The Good and the Bad: The Gardasil Vaccination

Julianna Kasper, Editor

An immune system’s main purpose is to protect the body from foreign invaders. This is a well-known fact. Throughout history, vaccines have proven to be effective. After all, people don’t get polio anymore! In the 1950s, more than 15,000 cases of paralysis caused by polio were reported, decreasing to only 10 in the 1970s after the vaccine was created. Today, there is much argument over the benefits of vaccines, and if they truly are all beneficial to health. Obviously, the polio vaccine has proven to be effective in a positive way. 

The vaccination issue has always been widely debated. But, just recently, it strongly has come into light in New York State. In NY, the government is trying to mandate the HPV vaccinations for all seventh graders by September 2021. This is called the Gardasil vaccine, and it prevents the transmission of HPV, a sexually-transmitted disease that can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Statistically, the shot has protected people from ninety percent of strains that cause these warts. This is a beneficial thing. However, multiple adverse effects have come to light as well, particularly detrimental ones to the reproductive system in adolescent women. Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is an illness in which women lose the function of their ovaries before the age of forty. There has been multiple cases of POI reported after receiving the Gardisal shot. Teenage girls, as young as fifteen, have stopped going through their menstrual cycles, or getting their period. This is not normal. Forced to undergo treatments from specialists like endocrinologists, many young women have had their life turned upside down since receiving the vaccine. Faced with the threat of infertility, many parents of these young women deeply regret giving their children the Gardisal shot. 

Now, New York State is trying to mandate this vaccine for public schools. This means that you could send your child to school with the chance of them receiving this vaccine without your knowledge. I believe that every parent should be given a choice, and that they should decide whether or not to give it to their child. Living in the United States, Americans pride themselves in having the freedom to choose, whether it be what religion to follow, where to live, or what to say. Why should vaccinations be any different? HPV can be prevented through practicing safe sex, so not having a vaccine won’t be completrly detrimental to one’s health, unlike the polio or measles vaccination. I know people will read this article and accuse me of being an anti-vaxxer, which is not the case at all. I just want the freedom to choose, and want young women to be more informed than I was when receiving the Gardasil vaccination.