Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Is Gardasil Safe?
Fretting about whether to get your daughter vaccinated against cervical cancer? Or perhaps about getting the Gardasil shots yourself? The federal government has new information that officials say should help calm fears about the safety of the shots.
The analysis of data collected from about 190,000 women and girls who got at least one Gardasil shot found no evidence that the vaccine increased the risk for any serious complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
-- Rob Stein
Concerns about vaccinating with Gardasil because it protects against a sexually transmitted infection are ridiculous.
We vaccinate infants and older against hep B, a virus that can be spread through sexual contact, and I hear nary a peep about that.
Do critics really think that genital warts and/or an incompetent cervix (infertility) and/or cancer is an appropriate punishment for poor sexual behavior?
I have a 6-month-old daughter and she will be vaccinated once she is old enough. I cannot imagine thinking that preserving her virginity or preserving some set of expectations about her sexual behavior would be more important to me than protecting her.
Putting the Kibosh on Car Surfing
There is no end, apparently, to the things teenagers will do that you wish they'd have the good sense not to do.
The most recent edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlights a phenomenon known as car surfing and suggests parents talk with their teens about the practice.
The report defines it as "a thrill-seeking activity that involves riding on the exterior of a moving motor vehicle while it is being driven by another person." A review of newspaper accounts between 1990 and August 2008 yielded the first nationwide picture of the phenomenon, to which 58 deaths and 41 nonfatal injuries were attributed.
-- Jennifer Huget
Car surfing is just natural selection in action, aided and abetted by rules that allow 16-year-olds to procure driver's licenses. Teenagers, especially boys, are risk-takers, simply because their brains haven't yet matured past that stage.
Although in fairness, taking away cars wouldn't stop the stupidity. Here in New York City, we have automated announcements on the subway warning that riding on the outside of the subway car (a.k.a. subway surfing) is dangerous. Gee, ya think? But young men have died doing it.
Young men will always invent physical risks. Perhaps we should return the draft so they will join the army, get some training and take some real risk serving their country.
Michael J. Fox and his friend car-surfed in the '80s movie "Teen Wolf." I think it may be an underground activity that is always happening in very small numbers.
Alternatives to 'Stayin' Alive'?
Whenever it's deemed necessary to revive the 1970s aura, someone drags out the Bee Gees' 1977 disco hit "Stayin Alive." Just a few notes and you're thinking men in white pantsuits and gold chains, right?
Now the song itself may be in for a revival -- as a potential means of helping rescue people suffering cardiac arrest.
As has been reported in The Post, a study in the October issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine notes that the song's relentless rhythm, at 103 beats per minute, just about perfectly matches the American Heart Association's chest-compression pace of at least 100 beats per minute.
But I can't stand that song. What are our other choices?
-- Jennifer Huget
"Another One Bites the Dust" -- Queen
"Fly" -- Sugar Ray
"When It's Over" -- Sugar Ray
"Suddenly I See" -- KT Tunstall
"Quit Playing Games With My Heart" -- Backstreet Boys
"Run It" -- Chris Brown
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" -- Culture Club
"Back to Life" -- Soul ii Soul
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" -- U2