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Texas governor orders HPV vaccinations for schoolgirls

Old 02-03-07, 01:54 PM
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Texas governor orders HPV vaccinations for schoolgirls

Texas governor orders HPV vaccinations for schoolgirls

By Liz Austin Peterson
Associated Press
Published February 3, 2007


AUSTIN, Texas -- Bypassing the Legislature, Gov. Rick Perry on Friday issued an order making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

By using an executive order, the Republican governor 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 6th 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. In addition, he ordered that Medicaid offer Gardasil to women ages 19 to 21.

Perry is a conservative Christian who counts on the religious right for his political base. But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different from the one that protects children against polio.

"The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer," Perry said.

Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

One of Merck's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, the governor's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, 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.

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."

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons. Even so, conservative groups say such requirements interfere with parents' rights to make medical decisions for their children.

The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

The New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions in sales if Gardasil--at $360 for the three-shot regimen--were made mandatory nationwide.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...ationworld-hed

A huge thumbs up to Governor Perry. I would have expected the Republican Governor of conservative Texas to be one of the last people to make a move like this, but instead, he stuck his neck on the line by being the first. My hat is off to him, and I hope other states follow his lead.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:02 PM
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Not hard to guess what my position on this is.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:05 PM
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Old 02-03-07, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...ationworld-hed

A huge thumbs up to Governor Perry. I would have expected the Republican Governor of conservative Texas to be one of the last people to make a move like this, but instead, he stuck his neck on the line by being the first. My hat is off to him, and I hope other states follow his lead.
He has ties to Merck. This is just another politician who takes care of the corporations who tell him what to do.

I still want the vaccine to be mandatory nationwide, but this guy isn't doing it out of the goodness of his heart.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:30 PM
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By using an executive order, the Republican governor 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.
People seriously would deny their daughters a vaccine that will eliminate cervical cancer because of fears about premarital sex? Why isn't that considered endangerment of a minor?
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Old 02-03-07, 02:36 PM
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while I agree getting the vaccination is a good idea, I don't like the gov't forcing it on people
it'd be different if HPV was transmitted just by sitting next to someone like some of the airborne diseases they require vaccinations for in order to be enrolled in public school

I'm also against executive orders that tell a person what to do. having them have the force of law is too king/dictator like for my tastes

Last edited by mikehunt; 02-03-07 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
He has ties to Merck. This is just another politician who takes care of the corporations who tell him what to do.

I still want the vaccine to be mandatory nationwide, but this guy isn't doing it out of the goodness of his heart.
until we start electing homeless people to political offices you won't have anyone at that level with no ties.

what kind of ties is it? is he going to get a job at merck after office? just because he has friends at some company doesn't mean it's crooked.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
while I agree getting the vaccination is a good idea
I don't like the gov't forcing it
it'd be different if HPV was transmitted just be sitting next to someone like some of the aiborne diseases they require vaccinations for to be in school

go to the adult forum and read the threads on texas cheerleaders. they're sluts. they need this down there
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Old 02-03-07, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Not hard to guess what my position on this is.
Just taking a wild guess... You would be against this.

I would have to agree.

Hopefully the ACLU will fight this.
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Old 02-03-07, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
until we start electing homeless people to political offices you won't have anyone at that level with no ties.

what kind of ties is it? is he going to get a job at merck after office? just because he has friends at some company doesn't mean it's crooked.
Are you seriously this naive? What if we find out the HPV vaccine was rushed to production and it kills a few hundred girls. And then we find out this guy signed the law because he wanted a generous kickback from Merck and Merck knew the vaccine wasn't really tested thoroughly and just wanted some short-term megaprofits.

I'm not saying this WILL happen, but if I had a kid these days, I'd tell the school to hold off on my kid and I would find an alternative.
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Old 02-03-07, 04:51 PM
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mikehunt: I'm also against executive orders that tell a person what to do.
Ranger: Hopefully the ACLU will fight this.
Regarding the government forcing things on the population and the ACLU fighting this, I really don't think there is anything to fight. The article said they will allow people to opt out based on religious or philosophical reasons.

Dear School System:
I want my daughter exempt from this based on philosophical reasons.
Signed,
A Concerned Parent.

Seems simple to me.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:09 PM
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The governor has ties to a drug company that has some problems.

It's difficult to find a Republican who is not in the hip pocket of the drug companies.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bwvanh114
Regarding the government forcing things on the population and the ACLU fighting this, I really don't think there is anything to fight. The article said they will allow people to opt out based on religious or philosophical reasons.

Dear School System:
I want my daughter exempt from this based on philosophical reasons.
Signed,
A Concerned Parent.

Seems simple to me.

If that's the case, then my opinion changes.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
If that's the case, then my opinion changes.
But if they fuck it up and make it difficult by requiring oral arguments, sworn testimony, etc, then <i>my</i> opinion changes!
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Old 02-03-07, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bwvanh114
Regarding the government forcing things on the population and the ACLU fighting this, I really don't think there is anything to fight. The article said they will allow people to opt out based on religious or philosophical reasons.

Dear School System:
I want my daughter exempt from this based on philosophical reasons.
Signed,
A Concerned Parent.

Seems simple to me.
So it's mandatory, in that it's optional. Makes perfect sense.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bwvanh114
Regarding the government forcing things on the population and the ACLU fighting this, I really don't think there is anything to fight. The article said they will allow people to opt out based on religious or philosophical reasons.

Dear School System:
I want my daughter exempt from this based on philosophical reasons.
Signed,
A Concerned Parent.

Seems simple to me.
I don't think so:

Originally Posted by The Article
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."

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons. Even so, conservative groups say such requirements interfere with parents' rights to make medical decisions for their children.

One of the lawyers on the forum can correct me if I am wrong (and they probably will ) but filing an affadavit /= sending a note to the school.
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Old 02-03-07, 06:04 PM
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I did a little reading on this. A few fun facts:

Gardasil protects against 4 types of HPV. 2 are linked with cancer and 2 cause genital warts. The vaccine appears to protect against the remaining types even if the patient already had contracted one or more types.

The HPV types this vaccine protects against are suspected to cause 70% of cervical cancer.

It is estimated 270K women die of cervical cancer annually world wide. 3700 die in the US. The lower death rates is largely due to routine use of pap smears in the US.

HPV is also linked to anal cancer. Gay and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men, with a rate around the same rate as women's cervical cancer prior to routine pap smear usage.

Australia has already approved funding to provide the vaccine to all girls 12-26. It has approved the vaccine for use with boys 12+ but no provided funding.

From my days of listening to Loveline I recall Dr. Drew would frequently say that 50% of young urban people have HPV. Adam always said Drew made that up because he probably has HPV.
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Old 02-03-07, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bwvanh114
Regarding the government forcing things on the population and the ACLU fighting this, I really don't think there is anything to fight. The article said they will allow people to opt out based on religious or philosophical reasons.

Dear School System:
I want my daughter exempt from this based on philosophical reasons.
Signed,
A Concerned Parent.

Seems simple to me.
I prefer things to be opt-in
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Old 02-03-07, 06:07 PM
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I don't know enough about the vaccine to have a well informed opinion, but in general I prefer that California do this type of stuff for 10 years first to see how it goes. Wood dust is known to cause nasal cancer....and yet California does nothing.
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Old 02-03-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I don't know enough about the vaccine to have a well informed opinion, but in general I prefer that California do this type of stuff for 10 years first to see how it goes. Wood dust is known to cause nasal cancer....and yet California does nothing.

California hasn't banned wood yet? That's surprising.
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Old 02-03-07, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
California hasn't banned wood yet? That's surprising.
or ?
I have no problem with improving the health of the people
money has certainly been wasted on worse things
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Old 02-03-07, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
until we start electing homeless people to political offices you won't have anyone at that level with no ties.

what kind of ties is it? is he going to get a job at merck after office? just because he has friends at some company doesn't mean it's crooked.
From msnbc.com

"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 New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions in sales if Gardasil — at $360 for the three-shot regimen — were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.

Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore would not say how much the company is spending on lobbyists or how much it has donated to Women in Government. Susan Crosby, the group’s president, also declined to specify how much the drug company gave.

A top official from Merck’s vaccine division sits on Women in Government’s business council, and many of the bills around the country have been introduced by members of Women in Government."
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Old 02-03-07, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
One of the lawyers on the forum can correct me if I am wrong (and they probably will ) but filing an affadavit /= sending a note to the school.
A parent simply has to inform the district in writing that the child is exempt for religious or medical reasons. If there is an outbreak, that child will be removed from the school.
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Old 02-03-07, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
The governor also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign."
Yeah, that's what probably did it.
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Old 02-04-07, 07:50 AM
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The drug companies contributed 50 million dollars to political campaigns. Almost all of it went to - I'll let you guess which party.
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