Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you probably know about the very important Gardasil vaccine, which prevents girls from getting HPV and thus vaccinates them from the most common causes of cervical cancer. It’s a good vaccine. It prevents cancer, which is generally seen as, you know, excellent. But some people are none too excited about giving girls vaccines against STDs, even if those vaccines could save their lives. The argument is: Well my girls won’t be sleeping around anyway, so they don’t need to be vaccinated!
First of all, I don’t believe you about the whole, ‘my girls won’t be sleeping around’ thing. Second, even if your girls don’t sleep around, if their future husbands ever have, the girls are still at risk. I know of someone who got an STD from the first guy she slept with, and now she’ll be giving it to her husband, and possibly even to any children she has in the future.
This doesn’t seem particularly complicated to me. We have a vaccine that can prevent women from getting cancer. As someone with intimate knowledge of the horrors of cancer, I can say with absolute certainty that that is a good thing. Unfortunately, there are some rabbis in London who disagree. The Jewish Tribune recently printed the following warning:
“It was reported last week in certain newspapers that the Rabbinate has given its approval to the current vaccinations programme, for girls, against HPV. This report is untrue, and the Rabbinate has not advocated participating in this project.”
(Hat tip, Lilith Blog)
They’re not saying ‘don’t get the vaccine’ but neither are they saying, ‘Hey guys! This vaccine prevents cancer! You should totally get it!” This is a dangerous and uneducated policy. Especially now that new studies are showing that the vaccine could prevent genital wart outbreaks in men. Clearly, this is a really valuable medication. Let’s get over our own prudishness and protect our children, ok? Thanks.