Target: Terry Lake, British Colombia Minister of Health
Goal: Vaccinate all children against HPV, regardless of gender.
Families of young boys in British Colombia are being asked to pay $300 to $400 to vaccinate their children against human pappilomavirus (HPV), while young girls are being immunized for free. The female children are provided free vaccinations at school, while the males must take several trips to the pharmacy and doctor’s office in order to complete the three dosages necessary for immunity. Because of this, many males do not receive the vaccination, leaving them and their sexual partners vulnerable to the disease.
HPV is a common sexually-transmitted disease which can lead to warts, cysts, and lesions on the skin and genitals. It is known to cause cancers of the sexual organs in both males and females, and in 2002 was responsible for over 5 percent of all new cancer cases. The disease is particularly dangerous because many people do not show symptoms and transmit the disease unknowingly.
While the BC government recently announced that “vulnerable” males under 26 can receive the vaccination for free, this only applies to a small percentage of young males. The government definition of vulnerable includes only males who engage in same-sex relations or who are “street-involved.” This leaves hundreds of thousands of the province’s young men vulnerable to HPV.
Since proper herd immunity can only be achieved if the overwhelming majority of the population is immunized, it is important that the BC government provide the vaccine to all children, regardless of gender. Sign the petition below to demand that the BC government provide free HPV vaccinations to all young residents.
Dear Mr. Terry Lake,
Families of male children in BC must pay several hundred dollars and make repeated trips to pharmacies and doctor’s offices in order to be immunized against HPV, while female students receive the vaccination for free at school. Because of this, only a small percentage of males are immunized, leaving hundreds of thousands vulnerable to the sexually-transmitted disease which is known to lead to many forms of cancer.
It is unfair to expect sexually-active males to rely on their partners to be immunized against the disease, and all young men should be given the chance to be proactive about their sexual health. We, the undersigned, ask that the HPV vaccination be provided for free to all children, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
[Your Name Here]
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