HPV vaccine offered in Lawrence pediatric offices

Gardasil, a vaccination originally meant for women, is growing in popularity as preteens and males are now encouraged to get the cancer-preventing shot.


Jaime Thompson, with Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, holds a vial of HPV vaccine that can help both boys and girls in preventing cancer.

In Lawrence, as more children receive the shot during their middle school years, the task of making sure every patient is educated about the vaccine no longer is just an OB-GYN's responsibility. Pediatricians are stepping in to talk to patients and their parents about Gardasil at an earlier age and are becoming the primary distributors for the vaccination. Boys are now encouraged to receive the shot, too, which is also boosting the number of patients pediatricians are giving the vaccine to and helping to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted virus.

Gardasil is a type of Human Papillomavirus vaccination for males and females given to patients in a series of three shots in a six-month time period. It prevents HPV, and with that, cancers caused by the 40 different strains of HPV such as cervical, penile, vaginal, vulvar and anal cancer, as well as genital warts.

“If people receive the vaccine prior to being sexually active, we can help stop that transmission of HPV,” said Jaime Thompson, with Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Since its FDA approval in 2006, doctors have been encouraging patients to receive the vaccination, but in recent years there’s been a shift from OB-GYNs taking the lead on educating patients to pediatricians pushing the product.

“The target age is 11 and 12. Doctors hope to get most children before they become sexually active. Pre-teens are also at the age where they’re already getting scheduled shots, so it is easier to add the HPV vaccination into the routine,” said Kirsten Evans, pediatrician at Lawrence Pediatrics.

Although OB-GYNs in Lawrence try to educate their patients about the drug, now that is has been on the market for several years, more patients who see an OB-GYN have already received the vaccine. They see far less traffic for Gardasil than pediatricians.

“Now we’re catching the ones now who didn’t get caught when they were younger,” said Linda Easum, Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists director.

It’s not just for girls

When Gardasil was first introduced it was made for women but after more research, it is now approved and marketed for men, too.

“HPV affects boys as much as it affects girls,” Evans said.

At Lawrence Pediatrics, Evans said the number of boys versus girls who receive the vaccination is pretty equal. She said that if a parent is uneducated about the vaccination, regardless of the child’s sex she’ll explain what it is and encourage parents to have their child get it.

Across the country that may not be the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 53 percent of girls received at least one of the three doses of the HPV vaccine in 2011 while the number of boys was only about 1 percent.

The only way to test a person for HPV is with a pap smear, so although a boy can’t be tested for HPV, by getting the vaccine he is preventing himself from unknowingly transmitting it to a partner. In turn, that helps to lower the number of men and women affected by HPV.

Some people are opting out of getting the vaccination because they are misinformed about who can and cannot get the vaccine. One of the common misconceptions at Lawrence OB-GYN specialists is that if a woman has had sex she can’t get the vaccine, which is not the case.

Even if a person has been sexually active or even has HPV, doctors still recommend that he or she receive the vaccine to prevent that person from getting any other strains of HPV he or she doesn’t have.

“No matter what they’re here for, if they haven’t received (the vaccination), we talk to them about it,” Thompson said.

Thompson and Evans agree that the number of people vaccinated is growing, but some still aren’t sold on the idea of receiving the drug.

Vaccination fears

Cathy Worcester, licensed practical nurse at Lawrence pediatrics, said part of the reason more parents are having their children get the vaccine is because they have a fear of any vaccinations in general. She said lately parents have been more hesitant because they are afraid vaccinations could cause autism or health issues like autoimmune diseases, but that’s not the case.

“The safety has been proven,” Evans said.

Evans said the chances of getting some type of disease are no higher in a person who just received a vaccination than in the regular population.

Despite the skepticism surrounding vaccines, Evans said that usually after a doctor explains what the vaccine is, who can get it and the benefits of stopping HPV from spreading, patients change their mind and choose to get the shot.

“It’s very rare a person will say, ‘Oh I’m not going to do everything I can to prevent cancer,’” Easum said.


Neil Rasmussen 4 years, 9 months ago

From the Washington Post.

Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), may not be as safe as backers claim.

Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated.

“This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded. Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The CDC recommends the Gardasil vaccine, made by Merck Pharmaceuticals, for all females between 9 and 26 years to protect against HPV. Furthermore, the CDC says Gardasil is licensed, safe, and effective for males ages 9 through 26 years.

The facts appear to contradict the FDA’s safety statements. The adverse reaction reports detail 26 new deaths reported between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011 as well as incidents of seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short term memory loss and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The documents come from the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which is used by the FDA to monitor the safety of vaccines.

That’s 26 reported deaths of young, previously healthy, girls after Gardasil vaccination in just one year.

Read more:

avarom 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe you folks should read these articles and then judge the safety of the HPV vaccine, after you read the ingredients, I bet you will all change your mind. Remember all that Glitters, Is not Always "Gold"

peartree 4 years, 9 months ago

Blog-type "news" sources and activist websites are not a good place to find health information. Please see the MSDS sheet noting that three federal agencies have found the vaccine to be non-carcinogenic. There are many variations of similar molecules. Small modifications can mean the difference between something toxic and something benign. Just because the name sounds similar to something you know to be toxic doesn't mean it is the same substance.

Please see the manufacturer's official response to the activists making such claims. If you want to refute them, please site scientific evidence.

jimmyjms 4 years, 9 months ago

nrazz, that link is from the Washington Times, not the Washington Post - otherwise known as "the Moonie Times" as it was founded by the leader of the "unification church," Sun Myung Moon. The paper's right wing bent extends past the editorial page (where partisanship is fine) into it's "news" (where partisanship is not fine).

Not a credible source.

frank mcguinness 4 years, 9 months ago

Anyone who thinks vaccines are harmless is equally misinformed. While the cause of autism is inconclusive there seems to be a direct correlation between the new use of the chickenpox vaccine and the spike in cases of shingles. The risk of dying from chickenpox itself was almost a statistical anomaly. How about having shingles as an adult? Anyone who thinks giving a child up to 14 vaccines by the age of 18 months is safe is delusional. Can your child get pertussis after getting the shot: yes. So why are you giving your child the pertussis shot? Because the average person has never taken even a basic human anatomy class and is highly uninformed about the human body, pathogens, etc and relies on the doctor who is primarily concerned with avoiding litigation than giving you options. I feel particularly bad for Mrs thompson who for the rest of time will be shown holding a vial of Gardasil if they ever do conclusively link that product to some major issues it creates.

funkdog1 4 years, 9 months ago

That's absurd. People have always gotten shingles. It's just that the chances of getting shingles goes up with one's age. Since we've been increasing our longevity (until recently) the number of people who develop shingles before they die has naturally gone up. If we continue to be sedentary and eat like crap we'll see fewer cases of shingles as people die younger.

peartree 4 years, 9 months ago

Let me put this into perspective: You personally have antibodies to 100,000+ different things that you have been exposed to over your lifetime. Those antibodies are created via the same mechanisms as those created when a person receives a vaccination. A baby can easily come into contact with dozens of new antigens in a single day. The more frequently they are exposed, the more antibody they will carry for that antigen. If you get exposed to a lot of an antigen at once, say an illness or a vaccine or a face-full of pollen, that particular antibody load will be higher more quickly, you might get a little fever while your immune system gears up in response, and your immune system will be ready to pounce on it if you come into contact with it again. "14 vaccines in 18 months" is not the least bit "delusional."

frank mcguinness 4 years, 9 months ago

So Peartree, you are essentially implying that being injected with manufactured substances to create antibodies is the same as being subjected to natural substances to create antibodies which is not apples to apples. I can trick you into thinking you ate something sweet by giving you HFCS or Aspartame but that doesn't mean it is good for you or that it won't also carry a negative response in your body. Likewise I would prefer my child is subjected to actual Chickenpox vs the Chickenpox Vaccine. (Are you aware that the chickenpox vaccine was derived from Human Embryos?)

Furthermore what is the appropriate limit for vaccines for a child or do you even believe there is one? Is 50 vaccines OK? 100? I assume that at some point you will state that there is a limit and that number is likely higher than I would care to provide my child with. I stand by my point that 14 vaccines by 18 months is likely to have unintended consequences and is not safe since you are injecting your child with a manufactured disease.

peartree 4 years, 9 months ago

The processes by which you develop antibodies to substances are identical regardless of how the substance enters your body. I'm not implying, I'm telling you this is what any medical doctor or epidemiologist will tell you is true. I'm assuming you are against abortion based on your embryo comment. Yes, embryonic fibroblasts were used from a fetus to develop the vaccine. It is not done to process that vaccine now. We do, however, have a varicella vaccine that can prevent the deaths of babies.

What is the limit? Since we don't have 50 vaccines to administer, it is moot. The small number of vaccines that are recommended is reasonable. That does not suggest anyone thinks it would be reasonable to administer 1000 of them in a month. A daily multivitamin is perfectly safe, but taking 50 in a day obviously is a bad idea. What we know from SCIENTIFIC study is that the load on the child's immune system is reasonable and safe.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 9 months ago

No. Being exposed to a "natural" novel viral antigen is way, way different than being exposed to a synthetic version of the virus in a vaccine.
The natural exposure could kill you.

frank mcguinness 4 years, 9 months ago

And to think that a synthetic version can't kill you is incorrect. Now you have a situation where you are intentionally subjecting your child to something that can kill it and they can still get the illness that you vaccinated from and potentially die from it. Double the risk. Also lets not assume that the only potential byproduct of vaccinations is death. Serious illness and potentially life long damage can occur from vaccinations.

peartree 4 years, 9 months ago

This is completely false. Please, please ask a medical doctor to explain this to you.

frank mcguinness 4 years, 9 months ago

I assume you are a Doctor or a Scientist to think you can dispute my statement or maybe not since you have provided nothing to support your claim. A quick internet search will provide you with numerous confirmed deaths from Vaccines. I don't need a medical doctor to explain anything to me because I have one in my household.

mcrckchlk 4 years, 9 months ago

Then you have a horrible doctor in your household.

always4ever 4 years, 9 months ago

There is a typo in the caption under the picture. Should be vial instead of vile!

Karrey Britt 4 years, 9 months ago

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department offers the HPV vaccine to uninsured adults, ages 19-26, and children who are uninsured or enrolled in KanCare. For more information, call the clinic at 843-0721.

UfoPilot 4 years, 9 months ago

"Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated." Since when is Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) not a good source?

alieda 4 years, 9 months ago

The first comment with its fake source says it all. If you can't make you case w/o lying about your source and hoping nobody notices, you have no case.

bambi 4 years, 9 months ago

So, UfoPilot, nrazz and rooster, I wonder, if the HHS IS actually concerned about this vaccine, why do they still recommend we get it? or

According to the HRSA out of 55,168,454 HPV doses distributed so far, a total of 64 claims have been processed.

Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million Americans are newly infected each year. There are more than 21,000 TYPES of Cancers caused by HPV. These cancers are potentially preventable by HPV vaccines. About 10,000 women a year are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and 50,000 girls alive today will, during their lifetime, develop cervical cancer THAT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting a 56% drop in human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in girls and young women since the HPV vaccine was introduced in the US. This large reduction in HPV occurred even though vaccination rates in the US are very low. Only one-third of girls ages 13 – 17 in the US have received all 3 doses, as recommended. (from

I think what we have here is the benefit outweighing the risk. Everything has risk. I would not want to be the parent of a child who dies or is gravely ill due to a vaccine. However, I would also not want to be the parent of a child who died of cervical cancer. It looks like the risk is much higher there, than with the vaccine.

rtwngr 4 years, 9 months ago

And those doctors and clinics that dispense the HPV vaccine get their little monetary "kick backs" as an incentive to keep pushing this poison.

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