Opponents Rally Against Texas Forcing Sixth Grade Girls to Receive Unnecessary HPV Vaccine

Earlier this month, Texas became the first state to require girls to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil. The mandate says that 11- and 12-year-old girls must receive the vaccine in order to enter sixth grade, beginning in September 2008. Meanwhile, state health authorities must make the vaccine available for free to girls aged 9 to 18 who are uninsured, and Medicaid must offer Gardasil to women aged 19 to 21.

Not surprisingly, Merck, the vaccine’s maker, has been lobbying intensely not only in Texas but in 18 states across the country. So, if you’re thinking that this only applies to people in Texas, think again. The lobbyists have likely been hard at work in your state too!

The good news is that a group of politicians and consumer groups have spoken up against the mandate, calling it a violation of parents’ rights with the potential to promote promiscuity. In case you aren’t familiar with HPV, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that’s virtually 100 percent avoidable without a vaccine. Plus, most cases of the infection clear up on their own.

The Gardasil vaccine, however, has only been on the market since June 2006, and there are already 82 reports of serious adverse events filed with the FDA following the administration of this vaccine.

Bills have already been filed to override this outrageous mandate, but you can also help spread the word about this worthless vaccine by writing letters to your local newspapers and calling in to voice your opinion on TV and radio shows. Consumer advocacy group PROVE (Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education) has put together a useful list of talking points for those who are interested.

Also, in another positive move, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) will be sending a letter of opposition to the Texas governor. It's being signed by a newly formed coalition of medical, taxpayer, privacy, civil liberties, health freedom, and good government groups called the "Hands Off Our Kids Coalition." The major reasons for their objections to the HPV vaccine mandate are straightforward and right on target:

    1. This vaccine mandate violates parental rights, informed consent & privacy
    2. The efficacy and safety of this specific vaccine are unproven
    3. It is an unjustified expansion of the taxpayers' burden
    4. Constitutes an unwarranted overreaching of executive power
    5. Violates sunshine-in-government

Yahoo News February 5, 2007

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