[asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination

From: <SteamDoc@aol.com>
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 22:44:19 EST

David Opderbeck wrote:
> I think the problem is the mandatory nature of this executive order.
> Mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren are appropriate for communicable
> diseases that are transmitted by ordinary social contact. It seems very
> different to me to require that kids be vaccinated against an STD. It does
> seem like the kind of thing families should decide for themselves. I could
> see maybe making state funding available for any family that chooses the
> vaccine.

Except it isn't mandatory. In Texas (and I think in all the other states
where this is coming up), families can "opt out" if they want.
A legitimate question that some have raised is the cost-benefit analysis.
The vaccine is pretty expensive (a few hundred dollars as I recall). The
cancer prevented, while certainly tragic, is not extremely common. So society is
spending hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions, of dollars for each
cancer prevented. What are the opportunity costs for that expense? If insurance
is required to cover it, how much will premiums go up and how many people
will go uninsured as a result?
I'm not advocating any specific answer to these questions, but I think they
need to be asked in such a situation.
And one could point out that they are already making such a calculation to
some extent by not requiring the vaccination for boys, although that would also
 prevent some cancers (albeit a much smaller number).
The other legitimate question that people have raised is the active role of
the company that owns the vaccine in lobbying for states to pass such laws.
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"

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Received on Tue Feb 6 22:45:18 2007

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