Friday, February 02, 2007

Texas Governor Orders STD Vaccine For All Girls

Bypassing the Legislature altogether, 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.

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. In addition, he ordered that Medicaid offer Gardasil to women ages 19 to 21.
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.

And for those of you wondering how Gov. Perry has the authority to issue such an order:
By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents’ rights groups...
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. Moody said the Texas Constitution permits the governor, as head of the executive branch, to order other members of the executive branch to adopt rules like this one.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the media, with the public, and I'm sure, eventually a courtroom. Bravo to Gov. Perry for taking the lead on this issue.

See previous WBP posts here.


BuddhistValkyrie said...

Bravo, and amazing. Great move on Perry's part - it's the right thing to do. Now let's just get the boys vaccinated, too!

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.

Anonymous said...

There are ways to obtain religious exemption if one chooses not to get the vaccine for whatever reasons they might have. I think it is errneous to state that it is mandatory, without telling your reading audience that they have a choice to decline by getting an exemption.

Suiauthon said...

Was "BuddhistValkyrie" being sarcastic? Id like to know that. Im currently writting a persuasive paper on this issue. I think that SOME vaccines should be mandatory. We cant conrtol ALL the kids. Some of them are gunn have sex, and its good that they be protected when and if that comes. Parental control? Dont whine about that, that is YOUR (to PARENTS) problem. This vaccine doesnt take away anymore control over your kids than a normal condom would. (I loke to say "condamn", but I dont konw why...)Kids will do it nonetheless; However, this will protect them. My only concern is the EFFECTS! Mr. Perry needs to konw this too. Is it safe? Yes, what he has done DOES seem drastic, but think of what It can do. As I mentioned, its like a condom that protects you from cervical cancer, but is it safe? Also, Someone has to be making money. Is it that bad? Maybe, but as long as it helps people, whats the problem. I need to choose a side. Someone pursuade me, so that I can pursuade my teacher. Otherwise Im gunna flip a coin. Do it in about 1 hour. I'll keep researching for now. My email is: Make the title: Cancer Shot. only if you want to, im not perry, I wont FORCE you too! HA^23