Concerns about the HPV Vaccine
College student Tracy Thermidor has a difficult decision: her advisor told her she should get the HPV vaccine but her mom has a few reservations
"That's her first concern that it's new and sometimes these things get recalled for problems that may occur in the future," say Thermidor.
While her mom's concerns are natural, this new vaccine is made differently than all other vaccines in the past. It is not made from a "live" virus or even a "killed" virus according to Temple University Hospital's Chief of OB-GYN Dr. Enrique Hernandez.
"They use information from the virus to build the coating of the virus," says Dr. Hernandez. "And it doesn't contain any DNA of the virus itself, I believe that's what makes it safe. And also because it doesn't contain preservatives nor antibiotics, it's a safe vaccine.
Girls should get the vaccine before they become sexually active, before they can be infected by HPV. Right now, girls as young as nine are getting the vaccine to protect from the risk of cervical cancer.The vaccine's gone through more than seven years of clinical trials. It prevents most genital warts and 70% of cases of cervical cancer.
"I didn't know anything about the 70%," says Thermidor. "I didn't know those odds or how long it had been studied. I should get more information and share it with [my mom]."
Doctors say it is a huge breakthrough in women's health ... a vaccine to prevent cancer.
"If we are able to vaccinate all women for the viruses that cause the cervical cancer in two or so decades we should be able to eradicate cervical cancer," says Dr. Hernandez. "Get rid of it totally."