I am just wondering about the cervical cancer vaccination. I heard that we should get the vaccine in our teen years for it to be effective. When we are over 25, it is a waste of money to be vaccinated. Is it true ?
Definitely going to get @Nurse_Nettie involved in this one! Also good to check Nurse Nettie’s answer on the Pap Smear thread in regards to the vaccination and pap smears: (http://community.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/discussion/comment/1127/#Comment_1127)
The vaccine is most effective before you’ve been exposed to those HPV types and since most people will get one or more types of HPV once they’re sexually active, we aim to give it to young people before they become sexually active.
Whether it’s worth the cost as an older adult depends on your individual circumstances. The vaccine is pretty expensive (about $450) especially if you’ve likely already been exposed to multiple strains of HPV. But if you’re 25 and haven’t yet had sex or have had only one or two sexual partners, you may feel the cost is worthwhile. Always best to talk to your doctor to get personalised advice!
I’m digging up this conversation because I came across this opinion piece this week about the the perceptions of HPV vaccinations: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/parents-your-girls-need-this-vaccine-its-stupid-to-deny-them-it/news-story/16923e25a4b2dead1dcfb2abca82ce84
*shakes head and worries about how much time parents seem to spend thinking about their kids thinking about sex*
@MsBlueStreak I know right. How about put that same worry into vaccinating? It just comes down to a lack of education surrounding the vaccine and/or people’s perceptions that anything to do with a women’s reproductive system shouldn’t be spoken openly about.
Did anyone else want to smack Pauline Hanson very hard in the face over the weekend for her comments about vaccinating?
Not because politics, but because vaccinating shouldn’t be a debate at this stage, and I was very proud of our government for cutting off benefits (not entitlements) for those who still think it’s a debate worthy of having whilst they risk other peoples lives.
Unfortunately parents who self-educate (using Dr Google) about the pros and cons of vaccinating tend to think that opinions and anecdotes on one side of the debate should be given equal weight with the research and facts of the other because the internet allows the former to be very loud – making it feel like they have a valid point.
Disclosure: my mother has zero immunity to Rubella (German Measles) despite having had it at least 4 times since I was a kid, and having had the vaccine. Each time she has been exposed, her reactions have worsened, the last exposure putting her in the ICU. So I have a vested interest in heard immunity, and forced disclosure of non-vaccination (i.e. keeping my mother alive) because until she retired, she worked in child-care.
@Nurse_Nettie what should those of us that have potentially been exposed to multiple strains for HPV, but haven’t been vaccinated do to investigate their options?
Do I need to ask my GP about being tested for HPV prior to asking about being vaccinated?
@MsBlueStreak at this time there isn’t a screening test for HPV. In fact over 100 subtypes have been identified. In the majority of situations these HPV subtypes will clear the body naturally in 1 to 2 years without causing a health problem. If you’re over 25 & sexually active then the benefit is unknown. Talking to your GP about this can help you make a decision that’s right for you.