Saturday, June 9, 2007

Eagle Forum Opposes HPV Vaccine Mandate

The pharmaceutical giant, Merck, has been lobbying state legislatures throughout the nation, including Wisconsin, to mandate the vaccination of girls entering the sixth grade in public, private and charter schools against HPV, Human Papilloma Virus. Lobbying efforts are also being carried out by the "Women in Government Council" of which a top Merck vaccine official is a member.
While Merck claims its newly approved vaccine is safe, the legislation includes limits in liability and limits in the time a claim may be filed as a result of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Financial analysts project Merck will reap billions if the mandate is approved at a cost per child for the three part vaccine regime at $360.
According to Barbara Loe Fisher, President of NVIC, the National Vaccine Information Center, "Merck and the FDA have not been completely honest with the people about pre-licensure clinical trials". The NVIC has gone on record by stating Merck"s Gardasil is not proven safe for little girls. The vaccine is administered in three doses and contains 225mcg of aluminum per dose for a total of 675 mcg of aluminum. Aluminum has been shown to cause nerve damage in animal and human studies. Recent findings by Canadian researchers have shown a link between aluminum in vaccines and symptoms of Parkinsons, Lou Gerhigs Disease and Alzheimers Disease. The FDA already has on file 82 reports of serious adverse reactions to Gardasil which has been approved for use for less than a year.
According to the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, more than 90% of HPV infections are harmless and disappear without treatment. The American Cancer Society also states that most women with HPV infection do not get cervical cancer, while doctors feel there are many other factors that cause this cancer to develop. The Center for Disease Control reports there are more than 100 strains of HPV of which 30 are sexually transmitted. Of these, only 4 are prevented while 30% of cervical cancer are not prevented by the new vaccine. Regular pap smears are still required. The vaccine has been tested for only the past few years, and the duration of immunity is unknown. Claims of long term prevention can not be made, and does not justify the state mandate. Joseph Bocchini, Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases stated, "I think it's too early...This is a new vaccine. It would be wise to wait until we have additional information about the safety of the vaccine."
Eagle Forum of Wisconsin is extremely concerned about risks this vaccine poses to young girls, and also the message that is being sent by mandating a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease. The vaccine does not protect against other STDs or HIV. The mandate is assuming all young girls will engage in sexual activity prior to marriage and undermines many parent's message advocating abstinence. The bill does provide a provision to opt-out; unfortunately, many parents are often intimidated or are not informed of an option. If parents feel their daughters need this vaccine, it is readily available and does not require a state mandate.
The same bill was defeated in Michigan, but unfortunately, implemented in Texas by the governor's executive order after Merck's lobbying expenditures reportedly increased to $250,000!
Please call the legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 today!
For more information, please contact
Dottie Feder
Eagle Forum of Wisconsin

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