The idea of a new vaccine that would guard against even more types of HPV excited her.
“The way women die from cervix cancer is very painful, it’s very difficult to watch and as health-care providers, if you can prevent a cancer from happening, why wouldn't you?” she said.
One way to prevent not just cervical but all gynecological cancers is yearly pap smears and gynecological exams.
Harper said women who are getting HPV vaccinations are less likely to show up for those exams.
She pointed out studies done in the United Kingdom and Australia, where large-scale vaccination programs were implemented.
“Less than half of the women who have been vaccinated show up for pap screening at an age-appropriate time, and that’s concerning,” she said.
For decades, doctors had been performing Loop Electosurgical Excision Procedures on women with abnormalities in their cervix.
A paper authored by two researches at the University of British Columbia criticized the FDA’s fast -rack marketing of HPV vaccines, claiming they are neither more effective nor safe that pap screening and LOOP at preventing cervical cancer.
“ All that the HPV vaccines have been proven to reduce is HPV infections and pre-cancerous cervical cancer lesions, a large fraction of which self-resolve without any treatment. As of today, we do not know if the HPV vaccines can actually prevent cervical cancer or simply postpone it,” said Lucia Tomljenovi, one of the authors of the 2011 paper.
According to Schimp, the cancers that the vaccines prevent do not generally happen until women are 45 to 55 years old.
“We don't have enough data to tell how much it’s impacted our cervical cancer or vaginal vulvar cancer rates,” she said.
However, Schimp said the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs the risk and that she would have her own children vaccinated.
Chad and his sister, Danielle, said they do not see it that way because they are part of that small percentage of individuals to experience side effects.
“If I could go back in time, go back in time to 2009, I wouldn't do it, but everybody's different. Just do your research,” said Theresa Tomoser.