Re: [asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 09:48:15 EST

There is an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about Merck's
lobbying efforts: **

On 2/7/07, Jack <> wrote:
> The vaccine costs $120 each for three injections over 6 months. Merck is
> in the position to make millions of dollars a year if all states mandate
> vaccinations. Various medical societies are recommending the vaccine, but
> not mandating it.
> So then Perry, a conservative Christian, who would seem to be someone
> opposed to mandating it, passes an excutive order to make it mandatory. It
> just so happens that his former chief of staff is now the lobbyist for
> Merck. Make of that whatever you will.
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:*
> *To:*
> *Sent:* Tuesday, February 06, 2007 10:44 PM
> *Subject:* [asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination
> 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 |
> "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
> attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"

David W. Opderbeck
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Received on Wed Feb 7 09:48:57 2007

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