Why is it important for my daughter to get the Gardasil vaccine?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Gardasil, which works best if given at a young age (before there's any chance of sexual activity) is aimed at girls age 9 and older.

Sex plus kids spells trouble. Yet trouble is precisely what the vaccine stops. It protects against human papilloma virus (HPV), the cause of most cervical cancer. HPV is sexually transmitted, but no one really needs intercourse to get it. That's because HPV is passed from skin to skin, not through fluids. It's everywhere. Odds are that three-quarters of people have been infected with HPV.

Out of at least 35 million doses of Gardasil, only .05% have produced what doctors call "adverse events." By far, the biggest complaint is that the shots hurt more than most vaccinations, so the main side effects have been pain, fainting and sore arms. Now, kids are kept seated for 15 minutes to be sure they don't keel over.

The National Cancer Institute calculates that if all females get the shot, and protection lasts long-term, vaccinations could cut cervical cancer deaths by two-thirds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.