Before I start on this rant, I will make this disclaimer. I do not think that anyone should ever have to suffer any form of cancer, cervical or otherwise. I am not of the belief that receiving Gardasil will encourage promiscuity in my children.
I am deeply concerned with the recent decision of Gov. Perry to completely usurp the traditional means by which we pass laws in Texas and order an executive mandate that all girls reaching the age of 6th grade MUST be vaccinated against HPV.
Last I checked, we lived in a country, a state, where parents are deemed responsible for their children. If we neglect our duties as parents, we are to be punished, and rightfully so.
I also recall that we lived in a country of choice. Too many choices, some might say, but choices that are free for us to make.
Whether or not you are the parent who supports vaccines or who does not, this mandate by Gov. Perry can not be seen as anything other than a poor decision on his part.
My husband and I made the decision long ago to vaccinate our children with the recommended vaccines made to us by our pediatrician. We have experienced problems along the way from some of the vaccines, however, my husband and I, along with our doctor, discuss these concerns and most often decide to vaccinate if the health benefits outweigh the possible risks. I respect that others do not feel this way and that they may choose to do something totally different. And because of where we live, they, as well as I, have the freedom to make these choices.
I could oppose this vaccine on religious or moral grounds. However, I don't know the church teaching on it at this time. Aside from the insinuation that providing this vaccine to 11 year old girls will somehow promote promiscuity is a hard sell in my mind. Most 11 year old girls won't inquire as to what each vaccine that she receives does. Therefore, if she doesn't know that she has received Gardasil, she won't know that she is protected against a WHOPPING 4 strains of cervical cancer, which COULD be caused by having close physical contact with someone who is infected. I know alot of pro-family groups may cling to the promiscuity aspect of this but they must consider this.
A young woman may decide to wait until marriage to share that level of intimacy with another person. Unfortunately, the man she decides to marry may have not been as strong, and may in fact have been intimate with others. Therefore, even after marriage, she could be exposed to this virus. The real clincher with HPV is that one not need to have intercourse to contract it. Just close physical contact from the belly down. In theory, even a virgin could develop HPV. This would make a great argument for the vaccine.
I do oppose this vaccine for other reasons.
1. It has not been proven to be effective on very many strains of cervical cancer. Only 4 out of over 100 strands of this virus could be prevented with this vaccine, again IF it is effective. If you end up with cervical cancer, do you really care which strand of HPV you developed it from?
2. The proponents of this vaccine have thrown numbers at us in efforts to "make us aware" of the epidemic that cervical cancer has become... Every year, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of these, sadly, 3,900 women die. While I do not think that even one life lost to this disease is a good thing, let's compare another virus that is more lethal. Influenza.
According to a vaccine awareness site that I visited, 114,000 people are hospitalized each year from the flu. Many more suffer this virus and lose many days of work and or school while trying to heal up curled up in bed with a cup of soup and lots of OTC medications. This site states that of the 114,000 hospitalizations, 36,000 will die. There is a vaccine available for this horrible virus. A virus that kills 90% of people infected over the age of 65. A virus that kills many babies. A virus that in 1919, killed 21 million people world wide. 500,000 Americans.
So, yes, a vaccine is available. And around September, you are reminded to get your flu shot. But are you MANDATED to do so? Some of my family members did receive the flu shot this year. Guess what. We still had the flu travel through our home. The reason? The flu vaccine doesn't cover every strain of the flu. Hmmm.... sound familiar?
Why not legislate against cigarette smoking. Ban it. Take away all cigarettes. We KNOW it causes cancer. Many forms of cancer. More people die from smoking every year. Why haven't you mandated the prohibition of cigarettes? Oh, yeah, tobacco companies are making money.
My question for Mr. Perry is this. Why, dear sir, was this so important to you that you took away the rights of all parents to make medical decisions for their daughters? I can only come to one conclusion. Money. Money for Merck. Money for you. Merck has increased their lobbying expenditures from 125,000 to 250,000! Merck charges 360.00 for each vaccine given. That is a nice little lump sum for Merck, isn't it. 360 X tons of little 11 year old girls = big profits. This site estimates that if this was a national mandate, Merck stands to make 700 million dollars! And what about those who cannot afford your mandate? The state will provide it? In other words, the people of Texas will pay for it.
And let us not forget. Merck has only had this vaccine on the market since July of 2006. That's 7 months, folks. How much research has been done on this vaccine? Or maybe this is a way to get more numbers in? Remember VIOXX? Yes, Merck made that as well.
For more information, check out this website.
And while you are at it, Mr. Perry, please find out why I am helping ExxonMobil rake in 36.5 BILLION dollars in profits this past year, while I am cutting every cent I can so I can feed my family.
Where does a conservative mom vote now?