Years ago when my first was one it was an option to get the chicken pox vaccine. It was a very new vaccine and there was lots of talk about whether or not it was the right thing to do. Just like with anything else there were all sides to the issue. Some thinking, “I got chicken pox as a child…it is a normal childhood disease…why not just let them acquire the disease naturally”. Others saying, “If I can avoid my child getting a disease that some doctors say could be deadly, than I will”.
My son got the vaccine. I actually didn’t do much thinking about the issue. He was my first. I was young. The doctor was recommending it. And, I did it. I know many people who did not.
Funny thing is, not too many years later the vaccine was then required to start kindergarten.
So now here I am faced with another vaccine dilemma. This time it is my daughter. And, this time it is not chicken pox but HPV.
My daughter is now at the age where a parent must make a decision to give or not to give Gardasil to their child. Why does this decision seem so much more difficult? Is it the disease the vaccine is dealing with? Is it because I am a much more knowledgeable and aware mom now who questions things more than I did all those years ago?
Just as there was with the chicken pox vaccine 13 years ago, there are now many thoughts about the HPV vaccine. Some people are worried that the vaccine will give their child permission to have unprotected sex. This is not my issue. I believe parental guidance, good old-fashioned talking, and aware parents are front and center when it comes to the subject of unprotected sex. For me, it is the question of the safety of the vaccine. There are many stories about serious side effects from Gardasil. Question is, is it hype? Just as we faced a year ago with the H1N1 worrying? Five years from now will the HPV vaccine be a requirement for all children entering middle school? At that point will I wish I had vaccinated my daughter at an earlier age? Sometimes I wish the decisions were already made for me.
What are your thoughts on this? Is this hype too?