Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Lawmakers hear cases for, against HPV vaccine

February 8, 2007


— Cancer survivors urged lawmakers Wednesday to approve legislation that would require sixth-grade girls to receive a vaccine against cervical cancer.

"We have an opportunity to protect our daughters from the virus that causes cervical cancer before exposure; don't our daughters deserve that chance?" asked MaryAnne Caster of Wichita.

Cervical cancer was diagnosed in Caster in 1999 and she had a radical hysterectomy.

House Bill 2227 would require that female students enrolling in sixth grade to have the vaccine for the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, known as HPV.

But several groups testified against the bill.

The Kansas Catholic Conference said there are many questions about the safety of Gardasil, the recently approved vaccine.

Right to Life of Kansas Inc. said parents should make decisions regarding the health of their children. "Such a mandate intrudes on those very parental rights and duties," the group said in prepared testimony.

Last week, Texas became the first state to make the vaccination mandatory for girls entering the sixth grade starting in September 2008.


busymom 11 years, 2 months ago

If I have read previous articles correctly, the mandatory HPV vaccine would also have an opt-out option. The opt-out option still gives the parent the right in choosing for thier child. Personally, the vaccine is a great break through. A vaccine that prevent's this strand of HPV that is proven to cause cervical cancer. I will do research on the vaccine before making up my mind; however, I am a believer in the vaccine at this point.

SettingTheRecordStraight 11 years, 2 months ago

I do not want the government involved in innoculating my children from sexually transmitted diseases, even if there's an "opt-out" clause.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 2 months ago

If there was truly going to be an "opt-out" clause, and parents would be the ones to be able to make the choice, then why have any legislation?

Isn't that the way things already are now??

Ragingbear 11 years, 2 months ago

Catholics.... Hmm... I could point out the things they have been responsible for over the centuries. But let's stick with the latter half of the 20th to today...

Well, contraception is a sin to them. This results in the massive overpopulation of a large amount of third world countries like Ethiopia. Let us not forget that instead of them addressing the huge allegations of child molestation by their priest, they just try to move them somewhere and hide them in obsurity.

Instead of keeping the govenment out of our business, lets put forth a bigger message. KEEP RELIGION OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT.

TicklemeElmo 11 years, 2 months ago

The opt-out type clause is limited to things like religion and doesn't include "I'm broke and don't have the money to pay for the vaccine". At $360 for the series of shots ($120/shot and there are 3) that can be expensive for some families and not everyone has insurance to cover the cost.

Merck is currently the only maker of Gardi$il (I'm $ure they're $upporting thi$ legi$lation). Every year we have vaccine shortages for the flu, pneumonia, etc. The health departments and dr. offices are also continually running out of the chicken pox vaccine.

The other day I voiced how I plan to have my daughter vaccinated even without the legislation. My friend with 3 daughters who can't afford private insurance and makes too much as a daycare provider to get Healthwave stated she'd like to get it for her daughters too but can't afford the expense.

Until the vaccine is more affordable or our legislature has a plan to help pay for the vaccine for the uninsured I think they need to consider it as highly recommended... and because of patent time frames it could be several years before a less expensive option is availalbe.

werekoala 11 years, 2 months ago


I'd agree, if we're going to require a vaccination, we ought to make sure that such a vaccination does not place an undue financial burden on parents. That said, this vaccination needs to be made mandatory.

In repsone to STRS's comments - I'm sure we'd all agree that if there were a vaccine for AIDS, it would be immoral to not vaccinate your children - for the simple fact that any STD is also a blood-born pathogen, and as such, any contact an individual has with the blood of an infected person could result in their infection. Just because sex is the primary method of body-fluid to body-fluid contact does not mean it is the only one.

BigDog 11 years, 2 months ago

Merck is currently the only maker of Gardi$il (I'm $ure they're $upporting thi$ legi$lation).

One of the major people testifying on behalf of this was a doctor who clearly stated he was being paid by Merck. This legislation is being pushed heavily in a number of states across the country. It may be the greatest vaccine ever but I get a little suspicious when the main physician testifying in favor of the legislation is on Merck's payroll.

Not saying his testimony wasn't accurate though.

onceinawhile 11 years, 2 months ago

If this bill passes, the cost would NOT be dropped onto parents. The point of passing this legislation would be to make it a state mandate, which means that all children would be covered (either through programs, their insurance, or federal funding).

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