When Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on my television last year discussing the HPV vaccine and his initiative to get it mandated into Texas Law, thus making it mandatory for all girls entering the 6th grade to get the Gardasil vaccine manufactured by Merck, I was none too happy about it.
It’s not that I’m opposed to young girls and women getting the HPV Vaccine if they so choose, but I don’t like or appreciate Government officials such as Rick Perry telling me what to do with my own children. Not only telling Texas parents to get their daughters vaccinated with this controversial vaccine, but coming right out and saying the vaccine would be required for girls as young as 11 or 12 entering the 6th grade, or else they would not be allowed to attend school. Shortly thereafter, Texas parents and Legislators were in an uproar, and Governor Perry started back-peddling on his previous statements saying parents could actually “opt-out” of having the Gardasil vaccine administered to their daughters. Smart move Gov. Perry.
Even though my youngest child, a daughter, is now well above the age described in the Governor’s initiative, it really upset me that Texas parents were basically having this vaccine forced upon them and their children. My daughter is a Senior in High School this year, making plans for college in the Fall, and we’ve had numerous discussions about the HPV vaccine and what her thoughts are on getting it. My daughter is 18 years old, fully capable and of legal age to make up her own mind, and after reading and openly discussing the many issues surrounding the vaccine, it is her choice and decision to get the vaccine. If my daughter were not yet of legal age, and after discussing with her all the issues involved with the vaccine, I would make the decision for my child to get the vaccine. It’s a fact: Teen Sex happens, and whatever I can do, that I choose to do for my own child’s long-term health I will do, but I don’t need some big shot politician breathing down my neck telling me what I must do.
I’ve heard and read numerous news reports about the HPV vaccine debate, the various side effects that recipients might experience, the fact that the vaccine doesn’t protect against all strains of the HPV virus, as well as the notion that getting the vaccine encourages tweens/teens to engage in sexual activity. After reading virtually everything I could get my hands on, or read online, I still believe the decision as to whether young girls or teen girls should get the Gardasil vaccine or not should be left up to the parents to decide. No Government or state official, regardless of their intentions, should have the power to force parents to have the vaccine administered to their own children by having it mandated into Law. It’s my child, my decision Mr. Perry!
I can certainly give Governor Perry the benefit of the doubt, that his intentions were perhaps honorable and that he’s genuinely concerned about the long-term health risks associated with the HPV virus, but there are other ways of bringing important issues facing children today to parents attention. That being said, I thought I’d include for you parents some resource links to articles you may find of interest regarding the controversial HPV Vaccine, where you can make up your own mind.
- Parents’ Guide to Understanding HPV Vaccine
- Saying Yes to the HPV Vaccine
- No Law to Mandate Dangerous, Untested HPV Vaccine
- Texas Legislators Block Shots for Girls Against Cancer Virus
- Gardisal – Information about Gardisal Vaccine