Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Texans Still Opposed to Perry's HPV Plan


Here's an update on a previous post.

I saw this on ABC News:
Texans Still Opposed to Perry's HPV Plan

HOUSTON, March 13, 2007
When Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided to request state funding for the HPV vaccine, many were surprised. It seemed an unlikely move for the conservative governor.

The decision immediately became controversial, and now the Texas House of Representatives has voted 119-21 to pass legislation to overturn Perry's executive order requiring school age girls to get the HPV vaccine.

The uproar over Perry's decision was almost instantaneous.

Since cervical cancer is sexually transmitted, some feel requiring vaccination might lead to young girls becoming sexually active sooner. Others believe the vaccine is too new — not enough is known about it to make it mandatory. (Emphasis mine)

Rest of the article here:

My whole problem with My Perry's executive order is this:

1. Forcing any medical treatment, protocol, procedure, ET ALL on the people, for whatever reason is not right. Pure and simple. If there had been discussion and this was the popular vote I could accept it. But this was one man's decision. One man with his hand in the pocket book of the drug company that is about to make millions in his state alone!

2. This vaccine hasn't been tested enough, in my opinion, to promote it as widely as it is. Coinciding with the drug company's ads, the push by state government's to get this vaccine mandatory, is to me, suspicious at best. There are many who will vaccinate their girls. And that's their right. There are many who won't, and that should be their choice. After a few years, let's look at the data again. If there is NO doubt this vaccine is safe, fine, introduce legislation if you want. But let's get some more data first.

3. We are not in the middle of an epidemic of cervical cancer! Yes, it is a terrible disease, and yes, many women die of it every year. But we need to promote PAP smears and other tests to find it early! I'd rather see an education program promoting PAP testing, funding for free testing, and even home testing rather than funding a vaccine that hasn't been proven safe and effective in the long term.

4. HPV Does NOT cause ALL cervical cancers. It does seem to cause about 70% of the cases, but this vaccine does NOT protect against all strains, not even all that are believed to be a risk for cancer!

5. This has turned into a sexist issue. Men can be infected, and can spread HPV, sometimes without even knowing they are infected. So, shouldn't the boys be vaccinated also?

6. This is a personal issue. If you want your child to get this, fine. If you want your child to wait for whatever the reason, it should also be fine. The bill apparently allows parents to "opt out" of the vaccine, but they should, instead, have to "opt in". This, to me, is the most important reason that this bill needs to be overturned.

Here's some screen shots of the ads for Gardasil on Merck's home page.