HPV Vaccine Mandate

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Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
HPV Vaccine Mandate

I've been meaning to post something about this ever since the Rep debate. Sorry, the article is biased, but I thought it at least gave some background and interesting insight on the issue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/hpv-vaccine-government-injection-public-mandate_n_972301.html

As Texas Gov. Rick Perry's 2007 decision to mandate the human papillomavirus vaccination for young girls and Rep. Michele Bachmann's inflammatory remarks continue to generate controversy, health officials want the public to understand that the vaccine is no more a dangerous, draconian, "government injection" (in Bachmann's words) than the hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella vaccines that most states mandate.

Perry has taken heat on the HPV vaccine mandate from both sides of the political spectrum, but mainly from conservatives, many of whom are suggesting they would strongly oppose any kind of state-mandated vaccine.

"Concerned Women for America opposes the HPV vaccine mandate," Penny Nance, president of the conservative women's advocacy group, told HuffPost. "We strongly disagree with government intrusion in the parent-child relationship."

But the only difference between the HPV vaccine and other less-controversial mandatory vaccines, health officials say, is that the former has been politicized by its association with a sexually transmitted disease. The vaccine is recommended for girls ages 11 or 12, "well before the onset of sexual activity," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which could be alarming to some parents.

The timing of the vaccine's introduction to the public in 2007, when Americans were souring on vaccines in general, may have also contributed to its unpopularity.
"The HPV vaccine is loaded at this point," Dr. Rodney Willoughby of the American Academy of Pediatrics told HuffPost. "It probably could have been considered at a much earlier time and avoided these issues, but there are an awful lot of vaccines out there already and a lot of resistance right now to having your child be a pincushion. Plus, the vaccine is only recommended for girls, and the shading is one of sexual transmission, which is going to make parents even more resistant."

By contrast, there's no general outcry against the hepatitis B vaccine, which is widely mandated by state governments to protect against a sexually transmitted virus. The hep B vaccine has managed to avoid being politicized because it is recommended for babies instead of prepubescent girls, Willoughby said. But every state except for three -- Alabama, Montana and South Dakota -- requires the hepatitis B vaccine for young children. Children are also required to receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before entering school in every state.

"All of these are government injections," Willoughby said. "Measles used to kill one out of 150 kids. Getting rid of measles, getting rid of polio, those rank up there among some of the major medical advances of the 20th century. Likewise, HPV is a highly fatal virus that kills one out of a thousand people, so why wouldn't you get rid of it if you can?"

Perry's attempt to mandate the vaccine in Texas by executive order was quickly overturned by state lawmakers, and he has spent a disproportionate amount of his presidential campaign trying to defend or explain his order. When the issue caught fire among GOP candidates, major public health organizations -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Organization and the American Academy of Family Physicians -- all immediately jumped to the vaccine's defense, touting its strong safety record and lamenting the "negative political and social ramifications" of Perry's decision to circumvent the state legislature.

But it looks like the damage has already been done. A new Daily Kos/SEIU Weekly State of the Nation poll shows that mandating the HPV vaccine for 6th-grade girls is deeply unpopular. Only 22 percent of respondents said they would support the requirement, and 63 percent of conservatives said they oppose the idea. Not a single demographic -- men, women, Democrats or Independents -- would support the mandate.

Unfortunately, Willoughby said, the negative public opinion of the HPV vaccine is going to affect the number of girls who get vaccinated. While other state-mandated vaccines have a 70-90 percent uptake rate, the uptake rate for the HPV series among adolescents was only 35 percent in 2010 and could potentially wane this year with all the political controversy surrounding it.

"Anytime these issues come up, they sort of pour gas on the fire of people that are anti-vaccine," Willoughby said. "But there are direct, measurable consequences to this uptake: It means only 35 percent of the current birth cohort will be protected from a cancer that will kill one in 1,000 of them, and that's just a shame."

Assuming that you are not opposed to mandated vaccines in general, are you opposed to this vaccine? Why or why not?

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

I am opposed to this vaccine because it's too new. If it was 20+ years old and proven and there was documentation on side effects/long term effects/etc., then I might change my mind. But at this point, I have no intention of allowing my dd to get it (she's 10). I'm not sure what's happening with it in Canada though as far as how/when/if they are doing it.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

While I am not sure 5 or 6 vaccines at once are best and I am hoping my children are not going to be in danger of getting an STD, I am not apposed to a vaccine. They could be raped, or make behavior choices that are less than perfect. I am not sure that I want it mandated, but vaccines as a whole are not evil. Not perfect, but they do a lot of good.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Princess&ThePea" wrote:

I am opposed to this vaccine because it's too new. If it was 20+ years old and proven and there was documentation on side effects/long term effects/etc., then I might change my mind. But at this point, I have no intention of allowing my dd to get it (she's 10). I'm not sure what's happening with it in Canada though as far as how/when/if they are doing it.

This is a good point. In my situation, the vaccine will be older by the time my girls are that age.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

I am not opposed to the vaccine per se but I am a bit leary because, as Marla stated, it is still very new. By the time my DD is 11 or 12 the vaccine will only be 5 or 6 years old. You cannot know the long term effects of a vaccine in so few years.

That being said I am still undecided about whether or not my DD (also 10) will get it. I am a bit remiss in that I need to do more research to try to determine if it is right for her.

I do agree that the spread of deadly diseases should be contained if not eliminated if possible. Again, my problem with this mandate is due to the relatively infantile state of the vaccine. I'd like to see a bit more time and study before they lump it in with the measles and hep B vaccine safety lingo.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I don't know about other states, but the law that is being considered here in California (perhaps it already passed, IDK, I'm quite behind on my news-reading) allows the government to give this HPV vaccine to girls without parental consent or notification. That's because CA law allows teens to make their own sexual health decisions without parental consent or notification and this vaccine prevents a sexual disease. I don't think most parents tell their kids they have that right for fear they will exercise it. My concern is that they will be vaccinating young girls who won't know they have the right to refuse it. My daughter will know she can refuse it, and we will discuss the pros & cons of it together when the time comes. But I just envision them lining up girls at school for this shot or something like that, being told it's for their own good and that "it's the law," and the girls not knowing they can say no to it. Sad

ETA that I'm not totally opposed to this vaccine, but I think it's too new to be able to make assumptions about its safety & effectiveness. When the chickenpox vaccine came out, they claimed a 95% effectiveness and it's really barely above 70%. I'm not sure I want my child making sexual decisions thinking she's safe, when she's not, kwim?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Here Stacey ~ some hippy just posted this in my midwife's fb group Smile

http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Resources/VetoAB499.aspx

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Potter75" wrote:

Here Stacey ~ some hippy just posted this in my midwife's fb group Smile

http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Resources/VetoAB499.aspx

Thanks! I voiced my objections to Gov. Brown a couple of weeks ago when this bill passed the Senate. Blum 3 But my objection isn't the same as most people. All these protests are about how this law usurps parental rights, when a parent in CA already has no right to be involved in their teenager's sexual health decisions. This law is just adding prevention of sexual disease to the list of things that your teenager can do without your consent. I don't have any problem with that at all. I have a problem with these young girls not being informed that they have the right to refuse a vaccine they don't want, and that's not anywhere in this bill. If the bill were amended to include that language, I'd support it.

ErikaArcher's picture
Joined: 09/06/04
Posts: 379

oooo a vaccine debate Dirol without going off on a huge tangent (which is so tempting in my current mood) the end result is:

I am oppossed to giving ANY minor a drug, vaccine or medical procedure without parental consent.

aside from the vaccine components themselves....there is not enough longitudinal evidence on this vaccine with regard to it's effectiveness or safety. The article states

It means only 35 percent of the current birth cohort will be protected from a cancer that will kill one in 1,000 of them, and that's just a shame

The statistic is flawed! They are assuming that 100% of the female population of 12 year old girls are at risk in the first place and they are ignoring the fact that 100% of the vaccinated children are at risk for the side effects AND that vaccine does not equal immunity. There are 100 strains of HPV, of those 40 infect the genital/anal area. 13 strains are considered high risk and this vaccine only covers 4.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

I actually allowed the first vaccination of the series for HPV for my older kids and changed my mind afterward to continue as I was reading all of the cases where side effects were much larger than what they were originally listing. When I took them in for their regular checkups, the nurses asked about going ahead with the second vaccination. I explained what I was reading and they totally agreed with this one at that time. I explained to my daughters why I stopped and that if they research it themselves and come to a different conclusion, they certainly have the right to do so. I, too, will wait until more studies and time has elapsed to see exactly what the side effects entail and the risk involved before authorizing it for my youngest girls.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I've had the course, when it first came out they were offering it free for a limited time up to age 30. My doctor discussed it with me and the pros and cons and I made the choice. I don't have an issue with it. By the time I have any girls (assuming I have a girl) who are old enough there may be new research on it that would change my mind but with what I know now i would give it to my daughter. I believe it's already been placed on the vaccine schedule here although by the teens many parents take their child to a GP for vaccinations. They do have them in school as well but there has to be a signed consent from parents.