Seventeen-year-old Simone Davis has been applying for citizenship for almost 10 years. When she was 3, she was abandoned and then adopted by her paternal grandmother, who married an American. The family moved to Port St. Joe, Fla.
Now, because she refuses to get the HPV vaccine, she may be sent back to England. That’s because Gardasil is among the required vaccines for citizenship. This vaccine is not mandated for American girls, though different localities have their own laws.
There has been a lot of controversy regarding the Gardasil vaccine. Though marketed to protect against the types of HPV that cause cancer, it only protects against two of the 15 types that cause cervical cancer (which account for 60 percent of cases) and another two (of 100) that cause lesions. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, but many cases clear up on their own. However, almost all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV.
Recently, one of the researchers for Merck spoke out against the highly marketed shot, saying that parents need to consider the risks versus the benefits. Dr. Diane Harper said that there have been as many serious adverse reactions as there are cervical cancer deaths annually. These adverse reactions, such as blood clots. paralysis, and seizures are happening to some young women who get the shot, which Dr. Harper says is not proven to work longer than 5 years.
Back to Simone. She is a devout Christian who has taken a virginity pledge and says that there is no risk of her contracting HPV.
The government mandates that all women seeking citizenship recieve the Gardasil vaccine. And since the FDA just recommended it for boys, it won’t be long before men looking to join us as Americans get the shot, too.
What’s a teen to do? Get the vaccine, or go back to a country that is no longer her home?
Image: Wikimedia Commons