What is Wrong with the United States?!

Topic: The Real World 13 years, 8 months ago

As if I needed another reminders why the United States has issues…

Here in Australia, our federal government (which is conservative, mind you) has recently introduced a national vaccination program for Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is one of the causes of cervical cancer.

But what’s happening in the US? According to the NewScientist.com article US conservatives block cancer vaccine for girls:

Plans to vaccinate young girls against the sexually-transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer have been blocked in several US states by conservative groups, who say that doing so would encourage promiscuity.

Because of what?! I don’t fucking believe it.

However, attempts to introduce compulsory vaccination programmes at the state level have run up against opposition. Four states — West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and New Mexico — have rejected vaccine programmes. In Texas, governor Rick Perry suffered embarrassment last month when his order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated was blocked by the state Senate. Only one state — Virginia — has so far passed a law requiring vaccination.

That is just outrageous.

The program here only starts here for girls in year 10 (typically 15-16 years old), so some may already be sexually active and may already have come into contact with HPV. I wonder why we aren’t doing vaccinations earlier, but at least we’re doing it. I understand it’s an expensive vaccine, but that doesn’t seem to be the reason behind the opposition to it in the US.

Windows Search is Broken — Help, Anyone?! Halo 3 in September? How Excitement!!

5 Comments Add your own

  • . jesi  |  13 years, 8 months ago

    Opposition in the US about Gardasil is controversial because Merck seems first and formost adamant to get this vaccine out so it can pay off massive lawsuits against it’s drug VIOXX! Second the drug has not had long term testing to know if it is safe for our 9 to 12 crowd. Third why not vaccinate the boys too? Vaccine series have to be repeated after a period of time at the tune of $300 to $400 per year?
    Hmmm that;s alot of money for Merck!!!!
    I just heard recently there was a life saving drug for malaria(a different drug company) and the price per injection 50 cents to $1.00…..hmmm
    ANother drug (Merck) that s helps some diarreaha virus in small babies …yeah that drug can cause such cramping the babies intestines can twist and cause death…..Wow…just do a search about Mercks drugs and they just might scare you!!!!

  • . jesi  |  13 years, 8 months ago


  • . Stephen Mok  |  13 years, 8 months ago

    Jesi: sorry you first comment didn’t show up for a while. It got picked up by the automatic spam filter and I had to manually approve it.

    I’ve read about a lot of people asking similar questions to you about the long-term effectiveness and potential side effects of Gardasil. Please don’t get me wrong, I think those questions are legitimate and do need to be asked. However, apparently it is cost effective. (Take a look at this recent New York Times article: HPV Vaccine: Few Risks, Many Benefits.)

    On the other hand, the whole of this blog post was that I was angry about people who are using the “vaccinating against HPV will encourage promiscuity” argument. That stands.

  • . Kieren Po  |  13 years, 8 months ago

    The whole promiscuity issue comes from people who live in denial. To these people, apparently, a vaccine that is 100% efficacious in preventing cervical carcinomas associated with HPV-16 & HPV-18 — around 70% — is unnecessary because in their minds young teenagers aren’t having (unprotected) sex. Clearly, at a population level, this is wishful thinking… And let’s not even mention the anti-vaccination crowd that seems to have chimed in with their usual rhetoric.

    This is the sort of irrational thinking that makes us health professionals collectively bang our heads against the wall. At least even our conservative government is rational enough to see the importance of HPV vaccination in the context of public health.

  • . Stephen Mok  |  13 years, 8 months ago

    Yeah for sure Kieren. I mean, it’s not like HPV is the only STI in existence in the first place and that was the only thing stopping kids from having unprotected sex in the first place.

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