Analysis: BACHMANN HPV vaccine comments toxic: U.S. doctors – Reuters
Analysis: Bachmann HPV vaccine comments toxic: U.S. doctors
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO | Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:12pm EDT
(Reuters) – No matter how much the U.S. medical community challenges the suggestion by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann that a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) is dangerous, doctors fear the damage has already been done.
Physicians are bracing for more parents to refuse the HPV vaccine, which protects against the most common cause of cervical cancer, for their daughters.
They say the comments by the Republican candidate will only stoke growing and unfounded fears about a whole class of common immunizations needed to fight disease.
“There are people out there who, because of this kind of misinformation, aren’t going to get their daughter immunized,” said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
“As a result, there will be more people who die from cervical cancer,” Alexander said in a telephone interview.
Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, an infectious disease expert at Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, said doctors are already struggling to convince parents to immunize girls against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus.