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Tag Archives: HPV vaccination

I’ve blogged before on the ‘good bishop’ and his edict that the HPV vaccine Gardasil not be offered to students in Catholic schools. Only about 20% of these students had parents responsible enough to get their daughters vaccinated.

Many anti-vaccine nay-sayers out there point to adverse reactions and death. The CDC last year released the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)  report. The highlites include:

  • 13.5 million doses given in the US in 2006-2007;
  • < 8,000 adverse reactions (7% of which were considered serious, about half of what most other vaccines produce);
  • 15 deaths reported, 10 of which could be further investigated (NOTE: no link was found between HPV vaccination and death in ANY of these cases);
  • 31 reported cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a neurological condition that results in temporary but often total body paralysis (10 cases confirmed);
  • In Canada, 1,300 women will contract HPV this year and perpetually live in fear of developing cervical cancer;
  • 400 women will die from cervical cancer this year.

While the antivaccination nuts will focus on the truly tragic cases of GBS, what do they say to the many, many more who would have otherwise never developed cervical cancer? I have yet to hear an answer to this. There are risks associated with any medical procedure, including vaccination. Measles (MMR) vaccination has a GBS incidence of about 0.62 per 100,000 immunized children1 , and in both the HPV and MMR vaccination the risk of serious complication is far, far lower than the incidence of the diseases they are designed to prevent.

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Here we go again. From the local CTV affiliate….

HPV vaccine nixed in local Catholic schools

Updated: Wed Sep. 24 2008 22:53:00

The Calgary Catholic School District passed a motion Wednesday night to refuse to offer the HPV vaccine in its schools, making it the second school board in Alberta to do so.

Six out of seven board trustees voted in favour of opting out of giving the controversial vaccine to its grade five female students. The board says it’s following the Alberta Bishop’s spiritual guidance on the issue.

Last Friday Alberta Catholic School trustees met with one Bishop to talk about the vaccine which offers protection against sexually transmitted disease.

The Chair of the Calgary Catholic Board, Margaret Belcourt told CTV News parents will receive two letters, one from the Bishop stating his position and one from Alberta Health officials informing them about the vaccine.

‘The Bishop felt it was a moral issue and that might make schools, Catholic schools appear to be condoning pre-marital sex. We are saying, if parents felt that it’s a health issue and not a moral issue, then the parents can make that decision.’, says Belcourt.

The decision will affect grade five students in 83 schools within the Calgary Catholic School District.

The St.Thomas Aquinas school board near Edmonton is the first to refuse to offer the vaccine to its students.

CTV News spoke with Alberta Health officials Wednesday; they say any school board can opt out of providing the HPV vaccine.

Health officials are looking at other ways to make the vaccine available to students.

If someone would actually show me the data that HPV vaccinations promote premarital sex, I’d shut up. But then we’re dealing with an institution that recklessly claims (again without presenting any data whatsoever) that condoms are ineffective in the fight against AIDS. This is ONLY a health issue. Honestly, the only moral issue I see was created artificially by this demonstration of wanton disregard for their children’s health and welfare. I find it incomprehensible that the Catholic School Board would abrogate their responsibilities to the welfare of their wards because some bishop is worried how giving their students the HPV vaccination will look. I think they should be far more worried about how this needless risk-taking will appear to the public. Some trustees they are!

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