Bioethics, cancer, infectious disease, legislation, media bias, medical ethics, medical finance, public health, religion, Sex ed, Sexuality

Texas: First to Mandate STD Vaccine

That’ll shock ’em on the coasts, won’t it? Not to mention France and England, since the story has gone global.

Governor Rick Perry reportedly (free registration required) has signed an order mandating that teen girls in the State of Texas receive the vaccine against four strains of the Human Papilloma Virus by 12 years old and that the State pay for the vaccines that are not covered by health insurance. Two of these strains cause most cases of cervical cancer, and the other two cause most of the big, ugly genital warts that, while they don’t cause cancer, can obstruct the urine or bowels and definitely cause bleeding and pain.

We all hope that our daughters and sons will meet their perfect mate, get married while they are both virgins. Then, we wouldn’t have to worry about 99.7% of all cervical cancer. However, as Dr. Gene Rudd of the Christian and Dental Medical Association has said, no matter how well we raise our daughters and sons, their future husbands and wives may not have benefitted from the same background. A virginal wife can catch the virus from her husband on their wedding night(and vice versa – although he has vastly less risk of cancer of the penis in the US).

Another shock will probably come when (what the Houston Chronicle and the Austin American Statesman are calling) “the Governor’s base” does not rise up in revolt and rants.

There is a strong lobby in the State against mandated vaccines (largely driven by objection to mercury preservatives, the vaccinations that are grown in human cell cultures and the troubles with the pertussis [whooping cough] vaccine from the ’70’s and ’80’s.) However, while good people who probably agree with the Governor’s pro-life, pro-family views on other issues, these are not quite large enough to be called the Governor’s “base.”

In my opinion, the Governor decided that the vaccine is too important to leave to politics – especially in a State still healing from the redistricting fight of 2003, that ended up with first the Democratic Representatives and then the Democratic Senators running away from Austin and leaving the State to stall legislation.

I wish he would go ahead and let both the boys and girls get the shot — Take a look at this video on “herd immunity.” If we’re going to do this thing, we might as well eradicate as much of the virus as possible.

I am concerned that no one knows how long the vaccine’s effects will last.

On the other hand, this is Texas.

We don’t like the government mandating anything. We can be convinced that some things are for the good – at least for other people – if you sell it right(grin).

The Governor must make a huge effort to convince the parents of Texas that this is good for the boys and girls in Texas, and that the money spent on the vaccine ($360 per girl, for 3 shots over 6 months) will save lives and money by preventing cervical cancer, genital warts and even anal cancer in both men and women.

About bnuckols

Conservative Christian Family Doctor, promoting conservative news and views. (Hot Air under the right wing!)

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Texas: First to Mandate STD Vaccine

  1. >Ive already seen some of the more religious political organisations campaigning against this. FotF is taking the "parents' rights" angle (A're you going to let the state dictate what you do with your daughter?') while FRC is going for the sex-ed angle (T'he state is encouraging promiscuity and casual sex, we must stop this to save our great american family values!'). Both of them are also using the Little Angel effect ('By allowing your daughter to be vaccinated, you are admitting that they may engage in premarital sex… what type of a message is that sending to them?')

    Posted by Suricou Raven | February 3, 2007, 11:56 am
  2. >As I said, this is Texas. One of the best things we do it fussin'.

    Posted by LifeEthics.org | February 3, 2007, 10:35 pm
  3. >$300 per girl, once the economy of scale, once production gets going. There are 162,000 girls in sixth-grade in texas. Thats about $49M, annual. Hmm… sounds acceptable, assuming the cost is spread between state budget, parents and insurers. Could be lower, but I think the price will fall. A lot.As far as I know, there havn't been any studies on the efficacy or long-term effects of the vaccine in males yet.Its interesting to note that were a vaccine of similar expense being promoted to prevent a disease spread with equal ease and with the same long-term effects but *not* sexually transmitted there would be almost no contriversy over this at all.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | February 4, 2007, 10:53 am

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