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One of the leading religious right groups in California appears to have embraced anti-vaccination hoakum.  The Campaign for Children and Families--better known as trying to derail a bill that would strip the "personal beliefs" exemption to the childhood vaccination requirement.  The bill is at the top of a list of bills wants defeated before Friday's deadline.

The action alert SaveCalifornia put out in June about this bill is laden with anti-vaxxer claptrap.

There are thousands of good parents who oppose vaccinating their young children due to the health risks of vaccinations, including destruction of the natural immunity process, acceleration of auto-immune disease processes, and possible triggering of autism in infants.

An increasing number of informed parents are concerned about toxic additives used in vaccines, the serious risks and side effects associated with receiving them, and how the long-term health of children may be permanently affected by the "professional" vaccine schedule.

The law would only allow parents to opt out of vaccines if they participate in an information session about the risks of avoiding vaccines, and get a signed waiver from a health care professional that they attended that session.  According to, this amounts to a "professional berating."

As tone-deaf as it sounds on its face, it's especially tone-deaf when you consider that earlier this summer, California recently declared an outbreak of whooping cough--a disease which is completely preventable by vaccines.  Other states have reported spikes in mumps and measles.  And these people have the nerve to claim their rights to raise their kids are being violated?  What about the rights of other kids?  If that wasn't enough to shoot down this group's credibility, it links to information detailing the risks of vaccines from a health site that claims the Aurora shooting was staged.

Unfortunately, this hoakum appears to have gotten legs on the fringe.  The 700 Club profiled this story on Friday--a sign that anti-vaccination lunacy has become "mainstream" among the religious right.

It's hard to imagine that this bill won't pass in the wake of the recent whooping cough outbreak.  Still, lunacy like this is proof you can't take anything to chance.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Coming up next: (6+ / 0-)

    Fighting back against the scientists' big lie that the Earth revolves around the sun.

    Pope Urban VIII was right!

    A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

    by A Mad Mad World on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:38:35 AM PDT

    •  have i got news for you. (0+ / 0-)

      There are religious right "science" textbooks & articles, that claim the Sun does not use fusion.  

      This because if the Sun uses fusion, the universe is much older than 6,000 years, QED if the universe is only 6,000 years old, the Sun can't use fusion.  

      Yes they are diagnosably insane.  

      Some day there'll be a cure.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:02:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's Immoral for Government to Promote the General (6+ / 0-)


    The religious right is against the entire concept and they will purge it from every nook and cranny of governance.

    Only church and charity are permissible to intervene in welfare.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:42:29 AM PDT

    •  Vaccine Mfrs. "opted out" of liability. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps the PEOPLE should have that same right.

      Gates is out there with his depopulation agenda in Africa, so no new babies get born.

      No choice appears to be THEIR solution.

      WE CAN do better than this.

      •  With 90% of the lawsuits against vaccine makers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        having no basis in fact Big Pharma said it would rather stop making those vaccines with a low profit margin. Besides confirming that they value profit over peoples health, without the limited liability guaranteed by the Federal Government  there would be many fewer vaccines on the market. Anti-vaxxers would be ecstatic and a lot of kids would be deaf, blind, or dead.

        I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

        by OHdog on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 04:22:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All it will take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, G2geek

    is a cluster outbreak in a church community where children get really sick and/or die.

    It think it will change minds quickly.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:47:53 AM PDT

  •  Wiat a minute! (9+ / 0-)

    So if an "information session" is a "professional berating" for excluding your child from life-saving vaccines, how is it appropriate for abortion, exactly?

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 06:57:03 AM PDT

  •  Plenty on the left don't vaccinate either (7+ / 0-)

    And support philosophical or personal exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws--the movement to pass or defend those kinds of laws is an odd-bedfellows coalition of countercultural types on the right and left who share all sorts of "alternative" parenting, healthcare, and lifestyle practices in common.

    •  and it's our job on the left to put a stop to that (0+ / 0-)

      Any time we hear anti-vax CT from people on the left, we should do our darn best by whatever means are necessary, to put a stop to it.  

      Start with "oh, you don't really believe that right-winger bullshit, do you?"   A little social opprobrium goes a long way to change behaviors.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:05:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let the epidemics return (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (among the fundies) . . . parents who vaccinate their children still have nothing to fear.  Hard on the fundies kids, to be sure, but they're going to be raised in ignorance and superstition anyway (something arguably worse than not vaccinating them).

    Not to mention the contradiction of arguing "choice" for us, but not for them . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:06:49 AM PDT

    •  Not really true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, wu ming, coquiero, BachFan

      Immunization does not always confer full immunity - that's why herd immunity is so important, to reduce the risk of exposure. Most who have come down with pertussis are unvaccinated, but not all.

      •  Your statement is false (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, snoopydawg

        81% of the whooping cough cases in California in 2010 were fully up-to-date vaccinated children.  8% of the cases were unvaccinated children.

        The effectiveness of the vaccine ranges from 20% to 40% depending on the child's age.

        •  The current vaccine is less effective than the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          original version. The old one included some killed whole cells of the pathogen (Bordetella pertussis) which was effective against most of the strains circulating. But immunity is not life-long for this vaccine and while safe for infants and children it caused too many reactions in teens and adults. The current vaccine is made of disease causing toxins that have been deactivated along with some surface antigens to alert the immune system to kill the damn bug. Additionally, the microbe continues to evolve, perhaps in response to the decades of vaccinations. But a case where there is some immunity to the toxins has a far better prognosis than with no immunity.This week in Microbiology #38 has a longer and better explanation of the Whooping Cough story.

          I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

          by OHdog on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 04:44:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So we are switching back to DTP, right? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You know the answer is "no."  We will continue to give an ineffective DTaP vaccine to children that has limited efficacy.  The reason we most likely no longer have DTP in this country is due to what went down in Guinea Bissau.

            There are still severe side-effects with DTaP, in fact 50% of all children will have some moderate side-effects, which include fever or vomiting. (I had no idea that vomiting is only considered a moderate reaction these days.)  

            In addition, 1% of all children getting this vaccine will experience very high fever (105 degrees F), seizures, continued crying, or become non-responsive (pale and limp.)    

            1% might not seem like a large number, but lets assume we vaccinate 10,000 newborns each day in this country.  That means 100 kids each day will have severe side-effects.  Plus, how many shots do we give out of DTaP on a single child?  A minimum of five dosages.  Multiply that 100 a day by 5, so we are producing these severe side-effects at a rate of 500 children per day. That is 182,000 severely ill children a year.  How many whooping cough cases?  18,000, most of which will ride it out with few complications.

            So, to answer your question, is some immunity to the toxins better than the risk of all of these side-effects?  I don't believe so. The death rate of infants with whooping cough has been drastically reduced with antibiotics and the advancement of medicine to discover the disease faster. (The cough takes place two weeks after the toxin is in the upper respiratory tract, so there is a lot of time to act.)

            In fact, the majority of whooping cough cases are in teens and adults. Somewhere between 70% and up to 90%, since most whooping cough cases in these groups are not detected. Infants (the next highest group) are most likely to get whooping cough from this older group.  

            We should spend more time on detection of infants and adults who get the disease, and ensure that the spread is stopped with antibiotics and isolation.  Better hygiene practices will also eliminate this bacterial disease from spreading.

            Of course, where is the profit in all of that?

            •  Please read (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              this. Once the toxins are attached to the lung tissue they persist in creating the cough for a long time even after all the bacteria  are gone. Antibiotics are not the panacea you believe.

              I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

              by OHdog on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 04:31:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please address the other points in my response (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I appreciate the article and will read it this afternoon.

                Proper hygiene and isolation are the most successful methods for keeping whooping cough from spreading.  They have very little costs and don't have the severe side effects that I listed from the DTaP vaccine.

                If we know that whooping cough is spreading through a geographical area, then the proper course of action would be to make sure the adults (carriers) get antibiotics early.  Results have shown this stops pertussis from spreading and the rates of the toxin being crushed are high within the first 72 hours of infection.  These antibiotics should be used particularly if you are around infants or young children.

                That is a much better (and less expensive) option that removes children as the guinea pigs for all of the vaccine side-effects on their fragile little bodies.    

                Why have you not addressed those severe side effects in DTaP or the results in Guinea Bissau with DTP, while we are on the topic of fanciful panaceas?

                •  I do not beleive that antibiotic use should be (0+ / 0-)

                  as wide spread as it is and certainly not as a front line preventive since you are asking for increasing the emergence of those microbes that have evolved resistance to the antibotics and the antibiotics are killing off your normal flora, particularly in the gut opening yourself to C.diff GI disease.
                  As far as whole cell DTP in Guinea Bissau the reasons are very far from understood although you seem to want to use the experience in the most damning way.

                  I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

                  by OHdog on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 11:18:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Antibiotic usage (0+ / 0-)

                    I am certainly not a fan of widespread antibiotic usage, but that is not anywhere close to what I said.  When whooping cough outbreaks do occur, then it makes sense for adults who start feeling ill to come in a check to see if they have the bacterial infection.  If they do, then prescribe the antibiotics. Secondly, practice better hygiene and isolation.

                    Guinea Bissau (from your reference): "In the only large study of the introduction of DTP into a high-mortality area, mortality was 2·03 times (1·17—3·52) higher in children who received DTP in Guinea-Bissau than in those who did not."

                    In addition:  The mortality rate was 4x by the second dosage compared to children not receiving the vaccines.  Sure, no reason to draw any conclusions from that.  

                    You again avoided the severe side-effects, so why don't we also discuss the term "hot lots" and how the pharma industry gets to determine whether they are pulled from the market.

                    •  Your moving target is exhausting. (0+ / 0-)

                      Let's pretend you win and be happy.

                      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

                      by OHdog on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:29:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, my friend, you win: (0+ / 0-)

                        "Vaccine makers cannot be held liable for negative side effects that parents believe are the result of their products. To be compensated, parents must go before special no-fault tribunals established by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Congress created these “Vaccine Courts” with the participation of pharmaceutical companies as a sort of “societal bargain” — as Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the majority decision in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth — to ensure the future of vaccine availability in the U.S."

                        No-fault tribunals.  Yep, that sounds fair.

            •  in which case vax the adults. (0+ / 0-)

              If kids are getting nasty side-effects, that's all the more reason to make damn sure all the adults are vaccinated.

              I'm going to pay for myself & a couple of close friends to get the shot just as soon as my next batch of $$ comes in from clients.  We could make a social occasion of it, and all go down together, line up, roll up our sleeves, say the ritual "ouchie!" for the needle, and then go out to dinner.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:12:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It depends on the disease and the vaccine (0+ / 0-)

                Good for you.  

                If you are referring to whooping cough, then as an adult you would get the Tdap booster shot. DTaP is for children.

                There are also side effects and the efficacy is in question for Tdap, but at least you old enough to weigh the benefits versus the risks unlike children who are still in a development phase.

                I have no issue with voluntary vaccinations for adults.

    •  Herd Immunity is important. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, coquiero, BachFan, G2geek

      Not everyone can be expected to be vaccinated due to health concerns, loss of medical records, age (young or old) and other problems.  These people rely on something called herd immunity.

      Herd immunity is when a high proportion of the general population is immune or resistant, so the disease can't be transmitted from person to person to thrive inside that rare possible infectee.

      In effect, it only exists if we can drive a virus nearly to extinction through having so few hosts that it can't spread.  Taking away peoples' participation in a vaccine would lead to more deaths than just the people who refuse to participate.

      It would kill completely innocent, unrelated people.

      •  Herd Immunity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, snoopydawg

        Herd Immunity occurs when you get natural diseases.  There is little evidence it occurs with vaccinations due to their lack of providing the same immune response the actual disease provides.  

        Vaccines produce antibodies in your system, but they skip the cell-mediated immunity, which occurs when you actually catch the disease.  Cell-mediated immunity provides natural killer cells (NK), T-cells, or cytokines.  The body does not provide that response for a vaccine, so it is only a temporary immunity.

        What we saw in Australia this year is that the pertussis vaccine (introduced in 1997) has produced an entirely new strain of whooping cough.  The vaccine has little to no effect on this variant.  You would not see this phenomena in nature.

        •  You are crtically wrong in your grasp of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samer, G2geek

          immunology. It often depends on what components are in the vaccine as to how the immune system responds. As B. pertussis is always producing mutants it is probable that the "new" strain was not able to passage from one human to the next as well as the "old" strain. But with the old one disenfranchised the new one is  happy as Larry to take its place.

          I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

          by OHdog on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 04:56:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "not even wrong." (0+ / 0-)

          Dude, you're totally off the rails with that nonsense.  

          The level of immunity is indistinguishable between vaccination and "natural" illness.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Never has been proven with vaccines (0+ / 0-)

            In fact, look at what happened in California.  Over 90% of the cases of whooping cough were from the "herd."  How it the heck can you support an argument when the data shows the exact opposite occurred, "dude"?

    •  that's not how epidemics work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, BachFan, Samer, G2geek

      once herd immunity falls below a critical threshold, the disease spreads far beyond the initial idiot anti-vax population, and kills infants regardless of their parents' politics.

    •  Adults whose vaccinations have (5+ / 0-)

      (unknowingly) worn off have plenty to fear. I speak from experience. 3 years ago while on Christmas vacation in California I contracted whooping cough, most likely from a one of the children of the anti-vaccination 'believers'. I had been vaccinated as a child but apparently at mid-life it had worn off.

      It was horrible, endless deep wracking coughs that just went on and on and on with no relief for a couple of months. The sheer intensity of the coughing sent me to the emergency room one night and left me completely voiceless for 2 months - I had to carry around a pad of paper and pencil in order to communicate. Thank god for email, which saved me at work.

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 11:03:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if only it were that simple. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm all in favor of the religious right eschewing science-based medicine and thereby selecting themselves out of the gene pool.  

      Problem is, their unvaccinated little walking disease-vectors are a threat to everyone in their community.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:08:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, a lot of people on the Left embrace this (9+ / 0-)

    anti-science claptrap, too. I can't count the number of people who have embraced placebo nonsense out of (real and justified, sometimes) fear of our for-profit medical system.

    Rejecting science on health does no one any good, unless you happen to run a homeopathic (aka gives no benefits, may well do harm) drug mill.

    •  Actually, they do have plenty to fear. First, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, snoopydawg

      vaccinations do not always provide 100% immunity.  Second, there will be some kids who were unable to complete a vaccination series due to experiencing anaphylactic shock after the first shot in the series (and it would be crazy to get the rest of the series if it would mean a 50% risk of death by doing so).

      There is no saving throw against stupid.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:23:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It depends on how the bill is worded. Are there (0+ / 0-)

    medical exemptions that would permit not taking the rest of a particular series if the first shot caused anaphylactic shock or other serious adverse reactions or would they just be told "just use your epi-pen and suck it up"?  Also, is there any possibility that it would require parents to give their kids the vaccinations themselves (as in they are given the syringe with the vaccine in it and told "good luck") because trying to learn how to properly give an IM injection from google isn't a very good idea.

    There is no saving throw against stupid.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:16:09 AM PDT

    •  The bill only affects parents seeking to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, G2geek

      obtain a "personal belief" exemption from vaccinating their children. It doesn't affect medical exemptions at all, since those already (by definition) require the parents to consult with a medical provider.

      The bill does not require parents to obtain medical approval for a personal-belief exemption, just documentation that a medical provider informed them of the risks of their decision.

      If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

      by ebohlman on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:56:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'd take it further: yes, approval. (0+ / 0-)

        Hell, do it like the draft in the Vietnam war (I was too young for that, but my generation watched the boomers go through it).

        You have a local "draft board."

        If you want to apply for a "personal belief exemption," you have to apply to them.  

        They can hand out at maximum, 50% of the exemptions that would start to risk herd immunity.  

        Yes, and if you get turned down, your next step is right into the adjacent clinic.  

        And further, I'd put peoples' vax status on their ID cards.

        OTOH, Earth is about 50% overpopulated right now, so maybe we should just let nature run its course?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:20:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's good. I was thinking it removed those (0+ / 0-)

        exemptions completely in which case the wording would be vitally important.  Politicians are not scientists, after all.

        There is no saving throw against stupid.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:23:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Willful ignorance - the teaBuggerer's motto (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:29:06 AM PDT

  •  This makes just as much sense as the following. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, G2geek

    They should pass a religious exemption to requiring driver's licenses to operate vehicles.

    "I don't believe in licenses, officer.  I'm a Movementarian!"

    We don't want the big government telling us all how to drive, do we?  What about my rights to drive?

    Plus, driver's licenses can be stolen, and people can pretend to be you.  It's totally not safe to even have a license.

  •  They've fallen for the autism thing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Rogers, BachFan, ebohlman, G2geek

    This is horrible. It's like opposing blood transfusions or organ transplants. It's like they aren't interested in saving lives or even making children healthier.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

    by Kimball Cross on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:11:10 AM PDT

    •  I think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, G2geek

      Jenny McCarthy should be prosecuted for manslaughter of every unvaccinated child who has died from preventable disease since she started her campaign of lies against vaccines. For the same reason, I'm not a fan of Robert Kennedy Jr.

      •  I hate anti-science as much as the next person. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, ebohlman, G2geek

        If we prosecuted every idiot for spreading dangerous nonsense, there wouldn't be time in our courts for prosecuting anything else!

        Just be glad that the religious fundies are picking this ball of anti-science up.  Maybe the nutty lefties will let go of it once the fundies run with it and generate their typical fundie-cultural explanations for why this evil liberal plot exists to make people healthy.

        I'm curious to hear what direction the fundies might take this.  Who knows, someone might bible code their way into an endorsement of anti-vaxxer nonsense.

        Still, every time these people say these things, they should be introduced to the public with the following caveat:

        This person is not a medical professional, nor qualified to speak on science in any capacity whatsoever.  Any statements they make of such a nature is unreliable at best.

      •  YES YES YES! (0+ / 0-)

        At minimum let the civil suits roll.

        And BTW, add Bill Maher to your Hall of Shame list, he's another one.

        We have some housecleaning to do on our side of the fence.

        Fortunately, Markos is right-on about this issue: promoting anti-vaxx CT is a bannable offense here.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:23:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some tips for safe and successful vaccinations. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here are some tips for safe and successfull vaccinations for both you and your kids.  Any comments by medical professionals would be greatly appreciated.

    1.  Only get vaccinations by a licensed professional at either a doctor's office or health department as many of the pharmacy "clinics" are not well trained and there have been quite a few cases of problems caused by giving the shots too high in the arm.

    2.  Insist that everything be opened in front of you to ensure a new, sterile needle and syringe is used every time.

    3.  To reduce discomfort (and possibly side effects?) consider a vaccination schedule that only has one injection per injection site which means no more than 4 IM vaccinations per visit.  Yes, that means doing some research to determine the administration route of each one.

    4.  Finally, Cervarix is considered by many people to be much less painful than Giardasil so consider getting Cervarix for HPV protection.

    There is no saving throw against stupid.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:27:17 AM PDT

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