To the editor:
If you are the parent of a minor child, you most likely have heard about one or both of the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines currently on the market. A trip to the pediatrician's office with a teen or pre-teen is typically where the first discussion takes place.
The doctor will dutifully recite information. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. As a parent, that gets your attention. They go on to further state that the vaccine will protect your child from the strains of the virus that most commonly cause cervical cancer in females and genital warts in males.
These are both very uncomfortable subjects for most of us. However, as parents, we want to protect our children at all costs from anything and everything possible.
As with any vaccine, the parent is provided a pamphlet or sheet containing the standard information: what is HPV, why get vaccinated, who should get vaccinated, and the obligatory safety information.
After reading the information and listening to the doctor's recommendation explaining that the vaccine is very safe (and it seems to be for most patients), many parents make the decision to have their child protected. I was one of them. I rolled the dice and sadly, my daughter lost.
The information pamphlet states that the vaccine has been used in the United States for about six years and has been very safe. You are warned about pain and swelling of the injection site, fever, headache, and the most troublesome side effect, fainting. The patient is required to remain in the doctor's office for a period of time after the injection as a safety precaution.
What the information pamphlet does not address is that over 29,000 injuries and 130 deaths have been reported following HPV vaccines. Vaccine injury reporting is voluntary in our country and the Center for Disease Control acknowledges that adverse events, as they are called, may be 10 to 100 times greater than those actually reported. Do the math. The reported numbers seem very significant to me, but I am the mother of one of the injured. I trust we can all agree that the actual numbers could be staggering.
The list of new medical conditions being reported following the HPV vaccine is also staggering, I counted 144 conditions. My daughter has 31 of them. She suffers mainly from neurological, autoimmune, and adrenal issues. The worst offender is a migraine-like headache that has been present every day, all day and night for more than a year. The neurologist refers to it as migraine-like because all the symptoms are there yet it does not respond to any medication. Her immune system has also been compromised. She suffers from leaky gut syndrome and now has sensitivity to 20 common foods.
Page 2 of 2 - Dealing with this for more than a year now has taken a toll on her 16-year-old body. Chronic pain has lead to depression and adrenal fatigue. All of this in a girl who had what was described as an "unremarkable' medical history prior to vaccination.
While my daughter's symptoms are grave, she really is one of the lucky ones. Many of the injured suffer from daily seizures or even multiple seizures per day. My daughter does not. For that, I am thankful every day.
Having a child in crisis is hard. Having a child with a medical crisis that medical doctors do not know how to reverse is even more difficult. My decision to protect her, in fact, caused her great harm.
Choosing to give your child a vaccination is a personal decision, but it is one that should not be taken lightly. Do your own research, do not simply rely on the information pamphlet, it is, after all, written by the vaccine manufacturer. I learned this lesson the hard way. When you decide if you will roll the dice, please, for the sake of your child, remember three words: Knowledge is power.