http://posttrib.suntimes.com/8550607-537/jerry-davich-new-government-recommendation-offers-shot-of-controversy.htmlJerry Davich: New government recommendation offers shot of controversy
JERRY DAVICH email@example.com
November 2, 2011 10:56PM
Updated: November 3, 2011 1:57AM
Do you remember Zeda Pingel?
I first wrote about the Lake Station teenager in October 2009, after she suffered a negative reaction to the Gardasil vaccine. The shot was intended to protect her from cervical cancer, but it crippled her body and left her bedridden and in need of round-the-clock care.
In other words, she shouldn’t have received that vaccination. But her mother, Amy, wasn’t aware of the potential risks of Gardasil, billed as the only cervical cancer vaccine to help protect females against four types of human papilloma virus, or HPV.
I recently checked on Zeda’s situation when I read that a new government medical panel now recommends the controversial vaccine for teen boys, too — in part to help prevent the cancer-causing virus through sex.
“Zeda is doing great,” her mother told me, although “great” is a relative term in the Pingel house.
Zeda is still a shell of her former self, and she just recently got the tracheal tube removed from her body. She is, however, attending school twice a week.
“She just continues making baby steps in the right direction,” Amy said.
I’m reminding you about Zeda because Amy has become a vocal advocate for parental education before vaccination.
It’s not that I’m “anti-vaccines,” as vaccine opponents have tried to portray me from previous columns involving Gardasil, or even annual flu shots. I understand that such vaccines are needed for public safety, but is each and every vaccine needed for me or my loved ones? That’s the question in my mind.
My girlfriend’s daughter, who’s 10, should also receive the shot, her pediatrician says. And my daughter, who’s 26 and a pharmacist, had the shot just last year after reviewing all the possible side effects.
This is exactly what Amy Pingel wished she did before subjecting her daughter to the Gardasil vaccine. And this is exactly why I’m noting it again in my column.
With the vaccine now recommended for boys — it’s also licensed to prevent genital warts and anal cancer — parents should at least understand everything possible about the shot before approving it for their child.
Listen to Jerry’s new radio show “Casual Fridays” on Fridays at noon on WLPR 89.1-FM or www.thelakeshorefm.com
AMY CANCER DAUGHTER GARDASIL GOVERNMENT JERRY PINGEL SHOT VACCINE ZEDA