Entries in Rick Perry (1)


Debate over 'Forced' HPV Vaccination Re-Opened

Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Texas Governor Rick Perry got slammed at the GOP debate in Florida this week for signing an executive order in 2007 requiring all sixth-grade girls in Texas to get the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. But the Texas state legislature overturned the order before it went into effect.

Meanwhile, fellow GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was met with criticism after stating that the vaccine causes mental retardation.

“I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate,” Bachmann told NBC’s Today show Tuesday morning. “She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.”

Pushback to Bachmann's claim came hard and fast. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement denouncing Bachmann’s suggestions.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation,” it said. “There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement.”

Bioethicist Art Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania said he would donate $10,000 to the charity of Bachmann’s choice if she can produce a patient who was left mentally retarded by injections of the Gardasil vaccine.
Some 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. One-third of them die.

Furthermore, the human papilloma virus is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, and certain varieties of HPV cause most cervical cancers.

The medical community recommends parents protect their 11- and 12-year-old daughters with a life-saving HPV vaccine, Gardasil.
Gardasil has been proven to be safe, and 35 million doses have been given to girls across the country. And there is no data to link the HPV vaccine with mental retardation.
But the series of three shots must be given on schedule, over about six months starting at age 11 or 12. After that age, it's too late.
Like the flu shot, the HPV vaccine is strongly supported by medical evidence and experts.
Still, it remains a matter of personal choice, better left to the family than the politicians.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio