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Have we lost faith in our ability to educate children about sexuality?

Catherine Weitbrecht (Letters, August 20 ) deserves full credit for her cautionary tale regarding the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccination. The possible side-effects of this unnecessary innoculation for pre-teenage girls are stark and disturbing.

Proportionality must be taken into account before any such vaccination is propagated by the HSE. Such scrutiny of efficacy and side effects is not an option, but an imperative already so what happened here?

It’s ridiculous to argue that a risk of cervical cancer to 12-year-olds, should be pre-empted with this jab, with its possible downsides.

Is the implication that these young girls are so likely to indulge in sexual encounters, that they all need to be foisted with this intrusion?

Rather than presuming that all these young girls are likely to engage in sexual intercourse, thereby contracting and promoting the spread of HPV, wouldn’t it be much more valuable to pursue a relentless public health/social awareness campaign to educate on the risks (both physical and emotional) of casual sex?

Have we no more trust in our capacities as mature adults to guide children through their sexual development trajectory, safely and responsibly, that we have to resort to ‘pan-innoculation’? No doubt Big Pharma is enthusiastic about the HSE’s promotional stance on this vaccination.

Catherine Weilbrecht (and others) have done the state’s children some real service.

Jim Cosgrove

Chapel Street


Co Waterford.


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