Year of Distribution, CDC Says.”
I don’t know what it is about Gardasil that bugs me. Seriously, I don’t. I can think of a couple of things that bother me, but there’s nothing cohesive about it:
- Last year, my female housemates bought into it hook, line, and sinker. I’m not saying that Merck is trying to con people. I’m not saying we should be totally against Gardasil. It just seemed that all of my female friends were rushing to get this vaccine, like they were all going to develop cervical cancer TOMORROW if they didn’t get it ASAP.
- It drives me crazy when people call Gardasil a vaccination against cervical cancer. It’s not a vaccination agains cervical cancer! It is a vaccination against HPV, a virus that has a strong causal link to cervical cancer!
- The price. Okay, my insurance policy covers it, so I could have it if I wanted. But I also have a truly excellent insurance policy (it covered the whole of my IUD insertion minus the $30 copay!). Not all people have insurance policies that cover it. Not all people have insurance. If this vaccine is so damn vital, why is it $375? I just bought a COMPUTER that cost less than that.
- I’m sick of everyone pressuring me to have this vaccine. Okay, not everyone. By my aforementioned female housemates. My mother. The nurse at the gynecologist’s office. I have my own reasons for not wanting it. I don’t have the risk factor for HPV or cervical cancer in my daily life or my medical history. I am nervous about getting a vaccine that is so new. Hello, it was in it’s first year of distribution. NEW. Since I don’t have the associated risk factors, I’d rather just not get the vaccine, because who knows what sorts of long-term side effects it might have? Yeah, you can call me paranoid all you want. I don’t care. It’s my body, and I’m the one who chooses whether or not to put strange vaccines in there. Stop pressuring me.
- Reading this article, it kind of freaked me out that the CDC has a goal to vaccinate 90% of teenages. I mean, I guess it’s not really sketchy. I’m sure there are goals to vaccinate 99% of babies against measles and polio. But there is a lot of controversy surrounding Gardasil, so for some reason, hearing that there is a goal number as well as “25% is good, but not good enough,” just bothered me.
So I guess I don’t have a beef with Gardasil in general. I’m not anti-vaccine. I think it’s a great idea, and that if you want it, go for it. But it worries me to see my friends running after it without doing a lot of research on it. And I’m sick of being pressured all the time to get vaccinated myself. Dude, it’s my body. Let me think about it, and if I don’t want it, leave me alone.
Crossposted at This is What a Feminist Blogs Like