To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mandatory HPV Vaccinations: a Government too Far

I know this issue is not "today" new, but it hasn't been beaten about yet on TtP so here I go. Governor Rick Perry of Texas bypassed the state legislature and issued an executive order mandating the immunization of sixth-grade girls against HPV. Immunizations were traditionally limited to diseases that were contagious through ordinary contact, such as measles, mumps or smallpox. To force immunization upon citizens for a disease that is only spread through sex is a whole 'nother view of the role of public health. Perry's view of the government is that it ought to protect us from ourselves, a view that manifests itself in drug laws, seat belt laws, trans-fat bans and helmet laws.

Perry's motivations might be also be Abramoff-esqe:
Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.
And for the men who don't think they are affected by this, you might be next,
doctors hope the vaccine will be able to prevent a less well-known, but potentially fatal, disease in gay men, anal cancer. The same strains of HPV cause both cancers.

Although anal cancer can affect anyone, it is most common among men with histories of receptive anal intercourse -- an annual rate of about 35 cases per 100,000, and perhaps twice that for those infected with H.I.V., which weakens the immune system.