Understanding HPV

By Evelyn Perez ‘18

Viruses such as the Human Papilloma Virus – a sexually transmitted virus – can be prevented by getting a vaccine.

According to www.planedparenthood.org, “HPV can cause cervical, vulvar, and anal cancer.”

In addition, the vaccine can also protect against genital warts. There are three types of the HPV vaccine: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix.

Ms. Marva Brown, the school nurse, said, “Gardasil is the vaccine given to girls, women, boys, and men, ages 11-26 as recommended by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

While the vaccine protects against HPV, there are also some consequences of getting the vaccination.

“Potential side effects range from pain at the site to neurological disorders,” said Ms. Brown.

www.planedparenthood.org also stated that some side effects of getting the vaccination may include “bruising, itching, redness, swelling, or tenderness around the area close [to] where the shot is given.”

People seem to have different thoughts on the issue of getting the vaccination. There was a time period when some parents thought that if their kids got the HPV vaccine, the kids were being encouraged to become sexually active. There are still some parents that believe this.

“Parents have to weigh whether or not to allow their child to be vaccinated,” said Ms. Brown. “They need to discuss both sides of the complicated issue with a doctor they trust.”

Mr. Michael McDonnell, the school principal, also agrees that this is an issue that should be discussed and decided between the parents, the student, and a doctor.

There are some students who would get the shot, while others wouldn’t.

“I believe the vaccines are necessary to protect people from contracting the disease,” said Kaitlyn Braithwaite ’18. “I would get the shot because I feel like it protects me, my friends, and my family. I recommend people do what is in their best interest.”

When it comes to getting the vaccination, there are many suggestions as to when to get the shot. As stated before, people are recommended to get the shot between the ages of 11-26.

Ms. Brown said, “There are other suggestions that it should be given as early as nine years, before they are sexually active.”

According to www.cdc.gov, “New recommendations for use of a 2-dose schedule for girls and boys who initiate the vaccination series at ages nine through 14 years. Three doses remain recommended for persons who initiate the vaccination series at ages 15 through 26 years and for immunocompromised persons.”


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