Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Backlash Against Texas HPV Vaccine Law Continues

In response to the Executive Order requiring HPV vaccination for Texas schoolgirls, legislation has been proposed in the state that would prohibit HPV vaccination status from being used as a condition for public school enrollment. Other legislators are expressing concern that the issue wasn't properly reviewed and asking the Governor to rescind the order, as evidenced in this Dallas News piece - " State Sen. Jane Nelson (R), chairwoman of the Senate's health and human services committee, said lawmakers should have been allowed to hear from doctors, scientists and patients before the state implemented such a sweeping mandate. 'This is not an emergency,' said Ms. Nelson, R-Grapevine. 'It needs to be discussed and debated.'"

TX Governor Rick Perry has released the following statement in response to critics:
“Never before have we had an opportunity to prevent cancer with a simple vaccine. While I understand the concerns expressed by some, I stand firmly on the side of protecting life. The HPV vaccine does not promote sex, it protects women’s health. In the past, young women who have abstained from sex until marriage have contracted HPV from their husbands and faced the difficult task of defeating cervical cancer. This vaccine prevents that from happening.

“Providing the HPV vaccine doesn’t promote sexual promiscuity anymore than providing the Hepatitis B vaccine promotes drug use. If the medical community developed a vaccine for lung cancer, would the same critics oppose it claiming it would encourage smoking?

“Finally, parents need to know that they have the final decision about whether or not their daughter is vaccinated. I am a strong believer in protecting parental rights, which is why this executive order allows them to opt out.”

  • Pro-vaccination editorial in the Austin Statesman
  • Supportive editorial from the New York Times

    Previous Related Posts: (see links for additional HPV information resources)
  • American Cancer Society Issues New HPV Vaccine Guidelines
  • FDA Approves First Vaccine Against HPV, Leading Cause of Cervical Cancer
  • Status of HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer Prevention
  • One Vaccine, 100 Voices - HPV Vaccines and Screening in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer
  • CDC Recommends HPV Vaccination, Backlash Continues
  • FDA Committee Recommends Approval of HPV Vaccine

    Blogger DaveScot said...

    This vaccine also protects boys against genital warts and prevents them from being carriers of the more virulent forms of the HPV virus that cause cancer.

    By mandating that only girls get the vaccine Perry is violating the constitutional right to equal protection under the law. His executive order can and should be nullified by that alone.

    3:22 PM  
    Blogger Rachel said...

    That's an interesting point, although the vaccine is only now being studied in boys and so does not have FDA approval for use in boys and men. As such, it couldn't be required for boys. If it were approved for use in boys and the law didn't include them, your point would definitely be an issue. By the way, please see the updated post of my concerns about the law, and thanks for commenting.

    3:26 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's driving me crazy that the statement that the HPV is transmitted "only sexually" is in every news story when that statement is FALSE.

    The HPV can live outside the body for several minutes and, in addition to being transmitable through intercourse, it can also be transmitted from an infected/active person to an uninfected person by sharing a towel or a jacuzzi or any other warm, moist infected surface that can come into direct contact with a male's or female's private parts.

    While sexual transmission is probably the most common method, focusing on it as the only method is strongly contributing to the ignorant "controversy" over whether to make it mandatory or available at all.

    8:43 PM  

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