But it's true. MSNBC reports, that, by executive order of Texas governor Perry,
Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade — meaning, generally, girls ages 11 and 12 — will have to receive Gardasil, Merck & Co.’s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.Perry is quoted as saying
the cervical cancer vaccine is no different from the one that protects children against polio.Why did the governor mandate the vaccine?
Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.So, why are just girls being targeted?
A recent study found that 90 percent of cervical cancer cases could be eliminated if boys and girls got the vaccine. If only girls get it, just more than three quarters of cases would be eliminated.This vaccine has NOT been studied long enough, something even the manufacturer admits.
Markman acknowledged that though doctors don't know how long the vaccine will remain effective and if or when booster shots will be needed, those questions will be answered. He noted the women in the original trial are being monitored to determine if the vaccine is still working. But another area doctor, Dr. Martin Myers, said it's "a little premature" to mandate the vaccine.One of the MANY troubles with this vaccine approach to protection is that the same girls who are susceptible to infection with HPV (sexually active) are also exposed to:
"This vaccine is an incredibly important milestone and making it compulsory will definitely increase the proportion of girls who are immunized," said Myers, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and executive director of the National Network for Immunization Information. "But there's a difference between HPV and diseases like polio, measles and diptheria, which spread rapidly in classrooms."
Myers also cited concerns that the vaccine could cause women to stop going in for cervical screenings, which are still necessary because the vaccine doesn't cover all HPV strains.
- gonorrhea - many strains not curable by antibiotics
- herpes - NOT curable
- syphillis - many strains not curable by antibiotics
- and PID, to just name a few
This whole situation stinks of cronyism, overkill, and over-reaching by the heavy hand of government. Parents are the ones who are in charge of their children's health, not the government. The effectiveness of this vaccine has not been studied long enough to impose it on anyone. Further, I can see that girls, who will be under the impression that they can have sex without consequences, will be more easily persuaded to engage in riskier sex practices (non-condom sex, multiple partners).
What's next, mandatory Depo-Provera shots?
But, it's (let's all chant it together)
FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!
For fun, read an imaginary conversation between Lisa Simpson and the Gov.
And TailRank has a round-up of many blogger's reactions.