I was surprised to read in the Washington Times
this morning that the General Assembly has passed a bill mandating
vaccination for HPV in all
of the Commonwealth's schools. Of course, after reviewing the bills
over at Mr. Jaquith's excellent Richmond Sunlight
, I'm left even more
This measure passed by 80/17 in the House? And by 40/0 in the Senate? Even the Senate's Health and Welfare Committee
, a notoroious
stopping-point for just about any
"conservative" legislation (see this
eternally-engrossed bill, for instance), passed this claptrap unanimously!
Is it really in the Commonwealth's best interests to force
the use of a first-year
, almost wholly-untested vaccine on all
of our girls? And if, God forbid, our children start dying from this vaccine
, will the Commonwealth and the General Assembly transfer the costs of such litigation on to we, the taxpayers and citizens
Consider this: the
National Cancer Institute says that HPV is 100% preventable, and while I'm sure Bill Clinton would never approve
of the method involved, it is
Furthermore, the "disease" itself causes a mere 3,600 deaths
I'm not trying to say that each case is not tragic in its own right, but do we want
Commonwealth policy on such a wide basis, to protect against a very
miniscule risk to our children? We're hardly
talking about an epidemic
, after all.
It seems to me that we'd save twice
as many lives by banning teenage driving
, for instance, but I don't hear anyone in the Assembly arguing for the Commonwealth to do that
So what's the primary motivation here? Is the Commonwealth seriously considering risking
the lives of our 1,816,191 children
with a relatively untested vaccine, in order to try and save the hundred or so
that will be affected by HPV? Or is the Commonwealth using its Legislative authority to "transfer" money to the pockets of the sole source of the HPV vaccine
I'm not so sure that I trust the Legislature's judgement on this, and I'd definitely hope for a veto from our Governor.
I'm curious to hear what some of the more esteemed bloggers
here in the Old Dominion think of this debacle... How do you compare the forced
vaccination for every girl in the Commonwealth with your beliefs in individual freedom, if any? And, do we really
want for the General Assembly to act as our collective surrogate mothers in this case, or any other?
I eagerly await the input of those who are undoubtedly greater than myself.