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Current Topic: Health and Wellness

Requiring a Vaccine for Young Girls
Topic: Health and Wellness 1:57 pm EST, Feb 10, 2007

Compulsory vaccination has a legitimate place in our health care system. But why should the government restrict its vaccinations to the victims? Why not include the carriers?

To the Editor:

I was surprised to see how quickly you expressed support of the proposed mandatory HPV vaccination policy in Texas, stating that the Merck vaccine is “highly effective” (editorial, Feb. 6).

The vaccine has not been proved to reduce cervical cancer. It is moderately effective at preventing certain pre-cancerous changes. There is no long-term safety or effectiveness data.

Most deaths from cervical cancer in this country are in women who are not adequately screened (with a simple Pap smear). In Texas, underscreening in African-American and Hispanic women probably accounts for their disproportionately high rates of cervical cancer.

These adult women need access and coverage for screening. Unfortunately, there is no lobby for the Pap smear.

Deborah Kamali, M.D.
San Francisco, Feb. 6, 2007
The writer is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California at San Francisco.

Requiring a Vaccine for Young Girls

Topic: Health and Wellness 6:18 pm EST, Feb  5, 2007

Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, and State Rep. Jim Keffer today called on Governor Rick Perry to rescind Executive Order RP65 requiring all girls to be vaccinated against the Human Pappilomaviros, a sexually transmitted disease, before entering the sixth grade.

"This is a decision that should not be made by one person. Citizens have been left out of the process, and I respectfully call on the governor to rescind this emergency order so that we can hold legislative hearings on bills that have already been filed on this very issue," Senator Nelson, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said. "Executive orders should be used in extreme circumstances, during times of emergency and when the Legislature is not in session. We need to be afforded the opportunity to carefully study the how this would affect our budget, parental rights, and most importantly, the health of our daughters."

Executive Order RP65, issued February 2, 2007, directs that all girls entering the sixth grade receive an immunization against the Human Pappilomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. It gives parents the right to opt out via online applications.

Senator Nelson also announced that she and Representative Keffer, who chairs the House Ways & Means Committee, will request that the Attorney General issue an opinion on the legality of Executive Order RP65.


RE: Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver
Topic: Health and Wellness 2:27 pm EST, Feb  5, 2007

noteworthy wrote:
This ought to stir things up; the thing is, I'm not really interested.

On the contrary, I find this very interesting and would like to read this author. I've heard about the dangers of mercury, thimerosal, live viruses, etc. over the years but have never really given it much scholarly focus. This guy sounds like he has done his homework.

I assume you posted this to complement the thread I started on Friday about Texas Governor Rick Perry's edict requiring 11 year old girls to be vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease. I have since attempted to state my position in more clear terms here:

I like to believe that I do not see the issue through the lens of conspiracy theory in the strictest sense. I do believe, with respect to the particular case happening in Texas, that Governor Perry is in bed with Merck and issued his Executive Order for the benefit of Merck, not to address any public health crisis. I have attempted to state facts that highlight conflicts of interest, non-transparency of political contributions by Merck, the absense of evidence proving cervical cancer is an escalating epidemic, and evidence proving that cervical cancer rates are actually on the decline and do not affect a significant portion of the population.

RE: Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver

Texas Executive Order now requires 11 year olds to receive STD vaccines. But wait, there's more!
Topic: Health and Wellness 1:21 pm EST, Feb  5, 2007

On Friday 2/2/2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order requiring that girls entering the sixth grade be vaccinated for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. By mandating this via Executive Order, it bypassed the legislative process, and thus bypassed the will of the people, whatever their decision may have been had their elected representatives been allowed to vote on it.

The vaccine that will be administered starting in 2008 will be Merck & Co. Inc's 'Gardasil.' Governor Perry received $6000 from Merck's political campaign action committee during his re-election campaign. One of Merck's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff.

Merck also funds an advocacy group called Women In Government. This group is comprised of female state legislators around the country. Governor Perry's current chief-of-staff's mother-in-law, Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women In Government.

It has been reported that a top official from Merck's vaccine division sits on the Women in Government's business council. Many of the bills around the country have been introduced by members of Women In Government.

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.

It already looks like the Women In Goverment group is trying to distance itself from being affiliated with Merck. Google's cached Women In Government Business Council Page as of Feb. 2nd listed "Merck Vaccine Division" under the heading "Business Council Members Represent." If you check the Women In Government Business Council Page now, that line has been removed.

I found the name of the Merck official that sits on the Women In Government's Business Council. Hit up the Internet Archive's cache. Her name is Deborah Alfano. She is an advocate of universal vaccination. That is another way of saying she does not believe you should have a choice when it comes to vaccinations.

From the Maternity Care Coalition's website, summarizing Ms. Alfano's Speech "The Value of Vaccines:"

"Barriers to universal coverage in the United States remain. While most states have legislation requiring vaccinations, half of the country allows for philosophical exemptions from vaccinations, making universal vacination virtually impossible in those states.... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]

Texas Executive Order now requires 11 year olds to receive STD vaccines. But wait, there's more!

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