Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Halton Catholics vote Yes to HPV vaccine

Well well, who'da thunk it? Sanity prevails after all, at least in Halton, where Catholic school trustees have voted in favour of retaining the Gardasil vaccine program:

"The debate about the controversial HPV vaccine that has been playing out across the country came to a head last night after trustees for the Halton Catholic District School Board decided that the Catholic faith was not being "threatened" by allowing the program into their schools.

In a 4-3 vote, the trustees defeated a motion to ban public health officials from administering the vaccine for human papillomavirus, which causes 70 per cent of all cervical cancer and 90 per cent of genital warts, to its students."

The reason for the controversy is that some of the more medieval among us see the administration of the HPV vaccine as condoning "promiscuity", since HPV is spread by sexual contact. It's the stupidest reason possible to deny girls the vaccine: when you got your first tetanus shot, did you run out and gouge yourself with rusty nails at every opportunity? Oh, but this is about the deadly, the horrendous, the unthinkable S-E-X. Ha! When these girls find themselves making that first Yes or No decision about sex, the vaccine won't even enter their minds, let alone encourage them to be promiscuous.

Even in the unlikely event that everyone "saves themselves for marriage", who's to say the new hubby hasn't been around a bit? Or will the fundie parents who think the vaccine is a bad idea be demanding a sexual history of their daughters' intended? Bottom line is parents still have the right to refuse the vaccine, although refusal of a vaccine that guards against cancer is stupid on so many levels, I could go on all day. But it looks like even the Catholic school trustees are living in the real world after all.