More U.S. States Considering HPV Vaccine Requirement

A bill that would require sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against an STD that causes cervical cancer is likely to meet opposition in the Texas Legislature.

Although the bill includes opt-out provisions, critics argue that the measure would take away parents' rights, send the wrong message, and cost more than many parents can afford to pay.

The drug typically sells for $150 to $200 a shot, and many private insurers do not cover it.

The vaccine, called Gardasil, targets the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country, and the cause of nearly all cervical cancers. It causes about 10,000 cases of cervical cancer, and 3,700 deaths, in the United States each year.

In December 2006, a similar bill was shot down in the Michigan legislature. California and Kentucky are also currently considering bills that would make the vaccine mandatory.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I was glad to see a similar measure die last month in the Michigan legislature. However, the health of about 162,000 sixth-grade girls living in Texas may be affected by the legislature's final decision, as well as the coffers of Merck, currently looking to a means to pay for all those lawsuits and legal fees associated with their killer drug, Vioxx.

The fight to protect your children from another useless, unnecessary, unproven and potentially toxic vaccine has merely started. Just remember, cervical cancer is virtually 100 percent avoidable without a vaccine.

Cervical cancer is well documented to be caused by an infection acquired through sexual contact. So it is behaviorally avoidable. Also, a New England Journal of Medicine study found the use of condoms reduces the incidence of HPV by 70 percent.

By comparison, Gardasil counteracts four varieties of HPV that cause 70 percent of the cases of cervical cancer and 90 percent of genital warts.

Also remember that, according to the CDC, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America -- more than 6 million women contract it annually -- yet the immune systems of many women are strong enough to clear up these infections on their own, which is why it only causes 3,700 deaths each year.

If you really want to protect yourself against HPV, in addition to wise sexual practices you can strengthen your immune system by:

On Vital Votes, reader Ron from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, posts:

"This seems like an appropriate place to post a quote from the late Dr. Herbert M. Shelton (1895--1985). He was one of the great health educators of our time, and he gave this warning for our careful consideration:

'Doctors are not supermen and superwomen, elevated above the great mass of mankind and freed from the immoral and selfish interests and forces against which we all struggle and to which many of us frequently succumb. No 'healer' and no school of 'healing' should be regarded as any more than it is -- a tradesperson and a tradeschool, exploiting the sick for profit.

'Why one cult should be woven into the warp and woof of our government, exalted -- by law -- to the position of deity, and permitted to use the advantages thus gained, to crush out all other cults and all anti-medical movements, is difficult to understand. Why in choosing the cult to thus enthrone, was the most destructive and deadly of all the cults selected?

'This cult has been permitted to use public funds to carry on its propaganda and to employ the police power to force its schemes and methods upon the indifferent or even antagonistic public. It has gradually worked its way into the public schools, the army and navy, and among the elderly, and has gained complete control of these. State medicine is the result.

'All of this has been done, of course, under the pretense of 'protecting the public health.' But their real motives are both apparent and transparent.

"The Allopathic Cult has no more interest in the public health than any of the other cults; and none of them are bent on preserving public health, since this would ruin their incomes! The Physician does not secure his fees from the well, but from the sick. He is, therefore, interested in the sick -- not in the well!'"

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