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Michigan Bills Require Girls to be Vaccinated for HPV
Sarah Rich, 19 Sep 06

Senator Beverly Hammerstrom of Michigan introducted two bills last week to ensure that girls entering the sixth grade in Michigan have been vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a significant move towards prevention of health problems later in life, as approximately 75% of adult women are infected with some form of HPV virus, and several strains of the virus are a necessary precursor to cervical cancer.

The vaccine, Garadasil, has been shown in clinical trials "to be 100% effective in preventing HPV infection with strains 16 and 18, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases, in women who do not already have the virus." Under these bills, the vaccine will also be made available as a no-cost immunization through Medicaid, for Alaska-Native and American Indian children, and for some uninsured girls. Families with religious or health-based objections to vaccination will be permitted an exemption.

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why don't they vaccinate boys too? Boys don't get cervical cancer but they carry and pass on the viruses to many (unvaccinated) women who subsequently develop cervical cancer

Posted by: Bananas on 19 Sep 06

May be well-intentioned but poorly conceived. Requiring any type of vaccination should be considered only when there is a public health threat - passing along an infectious disease to others (sorry, boys and HPV vaccine isn't in this category, it doesn't work that way). That's why childhood vaccines are for 'contagious' diseases that could more easily threaten the health of other children, teachers, parents, etc... Requiring an HPV vaccine (in any institutional context, how about college?) - I don't think so. Of course, whenever an effective HIV vaccine is developed, I'm sure Rep Hammerstrom will be leading the charge for all school children in Michigan to be vaccinated agianst that too.

Posted by: Craig on 19 Sep 06

HPV IS a health threat. It is transmitted through skin to skin contact, very rarely are there symptoms AND it is the leading cause of cervical cancer. There is no way to fully protect yourself from the disease except abstinence. And, even then, it can be contracted through other sexual contact besides intercourse. HPV also causes genital warts. So, to say it isn't a health threat is not a fair statement. In my opinion, HPV IS a contagious disease. And, I want my daughter vaccinated.

Posted by: Amy on 20 Sep 06

There are a lot of questions about the safety and efficacy of many of the dozens of vaccines administered to children in the U.S. Questions that the scientific and pharmaceutical establishments don't care to address. (The folks who raise these reasonable questions are enormously frustrated by this lack of response and end up seeming or becoming quite shrill about it. And pharma/science gets quite shrill in its blind insistence upon vaccinating everyone for everything.) That discussion is really beyond the scope of the Worldchanging topic, but I think it is important to point out that the financial incentives to Big Pharma to get a vaccine onto the CDC's list are enormous - every child born is a captive customer. I don't want to seem shrill myself, but I have to question the reason behind this kind of law forcing vaccination upon young girls.

Posted by: Thomas on 20 Sep 06


Posted by: dan on 24 Sep 06



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