Friday, February 09, 2007

" The National Vaccine Information Center yesterday warned state officials to investigate the safety of a breakthrough cancer vaccine as Texas became the first state to make the vaccine mandatory for school-age girls. Negative side effects of GARDASIL, a new Merck vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are being reported in the District of Columbia and 20 states, including Virginia. The reactions range from loss of consciousness to seizures. "Young girls are experiencing severe headaches, dizziness, temporary loss of vision and some girls have lost consciousness during what appear to be seizures," said Vicky Debold, health policy analyst for the National Vaccine Information Center, a nonprofit watchdog organization that was created in the early 1980s to prevent vaccine injuries."- Gregory Lopes, The Washington Times, Feb. 3, 2007

"Lawmakers should have been allowed to hear from doctors, scientists and patients before the state implemented such a sweeping mandate, said state Sen. Jane Nelson, chairwoman of the health and human services committee. "This is not an emergency," said Nelson, adding that she plans to ask Attorney General Greg Abbott for an opinion on the legality of Perry's order. "It needs to be discussed and debated." Three other Republican lawmakers filed bills that would override the mandate, and several others were working on similar legislation." - Liz Austin Peterson, Associated Press, Feb. 5, 2007

"Dr. Patricia Sulak, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said health-care providers she knows were shocked by the order. "It's such a new vaccine — they haven't had time to explain it to patients," said Sulak. "I think everyone was happy with the CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices' recommendation that it be routinely given. But this makes it seem like it's being shoved down people's throats." Hinchey [president- elect of Texas Medical Association] and others emphasized that although the vaccine is considered safe, there are questions of whether there is enough experience with it to warrant a mandate. They say that some girls eventually may experience rare adverse effects not yet identified." - Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, Feb. 7, 2007

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