Finland schools to skip parental permission to give HPV vaccine to kids

I’ve written about the HPV vaccine push before in England.  Now this story is coming out in Finland about giving this to kids without the permission of their parents.  Via yle:

Up until now, parents have been asked to give their consent ahead of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations administered to girls by school nurses, and many guardians have opted out of allowing their daughters to get the jab. But this is set to change.

Tuija Leino, who heads the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL’s immunisation unit, says permission was sought as parents were not aware that the HPV vaccine had been introduced to the national immunisation programme. But now that people know about it, permission is no longer needed, she explains.

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare says about half of 11-12-year-old girls eligible for the vaccination received it in the past 5 years that it has been available as part of the national immunisation programme.

Whether you agree with getting the vaccine or not it should be worrying that they can do this without any permission whatsoever.  It sets an awfully dangerous precedent and I happen to subscribe to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s take on this that we over-treat in general where it is not needed, often times doing more harm than good.  The chances of high risk HPV turning into cervical cancer are already very low.  The study they linked to claiming that the vaccine was perfectly safe was curiously a dead link.  Read into that what you will.

This also raises questions about promiscuity in general.  HPV is largely transmitted via sexual activity.  It shouldn’t be too surprising that it’s on the rise as sexual promiscuity rises as well.  Somehow this gets everyone in a knot, similarly to why HIV rates are higher in homosexual men, who on average tend to sleep with way more partners than most heterosexual people.  It’s becoming less popular to lead a conservative lifestyle where you marry someone early on in life.  Apparently abstinence isn’t a an option they’d like to give in Finland.

Something feels inherently wrong with blatantly giving big pharma a contract like this.   A lot of these studies are funded by big pharma themselves, as if we should ever trust their self-policing.  How many movies alone have been made about big studies that are kept under wraps or the numbers are skewed to hide some real underlying risk?  It takes billions of dollars to get a drug to market, is it really a stretch to think they may skew something to get it through?  They may actually have some studies to test side effects, but who knows what the long-term side effects of something like this could be.

Teenage boys in England to be vaccinated for HPV

The vaccine will now be offered to 12-13 year old boys too.  Via The Guardian:

Boys aged 12 and 13 in England are to be vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), the government has said.

The decision, announced on Tuesday, comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended last week that the HPV vaccination, which protects girls against cervical cancer, should be extended to boys. It followed growing calls for the inoculation programme to be expanded.

HPV has emerged as the leading cause of throat cancers and is linked to 5% of all cancers worldwide, including some that affect only men.

And a bit further down:

Girls are offered the vaccine from the age of 12 or 13, although there is an opportunity to be given the vaccine up to the age of 18. A vaccination programme was recently introduced for men who have sex with other men.

Dr Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisations at Public Health England, said: “Almost all women under 25 have had the HPV vaccine and we’re confident that we will see a similarly high uptake in boys.

I’m not anti-vaccination by any means but I have a hard time with this.  We probably over vaccinate in general, and a lot of the long term consequences are either unknown or deliberately buried.  Is it really worth the unknowns of doing this long term?  I was reminded of a post by Vox Day highlighting an article of how declining birth rates are tied to women who have taken the HPV vaccination.  Given that this has been standard practice in England for girls since 2008-2009 it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on fertility rates there over the next generation to see if they continue to decline.  This could be one of many contributing factors.

TFREnglandAndWales

There are reasonable and pragmatic vaccinations and ones that are just overkill.  These days people freak out if you show any skepticism of vaccines.  It’s not that black and white.  Yes, some are vitally important and necessary.  Why some people cannot see that some may be overkill and/or more harm than good is beyond me.  For one of the least prevalent and least deadly types of cancer it’s at least worth speculating whether the prevention has worse long term consequences than having done nothing at all.  But hey, we all need to do our part to help out big pharma, amirite?