Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Massachusetts Legislature is at it again

Within the last year, several states including Virginia and Texas looked at requiring the HPV vaccine. Texas was especially undemocratic in that Governor Perry, a Republican (well, he has an R after his name) signed an executive order mandating that sixth grade girls get the vaccine. The Texas legislature passed a bill overriding his executive order. The other HPV bill in Virginia went down to defeat too.

So, you would think that the MA legislature would have learned from the other states' experiences. Guess not.

Among the concerns:

* There is strong feeling the drug has NOT been inadequately tested. It's unknown what long-term side effects might be.
* There are dozens of strains of HPV, but this only protects against four of them and not the others.
* What are the emotional and psychological effects on giving an 11-year-old girl a "vaccine" for a sexually transmitted disease?
* Boys can also be carriers of HPV - what about them?

This bill is being pushed in Massachusetts and other states across the country by the drug giant Merck, the only company making a vaccine for HPV. Merck appears to be spending enormous amounts of money in lobbying efforts across the country, and sales of the drug could reach $4 billion according to some estimates.

Here is some background on the issue from various sources

Three girls have died and several others hospitalized after being vaccinated.

MassResistance (a parents' rights watchgroup here in Massachusetts) reported on it after a hearing was held at the Statehouse last week

Another Catholic mom and blogger (who is also a doctor) is in favor of the vaccine but not for making it mandatory.

Overturn RP65 is a blog started by a Texan to track the progress of the effort to overturn Governor Perry's executive order.

The Senator who has sponsered the bill is Richard Moore, in case you want to contact him with questions. I know I do.

1 comment:

Karin said...

I too am for the vaccine but do not feel that it should be "mandatory"