Action on Virginia "Opt-Out" GARDASIL Mandate

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall has introduced a bill in the Virginia state legislature which would repeal a law passed by the General Assembly last year requiring sixth grade girls to get three doses of HPV vaccine (HB 89) by October 2008. Governor Kane has indicated he will not support a repeal of the mandate. Delegate Marshall has also authored a bill to delay the HPV vaccine mandate implementation until 2011 (HB 188).

The health subcommittee of the Virginia House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee will hear HB 89 and HB 188 this afternoon (Monday, Jan. 14). It is a possibility that the full Committee might hear the bills at a later date if they are not passed out of subcommittee.

If you are a Virginia resident and would like to contact health subcommittee members (all of whom sit on the full Committee) and make your views known, following is contact information for committee members:

Chairman, Delegate John O'Bannon (804) 698-1073
Delegate Jeff Frederick (804) 698-1052
Delegate David Nutter (804) 698-1007
Delegate Chris Peace (804) 698-1097
Delegate Ward Armstrong (804) 698-1010
Delegate Algie Howell (804) 698-1090
Delegate Lionell Spruill (804) 698-1077

Virginia state Senator Ken Cuccinelli is working on similar legislation in the state Senate and it is important that the Senate legislation be compatible with HB 89 and HB 188. You can contact Senator Cuccinelli's office at: and

Virginia Governor Tim Kane signed the HPV vaccine mandate into law last year after it was revised to include an "opt-out" provision that did not require parents to claim medical or religious reasons for the "opt-out." Merck's GARDASIL vaccine is the only HPV vaccine on the market and Merck lobbied aggressively in Texas, California, New York and more than 20 states in early 2007 to push through HPV vaccine mandates. Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) issued an Executive Order in early 2007 to try to force GARDASIL to be given to sixth graders in Texas but the Texas legislature rebelled and later passed legislation over-riding the Executive Order.

Virginia and New Jersey were the only two states to vote for an HPV vaccine mandate for pre-adolescent girls and both states modified the mandate to include an "opt-out" provision.

Merck's GARDASIL has been associated with collapse episodes, seizures, Guillain Barre syndrome and other serious health problems among young girls and women since the vaccine was licensed in mid-2006. During 2007, the National Vaccine Information Center published three analyses of GARDASIL adverse events being reported to VAERS, which indicated that GARDASIL is far more reactive than methodologically flawed pre-licensure clinical trials revealed.

A quick review of GARDASIL adverse health outcomes, which Virginia girls and young women aged 5 to 26 suffered and were reported to VAERS, revealed reports of loss of consciousness, seizures/convulsions, head injuries and fractures, joint swelling, blood disorders (ITP), abnormal cervical smears, spontaneous abortions, and medical errors (5 year old given wrong vaccine). The VAERS reports also included events labeled as life threatening or causing disability.

The NVIC staff continues to receive reports from parents of young girls, as well as young adult women, living in many different states that indicate GARDASIL is causing atypical fainting/sudden collapse within several hours of vaccination, as well as other neurological events. Many of these health problems following GARDASIL are being written off as "coincidental" by nurses and physicians without any evidence the health problem would have occurred if the vaccine had not been administered.

If you would like to work in the state of Virginia on educating Virginia state legislators about vaccine safety and informed consent issues, contact NVIC at


Anonymous said...

Thank you for increasing awareness of this.

I'm 27 and a few months ago had to get a Tetanus shot to be allowed to reapply to my university, I notice a strange pain on the left arm (inoculation area) after strength training sessions, and the site of injection was actually very sore for a prolonged period of time. I advise anyone I know against getting Tetanus shots, from cases I've read about, a seemingly routine injection can turn into a very serious health problem.

As to Gardasil, the health risks clearly outweigh the benefits (if any) of getting it.

Anonymous said...

mom of 4 and pediatric nurse..I give soooo many vaccines on a daily basis, however the gardasil vaccine will NOT be given to my girls until we see how the children of those girls vaccinated turn out. I am fearful that this vaccine will affect our grandchildren. as far as other vaccines go...I believe in vaccinating our children against contagious diseases that can cause death and serious harm. (Until we have another system vaccines are our best protection) Cervical cancer however can not be spread by sitting next to someone in school?? I just do not get the thinking here it is soooo obvious this is money driven!!

Anonymous said...

I truly do not believe that this is a vaccine that should be mandated for adolescent girls. It is not an issue of public health, but of individual health that should be a choice of the parents and the child. In fact, the claim that it protects against cervical cancers is a stretch. It is only supposed to protect against 2 types of HPV. No one knows yet the actual effects. I have an infant daughter that I do not want the state to tell me that I have to get vaccinated with this vaccine. Don't worry about my son. Apparently he does not have to worry about mandates for vaccines that protect against sexually transmitted diseases. If Virginia is going to have an opt-out clause, why not just do away with the mandate. Let the drug dealers, I mean drug manufacturers market the drug like normal.

Anonymous said...

My 19 year old received 2 shots..and let me tell you she suffered for 5 months. She was in and out of the hospital (3 times) and each time they never gave a diagnosis..just a "typical college student-over stressed and over worked". She was fainting, weak, dizzy, nauseaus etc. Now, mind you, she is an athlete-Captain of her college Lacrosse team and not a "sickly" child. Thankfully, she is ok now, but for those "5 months" we were very scared. DON'T do it!! NOT WORTH IT>>>

Anonymous said...

My now 19 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with ITP (low platelets). I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what happened. The only thing I can figure is that when she was 17 she rec'd her 3 Gardasil shots over 6 months. A year and a half later in December of 08 her platelet count reached a dangerous low of 26 and she had to start Prednisone treatment. This could be a lifelong problem for her and if I had known there was any such side effect I wouldn't have had her vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

As a health care provider who works with an international committee I know that the providers who come from 2nd and 3rd world countries would give their left arm to be able to give this to women as an option to death --as cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in the world affecting many women who have no access to Pap results or even follow-up.

Anonymous said...

I had the Gardasil injection back on January 9th 09, a month later i have server menstral bleeding lasting 24 days and i was then diagnosed with ITP with a platelett count of 5!!!. All tests where performed and has left my doctors and specialist scratching their heads as to how this has happened. I WILL NOT be getting the 2nd shot of Gardasil due to this and i find it is not worth the heart ach that it has caused me for anyone else to be silly and have this injection. Women where fine beforhand with regular pap tests... and how to the health board know this is a sure way of preventing cervical cancer? they pumped it into the system so quick they didnt allow time to safely check it, now its causing all sorts of problems with people from fainting to rashes to bloody ITP.

Cindy said...

My daugher had the gardasil in her senior year of high school. 2 years after the last injection she had a platelet count of 9. She needed to have a transfusion of platelets and put on steroids. She was diagnosis of ITP. So far she only had one episode of low platelets. Has anyone continued to have problems with their platelets?