The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Back Away from the Vaccine

Posted by thelamp on March 12, 2007

Christian parents spoke loudly, and Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Gardisil the FDA-approved vaccine that blocks the most common strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV heard the message. Merck has suspended its lobbying campaign for mandatory inoculation of adolescent girls.

The response affirms the need and responsibility every person has to oppose policies that don’t have the best interest of their families at heart.

A report published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that nearly 27 percent of women ages 14 to 59 have some form of HPV, although only 3 percent have one of the strains covered by the new vaccine. The virus is potentially deadly, as it can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills an estimated 3,700 American women each year.

More important, however, is the fact that HPV is now believed to be the nation’s most common sexually transmitted infection. Using vaccinations as a way to stave off the spread of a sexually transmitted disease is treating the symptom but ignoring the cause. A parent doesn’t need a medical degree to figure out how to stop spreading STDs among teens.

In an effort to diffuse the controversy, some lawmakers have offered an “opt-out” provision as a compromise. So those who are aware of the law and involved in their daughters’ lives can be exempted.

Here’s an interesting aside: Even some parents who seek the vaccine for their daughters may be told by their physician, “I can’t give the vaccine to your daughter because your insurance company is not paying enough to cover my costs.” The three-shot regimen ranges from $120 to $150 each, making it the most expensive vaccine pediatricians have ever dispensed.

Mandatory HPV vaccination is bad public policy, and CMC opposes it, even with the opt-out provision and insurance coverage.



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