Gov. Rick Perry's executive order that mandates all girls between the ages of 11 & 12 receive Merck's new Gardasil vaccine is causing quite a debate in Texas and around the world. The HPV vaccine given in 3 shots over a period of 6 months is revolutionary, no doubt. it has the potential to save thousands of women from cervical cancer. that is not the issue - everyone can agree that this is a great medical breakthrough. it's the fact that Gov. Perry made an executive order with no discussion or debate or looking at the pros and cons. All but five of the state's 31 senators, including the Democrat who filed a bill last fall proposing a similar requirement, signed a letter delivered today urging him to withdraw the order.
i don't feel like it is a bad idea for young girls to get it and i don't think by giving it to a girl, it will cause her to be a sex crazed teen. but my concerns are what are the long term effects? how long does the vaccine last? will women have to get vaccinated again later? the current studies are only 4 yrs long. it is also very expensive. (about $360 for the series.)
Most importantly, why is Gov. Perry so adamant and quick at this executive order? He has been known to be slow to decisions, cautious, and conservative. Could it be related to the fact that Perry received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign? or that one of Merck's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. or that the governor's current chief of staff's mother-in-law, state Representative Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government? All too convenient, huh?
any thoughts? comments?
source: News 8 Austin & Associate Press
Wednesday, February 07, 2007