Today’s Editorial August 12: Do homework on injections

Parents and their pre-teen and teenage daughters have an opportunity to have a frank, open and honest discussion about sex with the introduction of a vaccine that can stop cervical cancer.

The drug, Gardasil, has already been administered to many girls between the ages of nine and to 17 years old through private physicians’ offices.

Now the drug is available through Government clinics and will be given free to the first 150 girls who make an appointment with one of the clinics and show up with a parent or guardian within the next six months.

Basically, the drug is taken in a course of three separate injections. It protects against four strains of the human papillomavirus that cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

The question parents have to answer is whether they want to have their pre-teens and teens injected to guard them against a potential dangerous cancer, which is not genetic. They should take into consideration that this is a relatively new drug approved only by the US Food and Drug Administration. No one know the long term effects of Gardasil.

One could argue that parents who have their girls inoculated are assuming their pre-teen or teenager is going to be exposed to HPV at some time in their lives.

It’s probably a safe assumption.

And it could be argued that having had the vaccine could make vaccinated girls feel less inhibited about premarital sex. But we all know teens are already having sex.

Some states in the United States have already mandated the vaccine. We hope our Government doesn’t go down that road. Families should have a right to opt out of vaccines that don’t address epidemics or pandemics.

To get the injections or not is a decision that must be made by the girls and their parents after much discussion and thorough research.