The real issue is that Gardasil isn't presented so that parents can understand the pros and cons of the vaccine. The feeling you get is that a] if your child doesn't get Gardasil, she WILL get cervical cancer and b) if she does get Gardasil, she won't get cervical cancer. Neither scenario is correct. Most girls who get the vaccine won't have a major issue with it. According to the FDA there are a few slightly heightened risks. According to anecdotal evidence, there is a heightened risk of autoimmune disease and neurological damage. Look at the case of Jenny Tetlock--the ALS-type symptoms that caused her death were, according to her neurologist, quite possibly attributable the vaccine. But all these risks are small (unless it's YOUR kid who takes the fall), so what are the advantages? As many as 80 percent of women will get HPV during their lifetime. About 95 percent of those infections will be beaten by the immune system, leaving behind a natural immunity to further infection by that particular strain. Only when an infection becomes persistent is there a problem, which can usually (but not always) be picked up by a regular Pap smear. The chance of a problem is fairly small. Very few women in the US get cervical cancer and few of those die; more get an abnormality that must be dealt with. So it's good to strengthen the immune system. Eating crappy food, not sleeping enough, and smoking, will all increase the chances of getting a persistent infection. If you have lots of sexual partners, that also worsens the odds. Gardasil is not a cure-all. At best it would defeat less than 70 percent of cancers. However, because there are many strains of HPV that are not covered by the vaccine, Gardasil is far from fool-proof. So far, the results are 17-45 percent fewer cervical abnormalities all told in the ongoing study. Also, replacement disease could well be an issue, and no-one knows how long the vaccine will be effective. And if your daughter had HPV going in (testing is not required prior to vaccine) she has upwards of an 11 percent increased risk of the infection becoming precancerous. My advice? If you have any family history of autoimmune or neurological disease, run like hell. If your kids lead a sane lifestyle, don't smoke, and eat well, think hard. If your kid refuses to eat her fruit and veggies, smokes, likes lots of partners, and sleeps two hours a night, it's probably worthwhile.