Table of Contents
Human papilloma virus (HPV) causes the most infectious sexually transmitted diseases. HPV vaccine protects against cervical and oral cancers caused by infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Approximately 14 million people, including teenagers acquire HPV infections in the United States each year (CDC). There are major controversies surrounding the universal vaccination of HPV. The most common debate revolves around the administration of a vaccine associated with sexually transmitted diseases in both sexes, especially for adolescents (Wailoo, 4) Although The Federal Government of United States should implement legislation that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine be given at the age nine for all children nationwide, the best argument in opposition involves the practical and ethical considerations from the epidemiological perspective.
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The counter argument
Despite HPV vaccine being an effective vaccination preventing cervical cancer vaccine administrator’s claim that there are major risks and downsides to widespread adoption of the HPV vaccination program. White (n.p) highlighted several ethical issues in his analysis such as whether it is right to vaccinate people who are abstaining from sex and whether HPV vaccination accelerates early sexual relations. Aside from this, there are other important factors affecting the successful implementation of the vaccination programs. For instance, the programs have limited educational components required for counseling patients and parents with regards to sexuality, as well as creating awareness about the health implications arising from HPV infections.
Moreover, there are various ethical arguments that influence the manufacturers of the HPV vaccines. Costs of research are usually quite high especially for maintaining a successful product in the market. Successful programs need to establish a balance between commercially safe products and effective continued research that aims to maintain the development of new viable products. Successful worldwide implementation of the vaccination programs requires time and continuous monitoring. In addition one should consider practical aspects to ethical issues when recommending any type of HPV vaccines to patients and parents (White (n.p).
According to the CDC published summary there are patterns of adverse events reported during the administration of vaccines since the time it was approved in June 2006. However About 92.4% of the adverse effects is non-life threatening. However, there are several instances of unusual neurological diseases reported in young females. Further, Parents are increasingly resisting vaccination and 44% of parents have admitted that vaccinating their children is not part of their intentions. Basically, resistance to vaccination is fueled by the lack of education from healthcare providers relating to the side effects of the HPV vaccination and human sexuality ethical issues.
The response to the counter argument
Clearly, there is need for improved educational and counseling programs to assist in the implementation of the vaccine. Vaccine programs cannot succeed in isolation and require the educational component to support the rampant risk of sexual behaviors. Parents and physicians should be actively involved in this educational process while also advocating for the children. Ultimately, the parents must have the right to decide whether they want to vaccinate their children or not. Even though, there is overwhelming evidence favoring the administration of the vaccine for preventing the precancerous and malignant diseases caused by HPV infections. (Wailoo, 25) There are several risks within the range of complications of the vaccine within the range of complications maintained over the decades. Yet, it is difficult to predict whether inclusivity of both sexes will result in the protection of the broader proportion of the population. Urologists and pediatricians must continue to gather information about the benefits of HPV vaccination so as to constantly keep the patients and parents in the loop.
HPV infections vary from the other diseases because its mode of transmission is not casual contact but sexual and oral. Although it is not highly contagious like measles or other germ transmitted diseases the implementation of the vaccine needs to be effected with a lot of consideration. HPV transmission is never random since it is transferred only through intercourse and oral sex raising a lot of concerns with parents. Some parents perceive the HPV vaccination will be like granting their children permission to be sexually active. The vaccine may not be correlated with sexual activity in teenagers (White, n.p). Nevertheless, the additional protection offered against the HPV virus known to cause cervical cancer, is not sufficient to protect against all strains of HPV viruses. As such, ladies require regular Pap smear tests to hinder HPV infections. Still, only 8% of the adverse effects were considered serious, and the majority reactions include fainting, feeling dizzy, nauseated, constant headache, fevers, hives, pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Additionally, contracting HPV is not immediately apparent and is more often than not a non-issue especially because most HPV infections disappear within a two year period (Wailoo, 45).
Despite credible evidence that ethical considerations and research costs could substantially hinder the implementation of HPV vaccination, equally credible evidence confirms that a greater cost could be sustained in the long run if the United States does not immediately establish a policy to substantially provide education on the benefits and risks of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
- “HPV | Who Should Get Vaccine | Human Papillomavirus | CDC.” Cdc.Gov, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine.html.
- White, Mark. “Pros, Cons, And Ethics Of HPV Vaccine In Teens—Why Such Controversy?.” Pubmed Central (PMC), 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708146/.
- Wailoo, Keith. Three Shots at Prevention: The Hpv Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine’s Simple Solutions. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Internet resource.