The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

An Assembly of Errors?

Is this your doctor?
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 in shock.

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 thereof?

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 effective.

Furthermore, the "disease" itself causes a mere 3,600 deaths, nationwide! I'm not trying to say that each case is not tragic in its own right, but do we want to dictate 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.



#1 captainfish 22-Feb-2007
Wow. What next? Forced inoculation for any and all Venereal Diseases?

The link stated: "Complete vaccination has the potential to reduce cervical cancer deaths around the world by as much as two-thirds."

And it stated: "Studies thus far have shown that Gardasil can provide protection against HPV16 for 4 years."

And the astounding statement: "The FDA approved Gardasil for use in females 9 to 26 years of age."


Ok, so they are planning a forced vaccination for kids as young as 9 years old for a virus that is only spread by sexual intercourse, it is only 2/3 effective and for only 4 years. And.. they don't even have a plan, timeline, study, or an idea, about how to implement booster shots!!!

This is insane. Many states don't want to force floridation of the water to protect kid's teeth, but they will force a largely untested, unplanned, unnecessary vaccine onto pre-teens!!

This is not what a free society does. Ok, if we are going to assume that girls are going to be sexually active and thus treat the disease afterwards, then why don't we mandate that all boys, 9 years to 18 years, wear condoms at all times.

I mean, it is not just the girls having sex, right? And, the girls can't get the disease without having intercourse with a boy, right? So, obviously this is a male problem.

Why not mandate separate areas of the state where only females live? I know, we can mandate the chastity belt again and let the government control the keys. That way, if a girl wants to have sex, she has to file for a permit, prove she has been vaccinated, prove that she will only do it with a clean boy, and then await the government shag-mobile to go and pick the lucky applicants up for their government-approved affair.

#2 captainfish 22-Feb-2007
Oh, I forgot to ask. Why is this only to be implemented IN the public schools? Are the girls having sex in schools? What about home-schooled kids? Is there something unique about public school girls that make them targets for the mandatory vaccination in grades as low as 3rd grade?

If this occurs, then a girl who's parents don't agree with this sexual intercourse vaccine, will not be allowed into a public school system? So, a good girl will be shunned while the lemmings and "bad" girls will be approved?

What about those girls in foster care? on the streets? from religious families?
#3 Brian 22-Feb-2007
Excellent observations as usual, Cap'n!

From what I understand, Commonwealth law on vaccinations applies to *all* children, not just those in public school... Not the most comforting thought. It's nice to see that my legislators are perfectly happy to gamble with the lives of our children for the mere purpose of bowing to politically-correct doctrines, though.

#4 Waldo Jaquith 22-Feb-2007
Understand, though, that what you're actually objecting to is the concept of required vaccinations period. Required vaccinations were largely a product of the 40s, when it was realized that people who are not vaccinated aren't just subject to having those diseases, but subject to carrying those diseases, and thus infecting others. It's kind of like requiring safety locks on guns: yeah, it keeps you from blowing your own head off, but it also keeps other people from being shot in the head.

Cancer will kill as surely as a bullet. It's just more painful and takes longer.

Three generations have been subjected to mandated vaccinations (with exceptions, as with existing state law, for personal beliefs and health), and the result has been a far safer, healthier populace at minimal cost.

So do I oppose to mandated HPV vaccines except for those who prefer to opt out? Nope. I can't see why anybody would.
#5 Brian 22-Feb-2007

Thanks for the insight, and for taking the time to share your point of view with us! I don't object to vaccinations per se, but I don't think there's much of a comparison between the death rates of HPV and Polio, to use one of the other vaccines as an example. Polio afflicted 50,000 people in a year at its height. The measles? We're talking about *400 thousand* at its height.

Don't you think that puts the argument into perspective a bit? I'm not ranting against vaccines, I'm trying to determine if the *benefits* of mandating a new, relatively untested vaccine outweigh the risks, and *if* it's worth the cost.

(It doesn't help that the HPV vaccine is sole-source, and the only company involved in producing it *admitted* to shopping around in state legislatures nationwide to sell "mandatory" programs... Not that I'm traditionally an "anti-Corporatist" or anything!)


Again, it is my pleasure to be,

Most Respectfully,
Brian L.
#6 Darrell 22-Feb-2007
Gov. Rick Perry is trying to do this in Texas. I had no idea the vaccine hasn't been tested.
I question the motivation also. He actually signed an executive order to have it done.
#7 captainfish 23-Feb-2007
I also am not against mandatory vaccinations. Think of it. Polio has been wiped out. Measles and Chicken Pox on the verge of being eliminated. Small Pox has been gone so long that its recurrence is seen as biological warfare. As like Brian so clearly stated, there just isn't that many people who suffer from this. This being a virus associated with sexual intercourse.

Now, I think we might be able to come to an agreement if you were to make it mandatory for all girls 18 years of age or older. But then, is it really wise to have a MANDATORY vaccine that is tied to being able to attend MANDATORY public school. If you don't want your young teen daughter to get a virtually untested vaccine, then you better start up a home-school.

As I asked before, why not mandatory condoms? They are pretty much already pushing them to our children in public schools now anyway. Why not prevent kids from driving cars till they are 30 to prevent teen driving deaths? Why not remove all playground equipment and hard surfaces from school grounds? Why not prevent vehicular traffic inside neighborhoods? Why not ban ALL toys smaller than 6inches square or toys made with more than one piece?
#8 Brian 23-Feb-2007

I saw Gov. Perry's actions earlier on, and was very disappointed to see him sidestep his Legislature on this issue. At least we were fortunate enough to have had a semblance of debate here, for whatever it was worth...

It should be noted, however, that the vaccine *has* been tested and approved by the FDA, so according to our Government, it is safe. Of course, you might recall that one of this company's other products--Vioxx--was *also* FDA-approved, before it was discovered that the drug had fatal side effects.

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