Michigan Kills HPV Mandate

"The [HPV} vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in girls as young 9 and up to 26. A government advisory panel recommends that the vaccine be administered before girls become sexually active. However, no sixth-grade girl should be sexually active. Admittedly, probably some kids at this age are. Hopefully a minority of the girls. Why force the vaccine on all youngsters that age? Again, the decision to get the shot should be left up to the parents, who we would suggest urge abstinence at such a young age.....This vaccination is a parental and family decision. It belongs in the house and not the state House." - Dec. 27, 2006 EDITORIAL, The Oakland Press (Michigan)

"The legislation [to mandate HPV vaccine], sponsored by Sen. Bev Hammerstron (R-Temperance) passed 36-1 in the [Michigan] Senate back on Sept. 20. The legislation included an amendment that allowed parents to opt out if so desired. However, there continued to be strong opposition to the bill in the House. The basis of the opposition was that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only approved the vaccine in June of this year, and there are claims that some individuals have had negative reactions to the vaccine. What's more, the virus is spread through sexual contact, and some view the idea of presenting the vaccine to girls in schools as a subtle signal that they're expected to be sexually active." - Legislative Update from Sue Waltman, founder, MOM (Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines).

Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:

During the past few months, Michigan parents took the time and made the effort to educate Michigan state legislators about the potential risks of HPV vaccine and the inappropriate attempt by those trying to persuade politicians to mandate the vaccine for all sixth grade girls. The vaccine education effort was spearheaded by Michigan Opposting Mandatory Vaccination (MOM) headed by Sue Waltman, who has been a longtime informed consent advocate working in Michigan to defend parents' right to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions.

When state legislators have full and accurate information about the benefits and risks of new vaccines that state health officials and drug companies want to mandate supplied by citizens who will be affected by those mandates, legislators often make different choices than if they only hear from drug company and physician organization lobbyists, who profit from vaccine mandates. It is extremely important for citizens in every state to understand that they CAN affect the choices their legislators make with regard to new vaccine mandates IF they stand up and make their voices heard.

Congratulations to MOM and the other parents and activist citizens in Michigan who cared enough about protecting their informed consent rights to fight for them.

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