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Here's a quick summary from CDC about why HPV vaccines are offered:

Why are HPV vaccines needed?

HPV vaccines prevent serious health problems, such as cervical cancer and other, less common cancers, which are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). In addition to cancer, HPV can also cause other health problems, such as genital warts. HPV is a common virus that is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity with another person. It is possible to have HPV without knowing it, so it is possible to unknowingly spread HPV to another person. Safe, effective vaccines are available to protect females and males against some of the most common types of HPV and the health problems that the virus can cause.

How common are the health problems caused by HPV?

HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. There are about 11,000 new cervical cancer cases each year in the United States. Cervical cancer causes about 4,000 deaths in women each year in the United States.

About 1 in 100 sexually active adults in the United States have genital warts at any one time.

Who should get HPV vaccine?

Cervarix and Gardasil are licensed, safe, and effective for females ages 9 through 26 years. CDC recommends that all girls who are 11 or 12 years old get the 3 doses (shots) of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against most genital warts, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus. Girls and young women ages 13 through 26 should get all 3 doses of an HPV vaccine if they have not received all doses yet.

That's pretty straightforward. At least, it was until Rick Perry decided to run for president, and his Republican politicial opponents decided to make an issue of his executive order mandating the vaccine in Texas in 2007 (an action quickly rescinded by the legislature). From an excellent piece by Laura Bassett:
In the two most recent presidential debates, Perry has had to repeatedly explain and defend the executive order, which he says he signed in order to help prevent girls from developing cervical cancer as a result of the sexually transmitted virus. But his fellow Republican candidates have seized the opportunity to attack him over the issue, at times using some alarming and misleading rhetoric about the vaccine.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) blasted Perry for the vaccine mandate on Monday, calling it a "government injection" of a "potentially dangerous drug." Then Tuesday morning, she insinuated to NBC's "Today Show" that the vaccine can cause mental retardation.

Bad move by Bachmann, who was slammed by health authorities. This is from the American Academy of Pediatrics (PDF):
The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That's because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it's important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.

Bachmann is being hit on one issue (the appropriateness and safety of the vaccine) while Perry is being hit on another issue: an exec order mandating its use.

What's the status of that around the country? A useful thumbnail is provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lots of states have discussed mandating the vaccine (with parental opt-out for various reasons) but only DC and TX [and VA, see Laura Bassett] have gone there, and doing it by exec order is a sure way to get sucked into controversy. Something like that requires homework and consensus building.

Perry is also mired in an associated donor fund controversy (see Rick Perry and HPV vaccine-maker have deep financial ties) but the issues are separate: Is HPV vaccine appropriate and safe? Yes. Should it be mandated? Not the way Perry did.

For an opinion on the Big Picture, I asked for comment from the American Public Health Association's Georges Benjamin. Here's what he said:  

Vaccines save lives. The HPV vaccine in particular attacks cancer through it's infectious source and will save the lives of thousands. It is the forerunner of a new approach to disease prevention; an approach that has enormous promise to save millions of lives in the future and be part of our 21st century tool chest to end cancer as we know it. Some vaccines should be required, as we do for some of our childhood vaccines. however the decision to mandate the vaccine in Texas did not go through an appropriate public policy decision making process, and we are now seeing the negative political and social ramifications of that decision.

We have in place several mechanisms to give policy makers sound advice to aid them in their decisions that effect the health of our citizens. National Groups like the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP), the Institute of Medicine as well as professional groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American Public Health Association are available to give sound professional advice. Many local affiliates of these and other groups are also available. They bring a evidence based approach that brings credibility to the policy making process. Policy makers would be wise to seek their guidance and craft both their policy approaches and their remarks accordingly.

Georges C. Benjamin,MD
Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health
Adjunct Professor, Hunter College
Executive Director
American Public Health Association

That's a pretty good summary of the whole situation. There are very good reasons to administer this vaccine, but no reason to take public policy shortcuts to get there. So from the political side, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry each deserve to be slammed, but for entirely different reasons.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks . . . (8+ / 0-)

    for an informative, thoughtful diary.

    Is this issue similar to the GOP's denial of global warming and the Bush doctrine against stem-cell research?

    •  No, it's more the result of a really stupid (0+ / 0-)

      and short-sighted approach to introducing the vaccine. Anybody with a lick of sense would know that targeting young girls for a vaccine against an STD would send the wingers and fundies into frothing, paranoid overdrive. And from an epidemiological point of view only vaccinating girls leaves half the population, boys, as a reservoir of infection. Vaccines don't last forever; the titer of antibodies eventually falls, resistance lowers, and then that reservoir of infection rears its head and bites you on the ass. And that's on top of the fact that HPV doesn't just cause cancer in women, it's linked to a couple of kinds of cancer in men and a few other conditions, so vaccinating boys is good for them, too. The HPV vaccination should be standard for all children at about age 10. If we did that for thirty years, the virus would probably become extinct for lack of viral hosts. We could wipe it out forever if we had any damned sense.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 05:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bachmann's stigmatizing the vaccine is criminal (18+ / 0-)

    So is Sarah Palin lending her 'support'. But what the heck if a few thousand more women get cervical cancer 30 years from now, if it buys Bachmann a few more votes and Sarah can sell a few more of her 'books' to rubes who drink their own urine for breakfast.

  •  Georges Benjamin's statement is (7+ / 0-)

    equivocal, but I think he means not that it was wrong per se to mandate or at least strongly encourage use of the vaccine, but that the process Perry used was not the best politically. From a public health perspective if you get one mandated vaccine that starts to be stigmatized it could potentially begin to undermine the whole schedule if it causes mistrust, which has already been happening for quite a while thanks to Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy and various other prominent anti vaccination advocates.

  •  Are you saying that these innoculations should (0+ / 0-)

    be mandatory?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:29:55 AM PDT

  •  GOP aren't very good at mixing Science and (7+ / 0-)


    •  But they're very good (7+ / 0-)

      at bringing religion into all of the above.

      •  This is a point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rightiswrong, tobendaro, FarWestGirl

        that sould be illuminated to ALL voters, including R-wingers.  But it's difficult because of the religious incursion into public life.

        While Republicans specifically complain about government intervention (and the money involved), their fight can usually be traced to a social issue.  And this is one of them.

        Once upon a time, R-wingers complained that this inoculation would encourage promiscuity.  But how many 12-year olds are going to connect a shot at the doctor's office with a green-light to entertain multiple sex partners?  Their argument didn't work so they've refocused on the danger of the vaccine, a fully vacuous argument.  

        But their purpose is the same: frighten adolescents to be wary of cancer in order to "force" them to adhere to their religious views of abstinence (a failed concept if there ever was one).  

        Actually, the kids aren't warned; they're only punished...with cancer.  Still, this serves the illogical religious tenets of the party leaders and their evangelical constituents.

        If they are willing to gamble our children's future on their dogma, all parents should be made aware.

        I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

        by john07801 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:14:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  listening to this whole thing is like listening to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Birchers back in the 60's screaming and yelling that flouride in the drinking water was a communist plot to destroy our freedoms.

      Next thing they'll be bitching about is vitamin D fortified milk, and iodine in our salt.

      They're nutty. (shrug)

  •  T&R because they are both wrong (7+ / 0-)

    Your last line really resonated with me.  I was glad Bachmann took Perry on over the way the rule was instituted in Texas.  The vaccine is a good thing, but he made it happen in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.  But she's guilty of something different - demonizing something that can save lives.

    The Republican primary is all about figuring out which kind of crazy the crazies like best.

  •  Your missing the big picture here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It doesn't have anything to do with weather the vaccine is helpful, harmful, neccessary or not. Rick Perry is campaigning as "small government" he has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he will make Washington as "inconsequential " in your lives as possible. now how does he square this with a mandate that all 11 year old girls get vaccinated. Not very inconsequentail after all is it.

    It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

    by AKA potsi on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:43:37 AM PDT

  •  fwiw, it'a also suggested for males (13+ / 0-)

    in order to keep them from contracting or spreading the virus.  We've had our teenage son vaccinated as a precautionary, preventive measure.  Vaccines that are effective are not an issue.

    Perry's financial ties and "pay to play" donations from Merck and from Merck through the Republican Governors Association ARE an issue.  About $37,000 worth, or more.

    The hypocrisy...

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:47:46 AM PDT

    •  TY! if you click on the CDC link at top (7+ / 0-)
      Why is Gardasil not on the immunization schedule for boys and men?

      CDC did not add this vaccine to the recommended immunization schedules for males in these age groups because studies suggest that the best way to prevent the most disease due to HPV is to vaccinate as many girls and women as possible. Parents of boys can decide if Gardasil is right for their sons by talking with their sons’ health care providers. Young men can also discuss this vaccine with their doctors.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:55:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, basically the CDC is saying (0+ / 0-)

        if your son is gay or questioning or experimenting and has sexual contact with other boys (or men), either consentually or unconsentually, then whatever he does is his own fault and he's on his own.

        And if he gets rectal or oral or penile cancer later on, than fuck him.

        It's about time I changed my signature.

        by Khun David on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:43:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, no, no. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The HPV vaccine Gardasil is recommended for boys from age 11-26.  All insurance companies in my state (Hawaii) will reimburse for this.

          "I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin, he missed his flight." - Wanda Sykes, 2009.

          by surfermom on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:17:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  no (0+ / 0-)

          recommendations for vax additions are always slow as consensus builds. See Perry, TX if you try to rush it.

          For example, there was years of debate before adding pertussis to adult vaccination schedules was done. It's now part of a routine tetanus shot, and offered to parents of newborns, but all of that is only within the last few years as the need was recognized.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:25:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and for your son.

      It's about time I changed my signature.

      by Khun David on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:38:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Definitely a discussion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, nonnie9999, FarWestGirl

    worth having, even if we have to listen to the  rants of the fearful. An informative diary here  from last month Pique the Geek answers many questions about the virus. I have to hope the HPV vaccine websites have seen a jump in their viewing.

    Behold the Power of Cheeseheads!

    by vacilando on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:51:00 AM PDT

  •  Let's not oversell this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, wa ma, FarWestGirl

    Cervical cancer deaths decreased by approximately 74% in the United States over the past half-century, thanks largely to widespread Pap smear screening. In 1998, 4,800 US women died of cervical cancer; the estimate for 2011 is that 4,290 will die. Deaths were declining while the population of the US rose, from 270 million in 1998 to over 311 million in 2011.

    The HPV vaccine protects against 2 of the 15 high-risk HPV strains, which cause 70% of cervical cancers. Since it doesn't protect against 30%, vaccinated women can still get cervical cancer and still need regular Pap smears.

    The HPV vaccine is safe, but of course not 100% safe. Not sure where Bachmann got her mental retardation story from, but there are reports of venous thromboembolism, anaphylaxis, and death possibly from the vaccine. These are quite rare--but if you're talking about vaccinating millions of kids, rare adverse effects become that much more important.

    Of course, not all problems that follow vaccination are caused by the vaccine. On the other hand, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is voluntary, and not all doctors are familiar with it, so probably not all problems are being reported. And on that third hand, the vaccine is made by Merck--you know, the company that lied about cardiovascular risks with Vioxx.

    Oh, and Gardasil is the most costly vaccine on the planet.

    In other words, this isn't just a cut-and-dried case of enlightened medicine versus antiscience Puritans. It's that tricky old risks-versus-benefits, cost efficiency, and allocation of societal resources thing.

  •   I recall something about (4+ / 0-)

    ... if it were mandated then there'd be better insurance coverage than if it's optional.  So the mandate plus an opt out is a better way to go than leaving it "up to the parents" like Bachmann says.

    The river always wins. -- Mark Twain

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:47:38 PM PDT

  •  "onset of sexual activity" (4+ / 0-)

    Is this just poor phrasing? Are they just trying to avoid the word puberty because this is apparently what is leading the baggers to scream 12 year olds having sex.

    So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

    by JML9999 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:06:59 PM PDT

  •  It's the math, stupid (4+ / 0-)

    There's a critical mass of vaccinated people that prevent epidemic. It shouldn't be just girls. One wants to have a "come to Jesus" conversation with the parents of (sic) virgins: "If your daughter marries an unvaccinated boy, she could get cervical cancer from him!"

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:08:14 PM PDT

  •  Of course the availability of the vaccine will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    encourage young girls to have lots of S-E-X without the threat of getting a deadly disease according to the wingnuts.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:08:47 PM PDT

  •  since gov little ricky goodhair... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, Brooke In Seattle

    hate cervical cancer so much, he's probably dying to fund planned parenthood.  right?

    larger version

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:09:45 PM PDT

  •  I can't believe this is a political issue. (5+ / 0-)

    What's next? Anti-flouride legislation?

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen

    by TheFatLadySings on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:12:21 PM PDT

  •  Autumn is here and winter is inevitable. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm always looking for any excuse for keeping the flip-flops out in full view, like I was going to the beach or something...

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:13:14 PM PDT

  •  My daughter watched Michele Bachmann on TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Something terrible happened to me and my family.  Three weeks ago my daughter, age 12, watched Michele Bachmann on TV.  I usually control what my children see, but I was busy shuttling my mother-in-law to the unemployment office and then she had to stop at the liquor store and then on the way home my Pinto got a flat, so I was way delayed.

    Well, just as children are ... the entire time my daughter was watching Michele Bachmann.

    The next day my daughter suddenly couldn't do arithmetic; a few hours later she stopped talking and started just going "lalalalala"; we had to put her into diapers that night because she lost all urine and bowel control.  Fortunately, she fit into my mother-in-law's Depends.

    My daughter watched Michele Bachmann and then she became MENTALLY RETARDED!  OMG!  This is horrible!  Warn your children!  Never let them watch Michele Bachmann!

  •  The truth is not always simple (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, FarWestGirl

    The HPV vaccine saves lives.

    Rick Perry was in the pocket of big pharma and based policy on this.

    Both things are true.

    An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

    by rini6 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:23:30 PM PDT

  •  gardasil for men (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Khun David

    This may be recommended in the future...HPV-related throat cancers are now being seen in men as a consequence of oral sex (with men or women) as well as anal carcinomas

    •  It is stupid and irresponsible (0+ / 0-)

      to think that boys (and men) only have sexual contact with girls (or women).  

      For the CDC to recommend that this vaccine should only be mandated to females ignores the fact that there is a huge population of boys or men who won't have sex with women (willingly or unwillingly).

      It's about time I changed my signature.

      by Khun David on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:52:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HPV issue exposes everything Teapublican... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stcroix cheesehead, FarWestGirl

    Unscientific, unstatesmanlike, completely void of deep analysis and dangerously entertaining.

  •  Personally, I think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, FarWestGirl

    all boys should be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine as well.  Boys, as well as girls can transmit the virus, and boys, as well as girls, can be infected with the virus by girls, or other boys (or men or women).

    The epithelial cells in the cervix are pretty much the same as epithelial cells in the mouth, the rectum or the urethra.

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:34:38 PM PDT

    •  see current status from CDC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Why is Gardasil not on the immunization schedule for boys and men?

      CDC did not add this vaccine to the recommended immunization schedules for males in these age groups because studies suggest that the best way to prevent the most disease due to HPV is to vaccinate as many girls and women as possible. Parents of boys can decide if Gardasil is right for their sons by talking with their sons’ health care providers. Young men can also discuss this vaccine with their doctors.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:47:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So basically the CDC says (0+ / 0-)

        if your son is a sexually active gay boy (whether or not you know it), he's on his own.  If your son gets sexually assaulted by a man or another boy, he's on his own.

        It's about time I changed my signature.

        by Khun David on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:55:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  without a mandate (0+ / 0-)

      you gotta pay.

      with a mandate, better chance insurance will pay.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a nut attacks an asshole. What to do?

  •  Both daughters are vaccinated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    surfermom, FarWestGirl

    And I plan to have my son vaccinated as well.  Whether it should be mandated is an issue that isn't quite as clear -- for one thing, the vaccine was quite new at the time Perry tried to mandate it by executive fiat no less.  Obviously, it would be good public health policy, but at the same time HPV is not immediately dangerous to one's peers the way measles or mumps are, so the case for a mandate probably needs to be built over time as more evidence about the dangers of HPV versus the safety of the vaccine become apparent.

    •  As someone mentioned above, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, FarWestGirl

      mandating could be the key to get insurance companies to pay for it, rather than families having to search their couch cushions for the money.

      Related note: there's currently a push for shingles vaccination of the elderly (those over 60). Because the vaccine is still in the approval stage, it's not paid for by Medicare or most individual insurances, so old folks are either on the hook for the full cost or they risk getting shingles which can have some severe repercussions at that age (it was bad enough for me when I got them at 21; I still have scarring on my forehead from the lesions). My mother-in-law got hers when we saw the doctor a few weeks back -- I'll have to see if she got her bill yet to see how much it cost.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:51:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This is an argument, and there are others as well -- the most important being that (it is my understanding, anyway) once a woman is exposed to HPV the vaccine won't help -- so ideally she needs to get it before she becomes sexually active.  If acceptance takes time, some women who would have been protected won't be.

        The reality is, however, that mandating a vaccine is never going to be a "first thing out of the gate" kind of policy for a disease that is as latent as HPV.  Even polio vaccine mandates were controversial, and polio was highly visible and incredibly dangerous to people.

  •  Republicans CAN do the right thing - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, FarWestGirl

    But only if it's for the wrong reasons.

    It's a fundamental difference in orientation. On a question like this vaccine, it's always necessary to weigh the costs and benefits to make a decision about it. Reasonable people do it on the facts of the matter.

    Modern Republicans also weigh costs and benefits - but only with regard to themselves. Right now. Screw the future and screw everybody else.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:58:50 PM PDT

  •  We all know they aren't reality-based.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FarWestGirl this isn't much of surprise that they reject the efficacy of vaccinations.  the HPV vaccine is just the first of a long line of new vaccines that will roll out in the coming years, not only a possible HIV vaccine, but opiate vaccines, cocaine vaccines, and even a nicotine vaccine.  Perhaps even an Alzheimer's vaccination.  There are vaccines against other types of cancer on the horizon as well.

    For religious and non-rational reasons mostly due to concepts of guilt and sexual punishment, the Republicans want us to be sicker than the rest of the world?  Because this technology will be global.  If they have their way, one day a person could take one step over the Mexican or Canadian border and find themselves magically transported to a place where the average life expectancy is in the nineties and rising.  This side of the border, life expectancy in the late sixties and falling.

    [Aside:  This actually happened in another part of the world, where life expectancy in the old Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies was falling at an alarming rate, yet going up in the countries of Western Europe.  Yes, all those happy old people in Germany and France, the countries the Repubs have a hate on for.]

    Knowing this, why would Obama or anyone else this side of sane negotiate, kowtow, or even listen to a word coming out of any Republican mouth?

    "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:02:41 PM PDT

  •  I give the HPV vaccine in my pediatric practice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, tobendaro, FarWestGirl

    to both boys and girls. Insurance will cover the vaccination for both boys and girls. I am writing this because there was a comment up-thread that implied that boys were not covered for this vaccine by insurance. Believe me, they are. At least they are in the state of Hawaii, which is where I live and work.
    The HPV vaccine is not about sexual promiscuity. It is all about preventing cancer and preventing genital warts, and yes, certain types of throat cancer, caused by HPV.
    I strongly encourage all of my patients, from age 11 years and up, to get this vaccination.  To be more accurate, I encourage their parents to consent to the vaccine, and I spend a lot of time talking to them and reassuring them that the vaccine does not make their child sexually active.  Also, as one commenter pointed out, a girl can be a virgin when she gets married and then contract HPV from her husband, and die of cervical cancer.  In fact, that was one of the first clues that cervical cancer was caused by an infectious disease.  A husband would have a wife that died of cervical cancer.  The guy got remarried and the next wife died of cervical cancer too. Finally the light bulb went on, and scientists discovered that cervical cancer was caused by a sexually transmissible virus.

    "I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin, he missed his flight." - Wanda Sykes, 2009.

    by surfermom on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:14:39 PM PDT

    •  excellent comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but not all states cover it.

      Financing is another concern: if states make the vaccine mandatory, they must also address funding issues, including for Medicaid and SCHIP coverage and youth who are uninsured, and whether to require coverage by insurance plans.  This has caused some to push for further discussion and debate about whether or not to require the vaccine.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:29:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has it been determined what size (0+ / 0-)

    of bri--errrr--campaign donation would not offend Gov. Perry? We know that $5,000 is too little.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:26:40 PM PDT

  •  I don't know what kind of appropriate process (0+ / 0-)

    you're thinking of.  A vaccine came into existence for a disease that kills more Americans every year than the September 11th attacks, and Rick Perry did exactly the right thing with it: render Texas immune.

    I mean, sure, this is a Democratic website, we must bash him somehow, but this was a good decision.

    Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

    by eigenlambda on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:59:22 PM PDT

    •  no it was not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl, tekno2600

      the hx was that perry instituted the mandate by exec decision and sparked a backlash. It was overturned by the state legislature. link from Laura basset article:

      Perry's 2007 executive order, which was quickly overturned by the state legislature, would have required all sixth grade girls in the state to receive the vaccine unless their parents opted out.

      While Perry has taken a heaping of political criticism for his decision, few have mentioned the fact that Virginia -- which is currently run by a Republican governor -- has a nearly identical law on the books that the state legislature declined to overturn earlier this year.

      Because he did it that way, and did not build consensus and work with the TX House and Senate, it failed.

      It was a poor decision that resulted in nothing that helped Texans.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:40:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Vaccinations are generally good...but a corrupt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      mandate that everyone immediately buy the vaccine made by one of your big political donors is the issue here...and we raised it long before Michelle Bachmann discovered crony capitalism. Had they gone through the process of passing a law, this would not have been such a glaring conflict of interest.

      Just doing my part to piss off the right wing smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:50:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  State Rep. Bachmann had no objection in MN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ms. Bachmann was silent as Minnesota acted responsibly and proactively by requiring the immunizations of teen girls.

    "The Hepatitis B vaccination in Minnesota (state law since 1993) doesn’t even require parental consent at all."

    If Bachmann objected to this or demanded a parental opt-out exeption,  no one knows about it.

    Priceless:  Chris Matthews asking so and so if he wanted Michelle Bachmann as the U.S. Commander In Chief!

  •  Don't call Rick a $10 Ho. He charges at least $11! (0+ / 0-)

    Just doing my part to piss off the right wing smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:38:33 AM PDT

  •  should be parent's choice (0+ / 0-)

    There are risks/benefits to every vaccine/drug and it is the parent's decision to make if the benefits outweigh the risks.  The gov't can make recommendations, but they should not be required.  

  •  my daughter is 13 (0+ / 0-)

    and she hasn't had the vaccine.  I've spoken with my pediatrician about it, and her position, and I agree, is to wait until I know she is becoming sexually active.  

    Yes, I know there is all that but teenagers do what parents don't know stuff, but we are homeschoolers, she spends much of her time with me or in activities that are chaperoned in a way that I'm comfortable with, and frankly, as long as she thinks boys are yucky, I'm good not vaccinating her.

    We'll know when the time is appropriate, and that should be between my doctor, my daughter and myself.

    Making it mandatory for school, IMO, will just make girls think they are "safe" to mess around.

    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by k8dd8d on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:33:44 AM PDT

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