Friday, February 02, 2007

Governor Orders Texas Girls to Get HPV Vaccine

I never say anything good about Rick Perry, but our governor did the right thing today by signing an executive order mandating that all Texas schoolgirls receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

Beginning in September 2008, all girls entering sixth grade will be required to get Merck's new Gardasil vaccine. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital warts, but its more virulent strains can lead to cervical cancer. Gardasil protects against the strains that cause about 70% of HPV-related cervical cancers, as well as the strains that cause 90% of genital warts. Parents may still opt out of vaccinating their kids for religious or philosophical reasons.

For once, Texas is out front on a social issue. I don’t care if Perry did it because his former chief of staff is now lobbying for Merck or to avoid an unpleasant God bullying session from combustible legislators in his own party. The order is sound public health policy that will prevent thousands of cervical cancer cases, saving both lives and money.

Now all we have to do is figure out how families of girls without health insurance will be able to afford the $360 Merck is charging for the three-shot regimen of Gardasil.


Melanie said...

I smell pork.

Greg said...

Perhaps, but at least the pork don't got no warts!