Sunday, February 04, 2007

TX Governor Rick Perry mandates cervical cancer vaccine for girls

I suspect some monetary windfalls. Buzzflash might get some more copy cats with this latest idiocy!
As someone mentioned, this doesn't pass the smell test:

"Bypassing the Texas Legislature, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order
Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get
vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical
cancer.By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the
Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear such a
requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans
raise their children.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 also directed state health authorities to make
the vaccine available free to girls 9 to 18 who are uninsured or whose
insurance does not cover vaccines. He also ordered that Medicaid offer
Gardasil to women ages 19 to 21."


"Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.The governor also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.The order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it, said Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody.Legislative aides said they are looking for ways around the order for parents who oppose it.''He's circumventing the will of the people,'' said Dawn Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education, a citizens group that fought for the right to opt out of other vaccine requirements. ''There are bills filed. There's no emergency except in the boardrooms of Merck, where this is failing to gain the support that they had expected.''The federal government approved Gardasil in June. "

The Boston Herald inquired a little further.

Now this is what I had written to send in to the Austin-American Statesmand but they accept letters to the editor with only 150 words. At this point I would need to do a little editing..ehem!

Having this mandated vaccination law actually undermines the validity of the abstinence programs here in Texas which actively misrepresent the effectiveness of using condoms (negatively) or not mention condoms at all. (See Human Rights Watch Report To me, it seems like a backwards way to ensure the same thing. Instead of educating and informing children about the dangers of sexual activities (the various sexually transmitted diseases, emotional and inter-social effects), and/or the prevention of them, be they abstinence or proper protection using condoms, the Perry administration sooner inject girls with a vaccine who’s long-term efficacy has not been proven. It is like a parent who’d rather sneak in ‘the pill’ in his/her daughter’s food rather than talk straight about the birds and the bees!
Now to the mandate of vaccination. First of all, since this is not a contagious disease such as Hep A, I am opposed to having this be mandatory. According to the American Cancer Society, they estimate 940 new cases of Uterine/Cervix cancer. Their report on estimated new cancer cases for selected sites in the US for the year 2007 shows that Texas has the highest number in the country. The overall estimated number of new cases in the whole of the US is 11,150. This from an overall population of 300 million Americans and the number is split between uterus and cervical cancer. If the relation of the HPV virus to the cervical cancer is because of sexual transmitted disease, then clearly, knowing the high rate of teen pregnancy in the state of Texas, a vaccination program is not the answer to the root of the problem. Social and educational issues can eliminate a whole slew of issues surrounding teen pregnancies and teen sexual transmitted diseases, some of them, which lead to cervical cancer. Also, the information surrounding the efficacy of this vaccination is suspect, please check out the National Vaccination Information Center.
Mandating this vaccine will only make the rates go up for health insurance and I would be curious to know how much money Merck spends in campaign donations. If anyone looks at funding they deem important and necessary here in Texas, anyone can find areas that can benefit so much more from the millions of dollars that will be spend on these vaccinations: law enforcement, education, increased health coverage for the uninsured you name it. Oh hey, and honest and effective sex education programs! I will not have my daughter be vaccinated. I will do my parental job and talk with her about sex, the pressure of having sex at a young age, and boys! If I could, I would mandate that men and especially the Perry administration watch a few Oprah episodes. Maybe they will learn what goes on with teenagers today in this country.

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Blogger zazou said...

here's my question- just how safe isthis vaccine, anyway? Is it like the shotsthe marines were supposed to take that actually made some of them very sick?

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this still America ? This is not a real solution. This vaccine has yet to prove itself. One question I have for Rick Perry-- IS HE WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK THAT IF THIS DRUG HAS DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS TO THE YOUNG GIRLS IN HIS STATE IN THE FUTURE IS HE WILLING TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS ?

8:18 PM  
Anonymous stickdog said...

The Facts About GARDASIL

1) GARDASIL is a vaccine for 4 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), two strains that are strongly associated (and probably cause) genital warts and two strains that are typically associated (and may cause) cervical cancer. About 90% of people with genital warts show exposure to one of the two HPV strains strongly suspected to cause genital warts. About 70% of women with cervical cancer show exposure to one of the other two HPV strains that the vaccine is designed to confer resistance to.

2) HPV is a sexually communicable (not an infectious) virus. When you consider all strains of HPV, over 70% of sexually active males and females have been exposed. A condom helps a lot (70% less likely to get it), but has not been shown to stop transmission in all cases (only one study of 82 college girls who self-reported about condom use has been done). For the vast majority of women, exposure to HPV strains (even the four “bad ones” protected for in GARDASIL) results in no known health complications of any kind.

3) Cervical cancer is not a deadly nor prevalent cancer in the US or any other first world nation. Cervical cancer rates have declined sharply over the last 30 years and are still declining. Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1% of of all female cancer cases and deaths in the US. Cervical cancer is typically very treatable and the prognosis for a healthy outcome is good. The typical exceptions to this case are old women, women who are already unhealthy and women who don’t get pap smears until after the cancer has existed for many years.

4) Merck’s clinical studies for GARDASIL were problematic in several ways. Only 20,541 women were used (half got the “placebo”) and their health was followed up for only four years at maximum and typically 1-3 years only. More critically, only 1,121 of these subjects were less than 16. The younger subjects were only followed up for a maximum of 18 months. Furthermore, less than 10% of these subjects received true placebo injections. The others were given injections containing an aluminum salt adjuvant (vaccine enhancer) that is also a component of GARDASIL. This is scientifically preposterous, especially when you consider that similar alum adjuvants are suspected to be responsible for Gulf War disease and other possible vaccination related complications.

5) Both the “placebo” groups and the vaccination groups reported a myriad of short term and medium term health problems over the course of their evaluations. The majority of both groups reported minor health complications near the injection site or near the time of the injection. Among the vaccination group, reports of such complications were slightly higher. The small sample that was given a real placebo reported far fewer complications — as in less than half. Furthermore, most if not all longer term complications were written off as not being potentially vaccine caused for all subjects.

6) Because the pool of test subjects was so small and the rates of cervical cancer are so low, NOT A SINGLE CONTROL SUBJECT ACTUALLY CONTRACTED CERVICAL CANCER IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM — MUCH LESS DIED OF IT. Instead, this vaccine’s supposed efficacy is based on the fact that the vaccinated group ended up with far fewer cases (5 vs. about 200) of genital warts and “precancerous lesions” (dysplasias) than the alum injected “control” subjects.

7) Because the tests included just four years of follow up at most, the long term effects and efficacy of this vaccine are completely unknown for anyone. All but the shortest term effects are completely unknown for little girls. Considering the tiny size of youngster study, the data about the shortest terms side effects for girls are also dubious.

8) GARDASIL is the most expensive vaccine ever marketed. It requires three vaccinations at $120 a pop for a total price tag of $360. It is expected to be Merck’s biggest cash cow of this and the next decade.

These are simply the facts of the situation as presented by Merck and the FDA.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Sornie said...

It seems to me that while the basic idea is to protect women from a preventable illness, the reasons behind the governor's tactics are poor at best. He stands to profit quite handsomely from something that, if made mandatory, could be quite a financial hardship for many.

5:40 PM  

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