Cervical Cancer Immunization
FYI, my email today to the Auckland Women’s Health Council:
Dear Auckland Women’s Health Council
Your representative Linda Williams stated today in an interview on “Nine to Noon”, National Radio, that it would be “sexist” to immunize only girls against cervical cancer and that if girls were to be immunized then so should boys because they carried the virus associated with cervical cancer. She then raised many concerns about the risks of implementing vaccinations without enough knowledge about possible side effects, and the incomplete long-term follow-up data in the research used to advocate a roll-out of this vaccine.
Ms Williams acknowledged that boys do not suffer from cervical cancer, and admitted in a somewhat fudging manner that no research had been completed on the effect of the vaccine on boys.
Ms Williams’ position, presumably reflecting Health Council policy, is an appalling example of feminist attitudes to the welfare of males. To recommend that boys are automatically given a vaccine that girls might receive, that has never been shown to be effective in increasing boys’ resistance to the virus involved and the safety of which has never been established for boys, is callous in the extreme.
The broader reasoning, that boys should be immunized to protect women against a virus the boys might later carry, is not clear-cut. As male carriers presumably pick up the virus through sex with women, immunizing girls may well result in satisfactory control of that virus in the population and any increase in such control may be minuscule and nowhere near justifying the expense and additional risks of immunizing boys as well.
Further, the same reasoning could be used to require all girls to go on the contraception pill in order to protect men from unwanted fatherhood (and the high likelihood of state-enforced slavery to fund a woman’s lifestyle for 20 years or so with no reciprocal obligation).
I was impressed with the Council’s position on Herceptin, but sadly on this issue its inherent sexism and resentment towards males has predominated. Little more can be expected I suppose from an organization that describes itself as feminist.