Friday, February 2, 2007

Conflict Of Interest For Texas HPV Vaccine

Texas is trying to become the first state to mandate that all schoolgirls be immunized with the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine, starting with girls as young as 11. Now on the surface this sounds like a good idea, right? HPV is an STD that causes certain types of cervical cancer in women. Who wouldn't want to reduce their chances of contracting it?

Well, since this vaccination is so new we don't know what type of side effects it may cause later in life, and it doesn't stop all types of HPV, only some of the most common. Of course, when you give a kid a vaccine that is supposed to keep her from contracting an STD this young, doesn't it make sense that she's more likely to engage in sexual activity at a younger age? Just like handing boys condoms or putting girls on the pill, it's empowering them to go at because now it's "safe."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is pushing for the legislature to pass the requirement right away. Why is he so concerned about it you ask? Well, upon closer scrutiny of this fiasco, the main lobbyist group for the vaccine is of course Merck, the same company who is producing the vaccine. The Governor's former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, is one of Merck's main Texas lobbyists, and Perry himself has received $6000 from the big Pharm giant during his reelection campaign.

Sounds like a very big conflict of interest if you ask me. Read more here.