Governor Sarah Palin and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann went on Greta Van Sustern’s “On the Record” show on Fox News to accuse Governor Rick Perry of “crony capitalism” because of his Executive Order RP65, which would have mandated Gardasil and which did make it much easier for parents to opt out of all mandatory vaccines.
None of the players explain one very pertinent point: Merck was the only company making the only approved vaccine against the viruses that cause the changes that cause abnormal Pap smears and which lead to cervical cancer. (The only reason to get a pap smear is to check for changes from HPV. Gardasil provides immunity to the specific strains that cause nearly 3/4 of all cervical cancer.)
The Gardasil vaccine (more, here ) was recommended the FDA’s vaccine approval committee, more than 6 months before Governor Perry’s Executive Order. All girls who qualified for the Federal Vaccines for Children program were eligible to receive the vaccine free of charge: Medicaid, CHIPs, and uninsured or those with insurance that won’t pay for vaccines. The Texas Legislature had previously delegated unconditional authority to mandate new vaccines to the Department of State Health Services, which is under Governor Perry and the Executive Branch.
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann showed her profound ignorance about the germ theory and modern medicine in general, and the Human Papilloma vaccine, Gardasil, in particular. She seems ignorant of the fact that newborns (little, innocent newborns) receive a shot against the STD, Hepatitis B, on the first or second day of their lives, before they go home from the hospital. They get 2 more of the shots by the time they are 6 months old. And (little, innocent) 12 year old boys and girls get a (measles/mumps/rubella) MMR and a tetanus and diphtheria booster (Td) about the same time. Tetanus, or “lock jaw” is not a communicable disease.
in her zeal to attack Governor Rick Perry, Bachmann did even worse in her post-debate interview with Greta Van Sustern on Fox News. Her emotional, anti-vaccine remarks should be an embarrassment to her.
She told Greta about a conversation with a crying mom who came up to her after the debate, saying that the woman’s daughter suffered from “mental retardation” after receiving the vaccine. “Mental retardation” would not be diagnosed at 9-12 years old. In fact, in over 10 years more than 50 million doses of Gardasil have been given in the United States. There has been more than the usual scrutiny and surveillance for adverse effects. The Center for Disease Control, the FDA and the Institute of Medicine have all reached the conclusion that even with this heightened awareness and concern, there have been no adverse effects from this vaccine other than fainting and allergic reactions that can happen with any medical procedure or treatment.
At the time, Gardasil had over 5 years of history of study in boys and girls, with an official “Four Year Follow Up” article published in the British Medical Journal. To learn more, please see “A Dose of Reason.”