Monday, March 05, 2007

HPV vaccines in Red States

We all know that the Religious Right/Conservatives/Biblotarians are all up in arms over Gov. Rick Perrys suggestion that all 11-12 year old girls get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. Before, I was ambivalent about it. I completely agree with mandatory or opt-out vaccination, but even if you grow up in a radical Christian household and you mom doesnt mind risking her daughter getting cervical cancer, you can still be okay. If we ignore the public-health risk of not hitting everyone hard (like we did will small-pox and almost polio), once you turn 18, even if you dont have your own medical insurance, you can find a state or student clinic where you could get the vaccines. Evil Mom doesnt even have to know about it.

But then I tried to get the vaccine.

About a month ago I had my yearly check-up. I figured while I was there and while I had health insurance that covered the vaccine, I should get it. My doc agreed and went to get the vaccine. ~20 minutes later she came back and said they didnt have any. Call back later. Okay, no big whoop! Called back a week later: "Yeah I think we have it in!............ We dont have it. Call back later." Week later: "Yeah I think we have it in!............ We dont have it. Call back later." Week later: "Yeah I think we have it in!............ We dont have it. Call back later." Last week I called them every day, and I finally freaked out* on Thursday "I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET THIS VACCINE FOR A MONTH! What is the matter with you people??????" "We dont have it. Call back later."

Today I got a little further: "We have it, but you have to make an appointment with your doctor for a counseling session before you can get it." WHAT??? WHAT THE FUCK??? I sure dont remember having a 'counseling session' before my last tetanus shot, or the series of hepatitis B shots, or my meningitis shot, or flu shots... What the hell is going on here?? Luckily I thought fast on the phone "Actually we already did that at my last appointment. When can I come in?" *silence* "Um, you have to talk to Dr. Physicians nurse. Shell be the one giving you the vaccine."
Then I get forwarded to a voice mail account. Not to a phone, it didnt ring once-- a voice mail account. And since when do nurses make their own appointments?

Oh and wouldnt you know it, no one called me back.

I have no idea whats going on here, but if my experiences are representative of what other women are going through trying to get this vaccine, HPV vaccines need to be mandatory and regulated. Now.

* Totally TMI, but there is a certain gentleman that I wouldnt mind being intimate with, however we agreed that I should get the vaccine first. So Im a *little* pent-up about this delay, ignoring the societal implications of the difficulties Ive been having. Just a *little* pent up. *twitch*


Anonymous said...

This kind of reminds me of the big to-do that was made over Plan B. It seems anytime something deals with [whisper] s-e-x [/whisper] special rules and considerations and "protections" for women have to be made. I had forgotten about the Plan B decision, so Googled it and this article came up. About half way down the article there's a Coburn quote. Between him and "Big Weather (think 'Big Pharma,' but weather channel instead [seriously])" Inhofe, this state's representatives are going to make me regret moving here more than anything else.

Also, is cancerous viruses the common pre-coital pillow talk for virologists? If so, then I'm going to only date girls from the humanities from here on out.

Steven H

ERV said...

I finally got a hold of someone today. Im getting the vax tomorrow.

45 days.

45 days of irritating people and being irritated. Women less persistent than me would have given up on this a long time ago.

I really just want to know what the hell the problem is-- if its just a manufacturing problem, they need to figure out a way to notify people when they have the vax available, and not just keep jerking people around.

But considering the 'counseling session', it must be political. I dont know what to do-- this is unacceptable.

*giggle* And talking how HPV transforms epithelial cells gets us viro girls all hot and bothered-- trust me, youd learn to deal with it :P

Anonymous said...

You really should have taken their offer of counseling. You never know, you *might* change your mind and want to have cancer some day.