Speaking Out Against HPV Mandates

"Legislation mandating the HPV vaccine for pre-adolescent schoolgirls is pending in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Those who advocate it are quick to note that parents can opt out of the program. But few can say exactly how many bureaucratic hoops a parent will have to jump through to do that. Besides, why should the onus be on the parents to figure out how not to be in a government-mandated program? In New Hampshire, parents opt in -- and the burden is on the government to show how the vaccine can benefit their children....So are New Hampshire residents somehow smarter and better able to develop effective public health programs? Are they more concerned about their children than the rest of us? Hardly. What they have that we do not is the right attitude. They take their state motto seriously: "Live Free or Die," while too many of us are content to live and die as slaves." - Courtland Milloy, Washington Post , January 24, 2007, Force Is Not the Only Way to Administer a Vaccine

"Medical ethics require that patients have autonomy in their medical decisions, with informed consent. They have a right to know what they have, what the prognosis is, what the proposed treatment is, what the alternatives are, and what the possible side effects are prior to any treatment. Indeed, a patient has a right to say no, even if by refusing treatment they might die. I as a medical professional cannot overrule their decisions. Here we are talking about forcing a person to undergo mandatory drug therapy (vaccination), when they have no disease, under the presumption that they might get a disease based on future poor behavior. This is medically unethical.....Questions remain. As the [HPV] vaccine may not be effective in the long term, will booster shots at $120 be required? What type of world is it when a large company basically can forcibly take money from our pockets?" - Joseph Desoto, Ph.D., Charleston Daily Mail , January 23, 2007,
Commentary: Dr. Joseph DeSoto: Shouldn't Force HPV Vaccinations

Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:
Congratulations to two brave Americans, who have spoken up publicly for the informed consent ethic, which includes the right of parents to make informed, voluntary vaccination choices for their children. Each undoubtedly knew how much criticism and pressure might come as a consequence, but must have chosen to speak out, nevertheless, as a matter of conscience. They and all those who stand up for truth and freedom, despite the personal or professional risk, are following in the footsteps of those who came to America to escape persecution for their beliefs and fought to create a democracy that protects minorities from exploitation by the powerful.

As we are all witnessing, proposed HPV vaccine mandates are rolling through many state legislatures at warp speed. State and federal health officials (who are supposed to be legally prohibited from playing politics) and drug company lobbyists are in state Capitols pressuring politicians to make every little girl in America get injected with three doses of HPV vaccine before becoming sexually active or be denied the right to attend school. They are voting to mandate a vaccine for a disease which cannot be transmitted in school and which will cost the parents, the states and the nation billions to prevent a cancer, which can be almost 100 percent prevented through either abstinence, condom use or annual pap smears.

Citizens in every state, who want to be free to make vaccine choices in the future, should pick up the phone, get to a fax machine, send an email or get in the car and go visit their state representatives and senators and make their voices heard. There is only one mechanism in a democracy for getting vaccine laws passed, which support the right to voluntary, informed consent: vote for politicians who will vote for freedom or vote them out in the next election.

No forced vaccination. Not in America.


stickog said...

So I've been watching all these ads on TV telling people to find out about GARDASIL. And then I read that Merck was lobbying for this vaccine to become mandatory. Then I saw that the Texas governor is making this vaccine mandatory in Texas for preteens. So I finally decided to look into it.

Here's the scoop:

1) GARDASIL is a vaccine for 4 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), two strains that are strongly associated (and probably cause) genital warts and two strains that are typically associated (and may cause) cervical cancer. About 90% of people with genital warts show exposure to one of the two HPV strains strongly suspected to cause genital warts. About 70% of women with cervical cancer show exposure to one of the other two HPV strains that the vaccine is designed to confer resistance to.

2) HPV is a sexually communicable (not an infectious) virus. When you consider all strains of HPV, over 70% of sexually active males and females have been exposed. A condom helps a lot (70% less likely to get it), but has not been shown to stop transmission in all cases (only one study of 82 college girls who self-reported about condom use has been done). For the vast majority of women, exposure to HPV strains (even the four "bad ones" protected for in GARDASIL) results in no known health complications of any kind.

3) Cervical cancer is not a deadly nor prevalent cancer in the US or any other first world nation. Cervical cancer rates have declined sharply over the last 30 years and are still declining. Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1% of of all female cancer cases and deaths in the US. Cervical cancer is typically very treatable and the prognosis for a healthy outcome is good. The typical exceptions to this case are old women, women who are already unhealthy and women who don't get pap smears until after the cancer has existed for many years.

4) Merck's clinical studies for GARDASIL were problematic in several ways. Only 20,541 women were used (half got the "placebo") and their health was followed up for only four years at maximum and typically 1-3 years only. More critically, only 1,121 of these subjects were less than 16. The younger subjects were only followed up for a maximum of 18 months. Furthermore, less than 10% of these subjects received true placebo injections. The others were given injections containing an aluminum salt adjuvant (vaccine enhancer) that is also a component of GARDASIL. This is scientifically preposterous, especially when you consider that similar alum adjuvants are suspected to be responsible for Gulf War disease and other possible vaccination related complications.

5) Both the "placebo" groups and the vaccination groups reported a myriad of short term and medium term health problems over the course of their evaluations. The majority of both groups reported minor health complications near the injection site or near the time of the injection. Among the vaccination group, reports of such complications were slightly higher. The small sample that was given a real placebo reported far fewer complications -- as in less than half. Furthermore, most if not all longer term complications were written off as not being potentially vaccine caused for all subjects.

6) Because the pool of subjects were so small and the rates of cervical cancer are so low, NOT A SINGLE CONTROL SUBJECT ACTUALLY CONTRACTED CERVICAL CANCER IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM -- MUCH LESS DIED OF IT. Instead, this vaccine's supposed efficacy is based on the fact that the vaccinated group ended up with far fewer cases (5 vs. about 200) of genital warts and "precancerous lesions" (dysplasias) than the alum injected "control" subjects.

7) Because the tests included just four years of follow up at most, the long term effects and efficacy of this vaccine are completely unknown for anyone. All but the shortest term effects are completely unknown for little girls. Considering the tiny size of youngster study, the data about the shortest terms side effects for girls are also dubious.

8) GARDASIL is the most expensive vaccine ever marketed. It requires three vaccinations at $120 a pop for a total price tag of $360. It is expected to be Merck's biggest cash cow of this and the next decade.

These are simply the facts of the situation as presented by Merck and the FDA. This vaccine was just approved in June, 2006. It was never tested on pre-teens except in a tiny trial run with at most 18 months of follow up. Even if we subscribe to the theory that HPV causes cervical cancer, there is ZERO hard data showing that this vaccine reduces cervical cancer rates or cervical cancer mortality rates, which are both already very low in the US and getting lower every year. Now Texas has already made this vaccine mandatory for middle school with all sorts of useful idiots and Big Pharma operatives clamoring for more states to make this vaccine COMPULSORY immediately.

Has everyone gotten the picture or should I continue?

Anonymous said...

Keep fighting the good fight! Thank you for your work on behalf of American children and parents.

There's a good reason that 2/3 of Texans voted against Rick Perry; he's owned by special interests.

I was furious about the Hep B (another Merck vaccine) being made mandatory; when first introduced my pediatrician was recommending AGAINST it for children who weren't in daycare or otherwise in a category that might be considered at reasonable risk of contracting the disease. When it became mandatory, I filed for the exemption.

I'm rather ticked that the religious right (and I'm a religious individual myself) allowed themselves to be baited by Merck into making this primarily a sexual morality debate. It has distracted from the medical and ethical reasons, which I find more compelling.

Judy Aron said...

The American College of Pediatricians is opposed to any legislation which would require HPV vaccination for school attendance.

I was glad to see that the American College of Pediatricians dug deep into the studies and are not jumping on the bandwagon of pushing this vaccine for Merck. They take a conservative well reasoned approach which takes into consideration the overall family perspective on the issue. They are also very sensitive to parental rights.

CT is having a public hearing in its legislature this week - 2/14/07
because they want to make it mandatory for girls before they enter 6th grade.