Texas Lawmakers Give The Boot To Cervical Cancer Vaccine

by Ann Samuel on  April 27, 2007 at 1:46 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
Texas Lawmakers Give The Boot To Cervical Cancer Vaccine
A vote against vaccination of sixth-grader girls to prevent cervical cancer, has come in the face of its sponsor-Texas Governor Rick Perry. The move sees that Texas will not, become the first state to require sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

Yesterday, the Texas House gave the go ahead to the Senate bill opposing the move of the governor; the state cannot order these shots, until at least 2011.

The governor had signed an executive order directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules requiring all 11- and 12-year old girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, starting in September 2008. The order allowed parents to let their daughters opt out of the program.

"There was no public testimony — why we were jumping so fast into a vaccine that was not for a true communicable disease," argues Senator Glenn Hegar Jr., a Republican.

Yet the lone Senate voter for the vaccination program, Senator Leticia van de Putte, a Democrat from San Antonio who is a pharmacist was quoted "I'm thinking of the women that will die because we didn't act." Last year, 400 women died due to cervical cancer, which is argued to be preventable by the vaccine in question.

"We did not want to be the first in offering young girls for the experiment to see if this vaccine is effective or not," says Dennis H. Bonnen, a Republican from Angleton, who sponsored the ban in the House.

Merck manufactures the vaccine, Gardasil. The Centers for Disease Control among other health authorities, describe Gardasil as safe and effective when given as approved to girls ages 9 to 26 in three shots over eight months.

Source: Medindia

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