I was unable to find out what the global number of adverse events are, however, Japan no longer recommends the vaccine for their citizens and Italy is considering making similar recommendations. According to recent reports from Japan, there were 12.8 serious cases of adverse events per 1 million vaccines. To give you something to compare this to, in Japan the flu shot has an associated 0.9 serious adverse events per 1 million flu shots. That’s a huge difference. So is the HPV vaccine really as safe as the flu shot? Is the risk really worth it?
With less than 3000 cervical cancer related deaths each year, my preference is for my loved ones to receive comprehensive sex education and to learn the importance of yearly pap smears. This, in my opinion, is a better plan than for me to give them three injections and pray for months on end that nothing silently happens in their young bodies that could jeopardize their survival.
Each month I read a new horror story from a helpless mother who thought she was doing the right thing and her child ended up sick in some way. Some kids do very well with the vaccine and some do not. At the end of the day, you have to weigh it out and make a personal decision. Is the vaccine right for my family and my patients, no, but I certainly will not judge anyone who trusts it, and I would proudly and loudly get on the other side of the issue if my mind ever changes. Trust is something that is earned, and the HPV vaccine just hasn’t earned mine yet.