It's a rite of passage, the stuff of Norman Rockwell paintings. From birth through old age, we stoically endure the jabs of needles meant to ward off disease of one kind or another. Yet vaccines occupy a tenuous position in many Americans' psyches.
Two years after its introduction, the so-called "cervical cancer" vaccine, Gardasil, has found itself squarely in the crosshairs. Previously healthy girls, playing soccer and going to prom, are suddenly falling ill, struck by incomprehensibly tragic diseases. Many are paralyzed, a number of them have died.