HMV voucher bribe for teenage girls to have cervical jabs: Fury at ‘promiscuity scheme’ as NHS faces cutsI read this and splurted coffee all over my screen. I wiped it down and read the opening paragraphs:
"Teenage girls are being bribed with high street shopping vouchers to receive a highly controversial vaccine. A health trust is promising them £45 in tokens for stores such as HMV, Argos and Debenhams if they agree to the cervical cancer jab, which protects against a sexually-transmitted virus that can cause tumours. Opponents say the vaccine - dubbed the 'promiscuity jab' - encourages girls to have sex earlier than they would. "Oh dear lord. The HPV vaccine saves lives. The medical world is in total agreement on this - there isn't even an Andrew Wakefield-style loon carving out a career saying it actually gives you cancer or makes you grow an extra arm or some such.
Now there may be ethical questions about "bribing" teenagers to have any kind of medical treatment, as the Mail acknowledges:
Professor Theresa Marteau, from the Centre for the Study of Incentives in Health, said there is evidence that paying for girls to have vaccines can work. But she added: "There is a concern that if you give that amount of money to young people, they will run along to get the money and not pay attention."Fair enough. Let's have a debate about that shall we? After all, this story has been lifted wholesale from a Radio 4 documentary that looks at this very issue. Is it right to use "incentives" to achieve medical outcomes.
But the Mail prefers to try and whip up some FURY about girls being bribed to be promiscuous. And who do they turn to for this? Why, it's one-man moral campaign "group" Norman Wells:
The only FURY here comes from a self-appointed moral guardian with no statistical or medical evidence to back up his case - note that he boldly states that there is "evidence" that teenage girls are sleeping with more men because they've had the HPV jab. For a man so concerned about such issues you'd think he'd be able to point to a study or some research to back this up, but no. Even his own website makes no such evidence available. Yet the Mail not only takes his claim as fact, it also bases the entire story around it!
"This is yet another example of public money being thrown at a problem that has its roots in declining standards of morality. There is already evidence that the vaccine is giving some girls a false sense of security and leading them to think that because they have been vaccinated they are protected against the worst effects of sexual promiscuity and can therefore engage in casual sex without consequences."
Calling the HPV vaccination process a "promiscuity scheme" in the headline is grossly, sickeningly irresponsible. As Cancer Research UK points out:
"It is not correct to say that women who get cervical cancer have it because they were promiscuous (slept around). After all, you could have only slept with one man and still caught the virus if he had it. If he's had lots of partners, that will increase your risk, because it indirectly exposes you to possible sexual infections from lots of other people."But that doesn't fit the Mail's story, so the facts, provided by the experts, are cast aside.
When the Mail became convinced that the MMR jab caused autism, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the number of children being vaccinated against measles fell and the number of measles cases soared. Children DIED and were left disabled as a result of such irresponsible reporting but has the Mail learned its lesson? Has it fuck.
How many Mail-reading parents will see this article and think "Gosh, I didn't realise the HPV vaccine would encourage my daughter to sleep around". How many girls will miss out on this treatment as a result? How many girls will miss the opportunity to be vaccinated - the jab has to be given before a girl becomes sexually active - and how many women will get cancer as a result?
They ought to be ashamed of themselves.