The HPV Vaccine (Non) Controversy

"Why do we need Social Media in Medicine?" - This is the most common question I'm asked when I talk about social media. Well, THIS is the reason: Calling out hype and bad information.

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, the main topic of the Katie Couric show will be the "HPV Vaccine Controversy." You'll see the video preview above. Here is what is on the show website:

The HPV vaccine is considered a life-saving cancer preventer. But is it a potentially deadly dose for girls? Meet a mom who claims her daughter died after getting the HPV vaccine, and hear all sides of the HPV cancer controversy.

Now, you know what's going on here, right? It's well documented in the entertainment press that the ratings for the Katie show have been awful and there's been talk about canceling her show. Her show is so "successful" that just last week, it was announced that she's taken a new job with Yahoo as a news anchor. I mean, they'll give anyone an internet show. Heck, I'm an internet news anchor LOL.

If you're in any kind of medical field, I hope you make your social media voice be heard on Wednesday. Even if you're not in medicine, but you get mad at people who spread hype and bad information, I hope you make your social media voice be heard on Wednesday.

Now, don't misunderstand, my heart goes out to this mom who is going to share her story on the Katie show. It is a tragedy that her daughter passed away. However, making the link to the HPV vaccine, seems like a stretch to me. This mom has every right to share her story. But, we as a medical community also have every right to share our story.

Here are some facts from the Public Library of Science post about HPV Vaccine:

In addition here are some links from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control:

How do you fight emotion and hype, with facts and science. I challenge anyone who reads this post to use your social media voice to share the truth about vaccines. For grassroots clinicians like me, I challenge you to especially talk about vaccines on Wednesday with your patients to defuse the hype that this show may generate. The truth and the science are on our side. We just have to get the word out to the public, and most importantly, to our patients....