The Institute For Principled Policy Opposes HB 81- Mandatory Gardisil HPV Vaccination

Policy RadarThe Institute For Principled Policy is working to oppose HB 81. This bill will revise the Ohio Revised Code to require girls who will be entering the sixth grade to begin the three injection vaccination cycle with the Gardasil® vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Under the bill the cycle of injections would have to be completed before girls could enter the seventh grade.

  • While the Policy Institute applauds the research efforts that make it possible to be vaccinated against the HPV virus, which is a sexually transmitted disease, we must oppose the effort to make it a mandatory injection for very young girls. There are several reasons for our opposition. Among these are;

    • In light of Governor Ted Strickland’s recent decision to halt all abstinence education funding, it makes little sense to remove a strong behavioral barrier to STD’s like HPV and replace that barrier with a porous and temporary biochemical barrier.
    • Cervical cancer and genital warts are terrible diseases but a significant portion of the former and all of the latter can be prevented by avoiding exposure to HPV through sexual abstinence until marriage by both spouses. The argument that the contraction of HPV is due to accidental contact, like polio, smallpox, measles, etc. does not stand up under scrutiny. HPV is easily preventable without vaccination, just like all other STD’s.
    • Gardasil® advertising leaves the strong impression that it is a panacea against HPV caused cancers and genital warts. But the technical literature distributed by Merck, the sole manufacturer of the vaccine, indicates that it is effective only against 4 of about 30 strains of the HPV virus seen in humans. These 4 strains account for only about 70% of virus caused uterine cancers and about 90% of virus caused genital warts.
    • The Institute For Principled Policy stands for biblical economics and therefore encourages successful businesses ventures which include a healthy profit. That being said, we believe it is unethical to structure the cost of a vaccination ($120 for each of the three injections in the series, a total of $360) which is being touted as a barrier against a potentially deadly STD so that it offsets the costs of lawsuits stemming from bad business decisions based on poorly conducted safety studies for other drugs that Merck has marketed (Vioxx®).
    • Furthermore, we believe that it is unethical for a company to mount an expensive and massive lobbying effort on a state-by-state basis designed to co-opt state legislators in an effort to create a guaranteed market through mandatory vaccination on a product which has essentially been awarded a monopoly. This strategy could mean multiple tens of billions of dollars to Merck in the first year of such a program alone.
    • We also believe that it is unethical to attempt to gain a back door indemnity for a product which has no long-term safety data but is nonetheless being touted for children as young as nine. Merck’s attempts to make the vaccination mandatory are at least partly based on federal legislation protecting corporations from damages for death or illness from mandatory vaccinations. No data exists on the long term health effects of Gardasil® so it is impossible to know how it may effect fertility, immune function, carcinogenic activity, neurological effects, et.
    • There is no data on the length of time of the effectiveness of the vaccine. It is conceivable that a child of 16 vaccinated at nine or ten years-old and deprived of an education showing abstinence as the only fool-proof method of STD prevention could become sexually active and be left without even the already incomplete protection of Gardasil®.
    • One of the serious risks of any vaccination of this type is an increased risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a paralytic auto-immune disorder. It is caused by antibodies which have been tricked into recognizing nerve insulating myelin as a foreign invader, causing them to attack the myelin. Gardasil® is only different in that it may have a higher than normal incidence. According to some watchdog groups girls receiving Gardasil® have a higher than normal incidence of fainting and neurological complaints ranging from numbness and loss of sensation to Guillain-Barre syndrome.
    • While we applaud Merck’s decision to not use mercury (Thimerosal) as a preservative, we cannot do the same regarding their choice to use an amorphous aluminium phosphate adjuvant. Aluminium is an important part of the activity of many vaccinations but is also a neurotoxin and accumulates as a heavy-metal in the human body.

    We urge all Ohioans to contact your state Senators and Representatives and respectfully request that they oppose mandatory administration of Gardasil®. Please see the “Contact Your Representatives” page for links to the Ohio Senate and House

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