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Government to fully fund virus vaccine

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, May 2nd, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: health, labour - Tags: , ,

Vernon Small reports that the PM is due to announce an immunisation programme for teenage girls targeting human papilloma virus.

The programme is expected to start with girls aged 13 who will be offered free anti-cervical cancer immunisation as part of the $150 million government programme.

The cost per person is expected to be around $450.

61 comments on “Government to fully fund virus vaccine”

  1. Camryn 1

    I couldn’t be more supportive of this. It’s a great example of where the state health system can spend wisely… $450 per head now, vastly reduced cancer cases to pay for later.

    I’m glad we don’t have as many (any?) hang ups about this as in the US. Their fundamentalist types tend to see an STD vaccination as an invitation to pre-martial sex… and I doubt anyone has ever thought “The only thing stopping me is that I’m not HPV-vaccinated”.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Health dollars well spent – well done Labour

  3. East Wellington Superhero 3

    Well, I guess someone has to offer the contrary view so I may as well start it.

    Firstly, as a side issue. I think it’s interesting how you use the word ‘fundamentalist’ as a pejorative. I can’t see how it’s any different than a red-neck using the term ‘nigger’. You’re clearly using it as pejorative and think such ‘fundamentalists’ they’re inherently flawed. Anyway, that’s a side issue.

    I can’t see why discouraging pre-marital sex is such a bloody crazy idea let alone making you a ‘fundamentalist’? And do you not think it’s slightly odd dare I say disordered – that we have no campaigns promoting abstinence that our first and only approach is to hand out condoms and vaccinate our young daughters and sisters to equip them for casual sex.

    But hey, if you want to send signals to your daughters and sisters that having the average of 20 sexual partners is normal, that’s fine. I humbly disagree.

  4. all_your_base 4

    Wow. And here I was thinking that this might end up as a debate about the nanny state.

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    EWS.

    OK. So first of all, the vaccine isn’t going to encourage pre-martial sex (there’s quite enough encouragement in the fact that it’s awesome, anyway). If you think that this vaccine sends any signal other than – ‘lets prevent cancer’ – you’re living in a dream world.

    Secondly, all the studies show that abstinence campaigns do not discourage people from having sex but can leave them less well-informed when they do.

  6. Christopher Nimmo 6

    ews: Offering the vaccine at 13 doesn’t encourage anybody to have premarital sex. It just acknowledges that they do. Chances are, the girls least likely to recieve the vaccine are the ones least likely to have premarital sex in any case.

  7. Felix 7

    EWS:

    If the average is 20 then by definition that’s normal.

    But if you really don’t understand the difference between “nigger” and “fundamentalist” then I doubt you’ll grasp that either.

  8. randal 8

    who the hell is vernon small?

  9. East Wellington Superhero 9

    Felix, your smart-alec reply confirms your prejudice.

  10. higherstandard 10

    EWS

    You are correct that abstinence is the only fool proof method of birth control and not catching STDs. Unfortunately it’s a difficult sell in the modern world where the children are being bombarded left right and centre with the opposite messages.

    Hence my support for the government’s position on funding this vaccine.

  11. AndrewE 11

    This is a good thing. Well done Labour indeed.

  12. East Wellington Superhero 12

    Steve and Christopher,

    I wasn’t advocating substituting this with an abstinence campaign. I suspect your prejudices got the better of you.

    I was voicing my opinion that something is wrong in NZ when we can’t even talk about premarital abstinence and explore if there are any merits in it. Instead we just give out condom and vaccinate our kids and label those that question such strategies as backward thinking.

    As I said, if you want to tell your daughters, if you have them, that sleeping with 20 different guys is a good idea good for their physical, emotional and mental health then go for it. Personally, I couldn’t do that to my daughters.

  13. Sam Dixon 13

    Sounds to me like someone isn’t getting enough pre-martial sex.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Sam your opinion may move more towards EWS’s when you have children of you own approaching the teenage years – if your already have children in this group I can only hope your joking.

  15. I can’t see why discouraging pre-marital sex is such a bloody crazy idea let alone making you a ‘fundamentalist’? And do you not think it’s slightly odd dare I say disordered – that we have no campaigns promoting abstinence that our first and only approach is to hand out condoms and vaccinate our young daughters and sisters to equip them for casual sex

    The first thing you are told in a sex education class is that you dont have to have sex, and the most relibale way to prevent pregnancy and STD’s is to not have sex in the first place. the rest of the lesson carries on on the premise that not every one is going to chose this option so needs to be given the facts. If someone chooses abstinance theres not exactly alot of ‘how to’ to be explained is there?

    Though you sound more like the kind of person who sees child birth as punishment. Im sure what the old man in the big black robe tells you about sex education is far more accurate than myself going through the system just a few years ago (but am now too old to go asking school kids what they are taught in sex ed sorry!)


    Felix

    If the average is 20 then by definition that’s normal.

    I think he would prefer going back to pre sexual liberation times. just as much sex going on back then, but pretending its not happening makes all the difference

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    Sam, play nice.

    (funny though)

    It is interesting that prudishness about anything to do with sex is so common on the right. Although, most of our righties today are being much more pragmatic.

    I wonder what the average cost of an incidence of cervical cancer is, the rate is occurs normally and how much that will be reduced by the vaccine?

    Oh, i’ve got the greatest library in the world at my fingertips.

    If we’re in line with the US: there are aobut 150 cases a year in NZ resulting in 60 deaths. 70% of cases are caused by the HPV viruses blocked by the vaccine (it also blocks 90% of genital warts).

    After the initial vaccination programme, it would be 30,000 girls a year being vaccinated to maintain preventing about 110 cases and 45 deaths – at a cost of something like $14 million a year. That’s probably quite good value for money considering the cost of treatment and lost earnings, and, of course, there’s the much bigger social and personal costs that can’t be measured. It also frees up limited medical resources for other treatments.

  17. Scribe 17

    Steve,

    It is interesting that prudishness about anything to do with sex is so common on the right. Although, most of our righties today are being much more pragmatic.

    It may be prudishness in some cases, but it’s also based on cold hard facts that New Zealand has teen pregnancy rates and teen STD rates among the highest in the world.

    What EWS was rightly pointing out was that the system employed for the past 30-odd years, emphasising the “safe-sex” message rather than abstinence, has failed miserably.

    How are people going to explain to girls why, and against what, they’re being vaccinated?

    “Well, Molly, it’s so you can have sex without getting a virus that might give you cancer.”

  18. Tane 18

    Why would you say that?

    Why not just “This vaccine will stop you getting cancer one day”?

  19. Higherstandard 19

    Tane

    Point of clarification “This vaccine will lower your risk of getting Cervical cancer”

    That is the only claim that can be made.

  20. Tane 20

    Good point HS. But what I’m saying is there’s no need to even bring up pre-marital sex with 13 year old girls if that’s not your thing.

  21. Billy 21

    I like the way this thread comes out on the “Latest Comments” panel to the right. Now that would be a story.

  22. Higherstandard 22

    Tane

    Agreed absolutely.

  23. East Wellington Superhero 23

    Tane, what do you mean you don’t need to mention the sex aspect? How else would you get those types of cervical cancer?

  24. Tane 24

    I’m saying there’s no need to bring up pre-marital sex if you don’t want to. My aunt had cervical cancer when I was a child, and I had no idea what it was. You’re just trying to create an unnecessary moral panic.

  25. East Wellington Superhero 25

    Steve,
    Using the term ‘prude’ shows how you are just relying on stereotypes of right-wing or conservative people.
    We’re actually far from prudish. It’s not because we’re afraid or ill-informed about sexuality. For a lot of conservative people it’s actually because they take a far MORE informed approach to sex and sexuality. For some it’s also through learning the lessons the hard way.

  26. East Wellington Superhero 26

    Tane,
    No. You mention it because the transmission is a fundamental part of the process of eventually getting cervical cancer. You don’t get HPV but sharing a Playstation controller – you get it from having sex. It’s not about scaring people, it’s about informing them.

  27. Scribe 27

    EWS,

    It’s not because we’re afraid or ill-informed about sexuality. For a lot of conservative people it’s actually because they take a far MORE informed approach to sex and sexuality.

    Great point. It’s a common accusation though. The most obvious example is the accusation that the Catholic Church is against sex. The fact of the matter is that the Church is more “pro-sex” than anyone, but it’s not the animalistic approach to sex that people have who think they’re “pro-sex”.

  28. Tane 28

    EWS, I’m aware of how it’s contracted. I’m replying to your sensationalist statement:

    How are people going to explain to girls why, and against what, they’re being vaccinated?

    “Well, Molly, it’s so you can have sex without getting a virus that might give you cancer.’

    Clearly, you don’t have to talk to Molly about sex. You just tell her it will lower her chances of contracting cervical cancer one day.

  29. lprent 29

    Billy: 🙂 Now you mention it, it looks like the goverment is funding a net attack. I’m a programmer so virus has a qute specific meaning to me.

    How do people like the changes to the sidebars? They look flat and less effective in Internet Explorer because it is a bit retarded. But I think that they are quite effective in Firefox, Safari and Opera.

    I should read my e-mail more often…. Dropping back a version.

  30. Scribe 30

    Tane,

    The “sensationalist statement” was mine. Please don’t rob me of this moment 😉

    Captcha: costumes political

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    EWS you’re taking an oddly obstinate attitude to this. A random question – if you’re heavily Catholic, and you were comforting orphaned children who lost their atheist parents in a car crach, would you explicitly tell them that their parents suffered before they died, and were now being eternally tortured in hell?

    Is it all about ‘informing’ them, or is it possible to give a more simple explanation? In this case, you don’t explicitly have to say that this vaccination is to prevent you from getting a type of cancer that is only caused by sex.

  32. Billy 32

    Iprent, I have just opened the page in Safari (as opposed to IE7) and I agree, it looks much better.

  33. Tane 33

    Doh. Perhaps it’s time for a lunch break.

  34. East Wellington Superhero 34

    Matt,
    That was a pretty terrible analogy.

  35. East Wellington Superhero 35

    And your assumption that I am a catholic betrays your prejudices.

  36. Scribe 36

    MP,

    I am heavily Catholic and certainly wouldn’t tell orphans that their atheist parents are being tortured in hell.

    Why? Because I would have no idea that was the case. Regardless of how Christian someone is, they have no idea who goes to heaven, hell or purgatory.

    As EWS said, terrible analogy — for all sorts of reasons.

  37. Matthew Pilott 37

    EWS – I said if you’re a catholic. No prejudice there – but you’re pretty quick to make assumptions yourself, so quick you don’t even have time to read what is in front of you before deciding what someone’s said. Try to keep an open mind.

    Sorry it’s not the prettiest analogy, but if you want to make blanket demands around informing someone without placing any context around it you come up with some totally ridiculous scenarios – as you and Scribe illustrated perfectly with your responses! Cheers.

  38. Back to the actual topic what are you peopel against this actually proposing?

    Regardless of what type of sex aducation is taught in schools, doesnt it make sense to do this vaccination at the same time as the measels-mumps-rubella and polio vaccinations?

    I guess you could have the HPV vaccine administered on marrige? you know, if you have sex before marrige you deserve cervical cancer.

  39. Billy 39

    At the serious risk of my contributions on this thread becoming even more light-weight, is it right to describe someone as “heavily” catholic? Seems like the wrong adjective to me.

  40. Matthew Pilott 40

    Sincerely? Truly? Madly? Deeply?

  41. Billy 41

    What about “devoutly”?

  42. r0b 42

    Regardless of how Christian someone is, they have no idea who goes to heaven, hell or purgatory.

    Of course they don’t. But a terrifying number of them think they do, and act accordingly.

  43. Higherstandard 43

    r0b

    Are you suggesting Christians are more judgemental than agnostics, atheists or those of other religious beliefs ?

  44. Scribe 44

    killinginthenameof,

    I guess you could have the HPV vaccine administered on marrige? you know, if you have sex before marrige you deserve cervical cancer.

    Another worthy effort to smear Christians. Well done. But no one deserves to get cervical cancer.

    Not sure about EWS, but my objection is that this will be a mandatory thing. Decisions of this nature should be made by families, not by the state. After all, every medication has associated risks. I’ve heard Gardasil had some very dangerous side effects in the US; I’ll try to find some material and post it.

  45. r0b 45

    Are you suggesting Christians are more judgemental than agnostics, atheists

    Short answer, yes.

  46. Scribe 46

    Eleven deaths linked to Gardasil in the US: http://www.naturalnews.com/022140.html

    In Aussie: “When the vaccine for cervical cancer was found, it was an Australian first. Gardasil was designed to protect against the second biggest cause of female deaths from cancer.

    Now available free to any woman under 26, it has been given to millions.

    But there have been side effects for a few hundred: nausea, dizziness, hallucinations, paralysis.” http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com/article/43654/health/gardasil-effects-controversy

  47. “Not sure about EWS, but my objection is that this will be a mandatory thing. Decisions of this nature should be made by families, not by the state.”

    I dont think the decision should be made by families, probably for much the same reason you think it shoudln’t be made by the state, it shoudl be made by the person getting the injection.

  48. Higherstandard 48

    r0b

    Thanks for being honest.

  49. Scribe 49

    killinginthenameof,

    I dont think the decision should be made by families, probably for much the same reason you think it shoudln’t be made by the state, it shoudl be made by the person getting the injection.

    Kind of like how girls can be trundled off to have an abortion without their parents knowing, but can’t take a Panadol without parental consent?

  50. r0b 50

    Thanks for being honest.

    Don’t sound so surprised!

    Not all of them all of the time (of course), but enough of them enough of the time that religious fundamentalism has been a huge factor historically and is still a huge factor in American politics today. And yes other religions are similar, and of course there are secular fanatics too.

    Note that I have said nothing and wish to imply nothing about my own religious beliefs.

  51. ” Scribe

    killinginthenameof,

    I dont think the decision should be made by families, probably for much the same reason you think it shoudln’t be made by the state, it shoudl be made by the person getting the injection.

    Kind of like how girls can be trundled off to have an abortion without their parents knowing, but can’t take a Panadol without parental consent?”

    I dont see what relavance the panadol has to it but as far as pregnant teenagers go, if a teenager has uninetionally ended up pregnant at that age, im not sure they woudl be getting particularly good quality parenting in the first place, and dont see any benifit in the parents knowing.

  52. Higherstandard 52

    I take the view that religious fundamentalism is a small proportion of the vast amount of religions it is however the same small proportion that tends to receive most of the media and public attention for obvious reasons.

    Most of those people who would identify themselves as being religious on census night have very little if anything in common with fundamentalists apart from a religious tag.

  53. Scribe 53

    kitno,

    The abortion-Panadol comparison is to point out that an invasive surgical procedure that increases the likelihood of depression, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies is deemed of no interest to parents, but a tablet available over the counter is too dangerous to administer without consent. Notice the idiocy?

    In the case of Gardasil, if girls are automatically given the shot and suffer from the side effects outlined and linked to above, who’s responsible? If the family decides to have her vaccinated, and things go haywire, at least they were (hopefully) aware of the possible risks and signed on anyway.

  54. Higherstandard 54

    As for the meningicoccal vaccine and indeed any vaccine there will need to be informed consent and this will undoubtedly involve parental consent.

  55. ‘If the family decides to have her vaccinated, and things go haywire, at least they were (hopefully) aware of the possible risks and signed on anyway.’

    Im sure that will be of much consolation to the girl.

  56. ‘The abortion-Panadol comparison is to point out that an invasive surgical procedure that increases the likelihood of depression, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies is deemed of no interest to parents, but a tablet available over the counter is too dangerous to administer without consent. Notice the idiocy?’

    I;m not so sure about the panadol thing, seems like a media beat up over whats probably one schools policy, but I dont know the details. At my old school they kept a register of who they gave it out too, I;d imagine if you became a regular they might want to get in contact with the parents.

    Personally I ussually kept a couple floating around in the bottom of my school bag amongst the small change, pens and torn up bits of paper. not that I ever used them often.

    And yes it is sad that so many teenagers get abortions, now ever if the teenager doesnt believe they can tell thier parents, I dont think doing so is going to do much to help depression, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies.

  57. Hillary 57

    Another handy benefit of the vaccine is to protect those receiving it who forego pre and extra-marital sex and get infected by their husbands. Because their husbands have indulged in either pre or extra-marital sex.

    I don’t know if I will get my daughters vaccinated or not. But I see no problem whatsoever explaining to a 13 year old girl, or an 11 year old girl for that matter, what the vaccine is for and that it does not mean she should race out and shag the nearest spotty teenaged boy. I find it worrying that a parent might.

  58. Scribe 58

    Hillary,

    I’m concerned about how this vaccine may form part of a larger discussion from Family Planning Association people when they speak in schools. I would hope parents know how to cover the subject with people, but what about the FPA folks/teachers etc?

    kinto,

    You’re right that schools have list of approved medications for students with conditions. But if a kid comes in to the office with a headache, and isn’t approved for various medications, someone has to call a parent for the OK. This may not be the case at EVERY school, but I was talking to a doctor about it recently and she said that’s the usual procedure.

  59. QoT 59

    I’ll give any credence to this rubbish about “encouraging/permitting premarital sex” just as soon as anyone shows me data that teen pregnancy rates were affected by the rubella vaccine – that thing that apparently should have had 11-year-olds by the dozen trying to get knocked up because they were “safe”, right?

  60. Ari 60

    I’m sorry- you have confidence in parents to discuss sexual issues, but NOT the FPA? I’d be far more inclined to say the opposite, especially seeing as comprehensive sex education actually lowers the chance of teen pregnancy. (I blogged about that in more detail at http://stilltruckin.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/sex-education-and-teen-pregnancy/)

    This is mostly good news, and it’s really essential that STIs with serious consequences like HPV are prevented. My only big disappointment is that they’re only vaccinating girls- they could largely wipe out the effects of HPV for future generations if boys were also vaccinated, even though the virus is not sympomatic in men.

  61. Julie 61

    Call this a loony wild guess if you will, but I suspect there aren’t that many people in this thread who can actually develop cervical cancer, would that be right? (Apologies to Hillary and QoT, but it looks like us XXers are in the minority here).

    Here’s my take on it:
    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com/2008/05/your-daughter-will-probably-have-sex.html

    And by the by, HPV is also linked to the development of penile cancer, did that change anyone’s minds?

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