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Why Public Schools Should Require the HPV Vaccine

September 14, 2015

About the Author

photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
View all posts by Claire McCarthy, MD


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suzy smith
September 18, 2015

Stem cells are used to treat so many different serious illnesses, many people now take samples of umbilical cord blood to store in case their child develops a disease such as certain cancers and disorders of the blood.

September 15, 2015

re: “unfounded rumors abound about it being dangerous”

There have been reports from around the world of very serious adverse reactions to the HPV vaccines.

September 15, 2015

So far none of my comments with links are going through.

Dan Kegel
October 2, 2015

In fact, Harald zur Hausen won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering that essentially all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. And half a dozen studies of real girls have found the vaccine is already cutting risk of cin3 precancer by about half, as expected. (And it’s wiping out genital warts, too.) So there’s no question – the vaccine effectively prevents the majority of HPV related diseases.

Remember the MMR vaccine scare, when people became convinced the MMR vaccine caused autism? That turned out to be untrue. Something similar is going on with the HPV vaccine. It’s a touch of collective madness spread by quacks who hate modern medicine and amplified by poorly written news articles. When a child falls ill with any rare disease, some people prefer to blame the HPV vaccine rather than live with not knowing the cause.

That said, any shot can trigger fainting (it’s happened twice to me though not with HPV vaccine), so be sure to sit down for 15 minutes after any shot.

Katarina Witt
September 15, 2015

Tara, there is a great deal of evidence that most all cervical cancer is caused by the HPV strains.

Vladinmir Vladimirovich Putin
September 15, 2015

Curious that so many extreme vaccine pushers don’t realize that vaccination requirements apply to public AND private schools. If they’re ignorant of the law, perhaps they are also unaware of the quality of the science?

Katarina Witt
September 15, 2015

You guys always come up with some reason not to vaccinate. I’d say the answer to your question is “no”. It’s hard to keep up with the laws in every state, especially if that’s not your job.

September 15, 2015

How much money has Merck given Harvard Medical school over the years? Or the AAP? Or any of the places Dr. McCarthy works for or writes for?

Sadly, the kids who are having life altering reactions to the HPV vaccine are being ignored. Just like the kids who become “autistic” after Merck’s MMR.

Merck destroying lives and not taking responsibility.

September 14, 2015

So could never getting a license…or never leaving the house, for that matter. It’s despicable how pharmaceutical interest has so greatly co-opted public health initiatives. If an elementary school is a breeding ground for sexually transmitted viruses, then it needs to be shut down and there should be substantial criminal persecution of faculty and parents. All the more shameful to see fear-mongering articles like this from institutions like Harvard. Whatever happened to the risk-benefit ratio we learned about in chemistry? Why are vaccines, especially numerous vaccines, continually touted as though they’re risk-free? The HPV vaccine is especially prone to adversarial response. What will be the cut-off in terms of schedule size? Exactly how many children have to be injured before their safety is put before profit margins? This vaccine is simply unnecessary, especially when you consider there is little evidence that said virus is linked to cancer.

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