An OUSA Facebook post promoting National Immunisation Week (1-7 May) provided the latest platform for both sides of the vaccination debate to lock horns.
OUSA made the post on 2 May to help spread awareness for the Southern District Health Board’s program of providing free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for anyone under the age of 27.
HPV, a highly contagious set of more than 150 viruses (14 of which are linked to cancer), is spread through skin-to-skin contact, most commonly during sexual intercourse.
The HPV Immunisation Programme began in New Zealand in September 2008 for girls and young women up until their 20th birthday. Over 200,000 girls and young women have been fully immunised against HPV in New Zealand.
“The vaccination was administered in full (a total of three injections) to 68 percent of year 12 girls across the whole Southern district,” said Dr Keith Reid Medical Officer of Health for Public Health South, and though “vaccination was not available to boys at that time, from January this year the HPV vaccination is being routinely offered to boys and young men so we will be able to monitor coverage rates moving ahead.”
The Facebook post included a picture of a dental student called Ben, accompanied by a quote from him about why he chose to be vaccinated against HPV.
The Best Facebook comments included:
Janne Witt: “This is Ben. No one told Ben that gardasil is known to cause erectile dysfunction in men. Ben didn’t do his own research. Don’t be like Ben.”
- Ben Sorensen (pictured in the post) said: “Bugger, must’ve missed the latest issue of misguided conspiracy monthly. Too busy tryna protect myself from preventable diseases.”
Alice Xu said “Lol the anti-vaxxers have arrived. What worries me is that most of you have children.”
- ... Jo Pullin: “And thankfully you don’t.”
- … Alice Xu: “I don’t but when I do, I’ll know to make sure they’re protected from diseases.”
- …Claire Harper-Wilde: “Oh so you have children then?”
- …Alice Xu: “I get routine checkups and I can assure you my reproductive health is fine. I can get knocked up tomorrow no problem or anytime for the next few years. Cheers for your concern team.”
Tom Mosley said “Claire Harper-Wilson (and others) perhaps don’t realise students have full and free access to journals and academic articles and therefore ... know that Claire’s anti-vax position is unsupported bullshit.”
Dan DeBuriatte said the HPV vaccination is “possibly one of the most toxic and damaging vaccinations yet invented. Avoid it at all costs. The grand vaccine fraud has been exposed and now it must be dismantled.”