Texas governor is criticised for decision to vaccinate all girls against HPV

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:332
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    The Republican governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has signed an executive order requiring girls aged about 11 or 12 to be vaccinated with Gardasil, Merck's vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). Girls who haven't been vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the sixth grade of school, unless their parents say that they object to vaccination on the grounds of religion or conscience.

    By issuing an executive order Governor Perry avoided the usual approval process through the Texas state legislature. He said, “The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer.” He said that it was no different from vaccinating children against polio. His supporters also point out that vaccinations against childhood diseases are often required by school districts in the United States.

    Merck's vaccine protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. In clinical trials it provided five years of protection, but only about 1200 of those participating in trials were pre-teen girls.

    The vaccine was unanimously …

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