Briefly, on Katie Couric and the HPV vaccine
Anyone who’s been reading what I have to say for any length of time will be able to guess correctly how this makes me feel. (And have I told you lately that I love you?) Very few contemporary phenomena infuriate me more that the anti-vaccine movement. It is a topic I have returned to over and over, including the HPV vaccine itself.
Vaccines save lives. The HPV vaccine will save lives. There is no credible evidence that vaccines are responsible for any chronic or debilitating illnesses, from autism to [insert condition here]. The HPV vaccine is just as safe as all the rest of them.
However, when someone else has already written a perfectly good response to Katie Couric’s (or her producers’) confusion on the subject, I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. So instead I’ll just tell you to go read what Amanda Marcotte wrote over at Slate.
Sadly, I am quite certain that this ill-considered program will lead to more parents refusing the vaccine for their kids. It will mean more kids will face more risk for cancers they could well have avoided. The bitter irony is that list includes colorectal cancers, a health issue Ms. Couric takes seriously and around which she has done much admirable work. I don’t know if she is aware that her promotion of HPV vaccine hysteria undermines this work, but if not she should have been.
Anyhow, go read the Marcotte piece. The more voices decrying this idiocy, the better.