Sexual Politics Help Thwart The HPV Vaccine


The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was expected to be a slam-dunk for pharmaceutical giant Merck. Instead, it’s considered a business failure. Among the many reasons: The politicization of inoculating little girls against future STDs.

Fortune says it’s largely because it’s been hard to get women to actually show up for three shots, spaced out, despite Merck trying text and email reminders. And because it’s expensive. And because of talk of side effects, though no causal link between the vaccine and deaths has been proven.

Maybe the scare tactic ads didn’t help, either. (But Gardasil tie-in jewelry didn’t work either.)

And then there’s this reason, hinted at in the anti-Gardasil cartoon above:

2) Some parents aren’t comfortable vaccinating young children against a virus they can only get from having sex.
In 2007, when Texas governor Rick Perry issued an executive order that all girls entering the 6th grade would receive Gardasil, parents were furious. Some argued that the vaccine would promote promiscuity. The order was eventually overturned.

Thank the lord that parents knew that the best way to prevent their girls from turning into little sluts was to… make them more vulnerable to cervical cancer. God bless America.

What Went Wrong With Gardasil [CNN]
Related: Merck’s Charm Offensive [CNBC]
Earlier: The HPV Vaccine’s Misguided Scare Tactics
CDC Finds Deaths Unrelated To Gardasil Shots

Image via The Golden Spiral

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