Friday, October 10, 2008

Vaccine for what, now?

LAT reports that 25% of teen girls were vaccinated against "cervical cancer".

Well, not really. They received Guardisil, a vaccine against several prevalent strains of HPV, which is the primary cause of cervical cancer.

Don't get me wrong, I think an HPV vaccine is a good idea. No insignificant amount of human suffering will be averted because of HPV vaccination, and that's a good idea regardless of the hypothetical effects on human behavior. But if one wants to "go there", even the nearly mythological celibate girl who first has sex on her wedding night can't be certain of her husband's history.

But it's not a vaccine against cancer, it's a vaccine against HPV.

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