Texas governor orders

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    STD vaccine for all girls:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16948093/wid/11915773?GT1=9033

    Texas governor orders STD vaccine for all girls
    Decision comes after maker of cervical cancer shot doubled lobbying efforts
    AUSTIN, Texas - Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

    By employing an executive order, Perry 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 sixth 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, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion and stem-cell research using embryonic cells, 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.

    Perry tied to Merck
    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 order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it, said Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody. Moody said the Texas Constitution permits the governor, as head of the executive branch, to order other members of the executive branch to adopt rules like this one.

    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.”

    Opt-out option for parents
    Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons. Even with such provisions, however, 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 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.

    © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  2. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I read that today. To be honest, I am disgusted with him. Yes, a vaccine is good. No I don't think it will make my daughter sleep around any more than she would have without it BUT this is a very new vaccine. I do not trust it yet.

    They have come out with all kinds of strange things that can happen from normal child hood vaccines.

    I won't make my child take it. She has enough problems. I'm not potentially adding to them because some pompous @#$$ decided all kids should do it because he made money from the company that makes it.

    Steph /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
     
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    seems to me there are so many more important things to do than REQUIRE something like this... make it available yes...not required...

    I agree Steph... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
     
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I actually think it is a good idea. This way the insurance companies will have to cover it which is good since it is a very expensive vaccine.

    It will also have to be made available through the health department so those without health insurance can still protect their daughters from cervical cancer.

    Since parents can still waive the requirement, it seems like a win/win situation for all.

    ~Kathy
     
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Wish there was a vaccine for the boys too.
    I remember standing in line for sugar cubes with anti polio vaccines. Except people were coming in droves in hope to get this vaccine to prevent the horrid scourge of polio. It wasn't a debate. People clamored for it.

    Unfortunately, I don't trust the motives of politicians.
     
  6. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Rick Perry recieved a sizable contribution from Merck when he ran this last time.

    Now, he's going to make them a bunch of money. I hate that man.

    Fran,
    I have heard they are making one for boys too it just isn't out yet. I'm sure they will have enough money to mass produce it soon since Rick is helping them with the girl version.

    steph
     
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I have pretty good insurance and it doesn't cover required vaccines. I foot the whole bill.
     
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    I think a vaccine to stop cancer is great. I don't think he should've shoved it down peoples throats like this.
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm with Fran - I think the vaccine should be for boys too. After all, it's girls catching it from boys that causes cervical cancer.

    Our kids in Australia got this last year. I think, because it was just coming in, that it was also made available to older kids. I think easy child 2/difficult child 2 has had it. I'm not sure, I think our boys had it too. We could have refused but we would have needed a strong reason. In general, our vaccinations are mandatory. Only a strong medical reason will get you out of it. A parent refusing on principle- you CAN do it here, but you get penalised by the system and may even have to home-school your child.

    It was an Aussie researcher whose team first made the connection between cervical cancer and HPV - I knew her from work, so I've followed the story.

    Important to bear in mind - this vaccine only protects against one particular strain of HPV. It won't protect against all, just the most common one. I think they're still working on the other viruses.

    So it's still important to have regular Pap smears. Other things can go wrong, too, and the pap test is a good way to pick things up. I reckon every girl who is sleeping with a boy from a young age should take that boy with her to the gynaecological exam, so he can see what she has to do to stay healthy. Males are so squeamish about their own sexual health and women would be a lot better off if males were more responsible.

    I just checked with husband - our vaccination program is still happening, they did girls at puberty in schools last year (compulsory, like all our others). They're not doing boys, just the essentials for now. Older girls - they're still doing them but THEY have to front up to their doctor for the free shot. easy child is just outside the age range, I suspect on the grounds that by her age, most girls have already been exposed to HPV so it's pointless. She can still get it if she chooses, but not for free.

    Marg
     
  10. kris

    kris New Member

    <font color="brown">well i hope our new governor takes a page from the guy in texas & mandates this vaccine.

    i don't mind merk making money on this because they won't be making money on chemo medications/pain medications, etc. a lot of pain & suffering will be averted due to this vaccine. as a matter of fact i've been talking to sarah about getting started with-this as soon as she has a day off from school & can schedule an appointment. girls will be vaccinated that wouldn't have been.....very possibly saving their lives & tons of grief for their families.

    kris </font>
     
  11. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    my only problem with "requiring" it is I'm not sure if we know enough about long term effects.
    I was one of those whose German measles vaccine didn't "take". I didn't find out about that until I was pregnant with my first - had to be revaccinated after I gave birth, and was worried the whole time I was pregnant that I'd be exposed.
    Evidently, my mumps vaccine also didn't take.
    My kids both had chicken pox before the vaccine came out, so I didn't have to worry about that one.

    I guess I'd just like a little more history behind something before making it a requirement.
     
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree 100%, kris. And even if the insurance companies won't be required to cover it, the health department would have to offer it to school aged girls. I don't think any state would be allowed to refuse entrance to school because a family cannot afford the vaccination cost.

    In Georgia, anyone can have their children vaccinated at the local health department for a very low cost. My pediatrician even suggested it when my children were young to avoid the copay but it wasn't worth an extra trip to me. By mandating it as a requirement for school enrollment, it seems like it would make it possible for even low-income families to protect their children.

    by the way, for those with young girl difficult children, they will grow up and they will have sex (and probably not the wait until marriage kind) and getting the vaccination when they are young might save their lives. I have suggested the vaccination to both easy child and difficult child and they have both opted not to get it (easy child is scared of needles) and difficult child is, well, a difficult child.

    I wish I could have just included it as another shot during their childhood vaccinations.

    ~Kathy
     
  13. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    If this were a vaccine that prevented skin cancer in girls or brain cancer in girls would there be such an uproar?
    People get a little over the top when it has to do with something that might be considered sexual. This isn't sexual. It's health.
     
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I wish they had something like this when my own daughter was young enough for it have done her some good. As for REQUIRING it ... I'm still undecided about that part. IF it is completely safe (and who really knows at this point) and IF parents who have strong objections can opt out of it for their own children ... well ... all I know is that if my own daughter were very young again, and if there were a chance to possibly protect her from getting cervical cancer later on in life, I'd consider it to be a blessing and go for it. Imagine! A vaccine that can actually PREVENT a form of cancer! Maybe in a few years there will be vaccines against other forms of cancer!

    I know that many people feel that giving the innoculations is like giving their approval for their young daughters to have sex! I don't see it that way at all. The way I understood it was that it was most effective with very young girls who were not yet sexually active, on the assumption that it would protect them later in life when they did become sexually active.

    I hardly think that the fear of getting cervical cancer when they are older will prevent very many young girls from having sex, or that removing that "fear" will free them up to party their lives away! Fear of pregnancy or STDs may make some of them think twice about becoming sexually active, but not a fear of cervical cancer. I know that when I was a kid, nobody that young worried about getting cervical cancer "someday". That was very, very remote, like something you might have to worry about when you were much older ... like "senility". I know that younger women can get it too ... maybe what we need is more information and education on the subject. But personally, if it were MY daughter, I'd go for it!
     
  15. kris

    kris New Member

    <font color="blue">sarah is terrified of the prospect...bad memories of her hep B series. she will when she goes to the doctor discuss it with-him. she seems to be coming around tho i'll have to wait & see when she gets right up to it lol.

    kris </font>
     
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think it took guts, and I hope that they will make it mandatory for school attendance. If people have objections they can use the same process they do for avoiding the other vaccinations.
     
  17. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    The studies have been ongoing for just 5 years. There is no knowledge about any long term effects or how long the vaccine will last.

    Considering the median age for first intercours is 17.4 for American girls, a whole lot of girls will have a been given the drug without need. If it turns out not to be effective over time, some might need a booster shot before they ever have sex. But we don't know that yet.

    I think twelve is too young to require the vaccination. Some girls should have it that early and it should be made available. But many -- most -- won't need it until after they are 15 or so. I suppose the right thing is to make it manadatory but I wouldn't like to be first in line to give my 12 year old a vaccine that had been tested on ....what? ...3000(?) women for a disease she likely wouldn't be exposed to for 3-4 years if not further down the road.

    I would like to see the State through the school districts strongly suggest that girls get the vaccine at 12, have the State make it available free at that age, but not make it mandatory until 15 or so.

    Marguerite,
    The vaccine now mandatory in Texas blocks two types of HPV (16 & 18) that cause cancer and two types that cause genital warts. That should prevent 70% of the cervical cancer and 90% of the warts. I believe there was an earlier one that only prevented HPV-18.
     
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sad to say I always remember Thalidomine (spelling). Some
    years have to pass before the side effects are known. It makes me nervous when government mandates. Thank heavens I
    am not raising any girls! DDD
     
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We were lucky with thalidomide - because our gov't insists on doing Aussie-only testing, it wasn't officially released in Australia when Germany and the US got hit with the first batch of phocomelia babies. But the Aussie doctor who claimed part of the discovery had been given some free samples (advance release) from the drug company and liberally handed them out to his patients. He noticed a sudden massive increase in phocomelia babies born to his patients and contacted Lancet. (Some claim that he also read the results of a German team's observations at about the same time, which prompted his letter). Our bloke has equal recognition for the discovery (a bit controversial now).

    In this case, the Aussies have had it either at the same time or slightly earlier than you guys. So if there is fallout, we'll see it early too. No protection for us this time.

    It's not a drug though, it's an immunisation. As such, it shouldn't need a booster. We get tetanus boosters because lifelong protection doesn't come easy, but with HPV any subsequent exposure will act as a booster, on top of an immunisation. Some people are exposed to it and never develop warts because they have a natural high immunity.

    Marg
     
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    For years, as payers of increasingly higher premiums for health insurance, we've clamored about being proactive towards 'preventative medicine'.

    If paying for a vaccine now for my two daughter's will save them and thier insurance company money later because they haven't contracted a disease that causes cervical cancer, then I am all for it.

    Fortunately, my insurance covers the costs of this vaccine. My dds' are 17 and 19, just at the gates of exploring thier sexuality. I have no guarantees that they will only have one or two partners - not in todays world and definitely with a difficult child. And if they are fortunate to only have one or two sexual partners, who's to say how many those young men have had?

    My neice contracted HPV at 19 and continues to have bi-annual cervical cancer screenings due to this. She has had her cervix 'scraped' and a portion removed due to pre-cancerous cells found.

    I realise there are risks involved with every vaccine, as neither of my girls received the DPT series - only partials due to a bad reaction with easy child's first shot at 2 months. It wasn't a big deal to simply say no back in '88-'89 and thier DR really didn't care for the note of explanation and, really, what's the big deal with writing a simple note?

    I think the rush to get this particular vaccine out there and approved and make it required has a lot more to do with preventing cervical cancers.

    Nowhere anywhere is anyone ever going to do anything like this for free; of course someone is making money on it.
     
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