A public (pubic?) health victory: HPV infections cut in half by vaccine

There is an assumption that people above a certain age are sexually active, but being true for the general population doesn’t make it true for everybody (I can come up with the names of several posters who weren’t sexually active by 26); also, sometimes the cutoffs used for age haven’t been very well thought-of, such as using the “average age at which girls lose their virginity” as the cutoff point. My sister in law had several big arguments back when the vaccine first came out and was approved for girls under 17, and she rapidly learned to have them with several other people in the room if possible: she said it should be given to older women if they hadn’t been sexually active, there would always be someone who claimed that “oh, but who is a virgin at 17?” and get stony stares from… that half of the room who had been one at that age. And I don’t mean “virgin in the ear” (that is, has done everything except PiV).

Actually, the age cutoffs are determined by research on the vaccine that has not shown it is effective at reducing HPV-related conditions above the age of 26. The cutoff is based on research, not guesswork.

Basing it on the age at which most of the population already is sexually active isn’t guesswork, either: it’s based on research, specifically on research about when do people become sexually active. But in any case, I doubt that what makes the vaccine be less effective is some sort of magical metabolic change; it’s the amount of the population that’s exposed before being vaccinated, if vaccinated above that age. But in the immortal words of a very pissed-off woman, “I’m a patient, not a statistic!” - there’s no reason to believe that a person who’s over age 26 and hasn’t previously not been sexually active will not benefit from the vaccine.

Or do you also think that people who didn’t get their childhood vaccines should not be allowed to get them later on? Focusing vaccinations on the age group that benefits most is logical, but making the age cutoffs “hard” ones is not.

I just read that 44% of parents will not permit their daughters to be vaccinated. I guess some are anti-vaxxers, but others must simply live by the maxim that sex must always be punished (they oppose birth control for the same reason).

They can’t be that “hard”, as I was vaccinated at 27. Gardasil had only recently become widely available, and I asked my doctor if I could be vaccinated even though I was over 26. He said it was fine.