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Srdjan Kamenko

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When it comes to vaccine intervention for disease control, should personal liberty go before the benefit to society?

This question is extremely important when one considers current news on the Human Papillomavirus vaccine. The main vaccine, Gardasil, has been widely used on women ages 9-26 since its introduction in 2006. The vaccine first made waves in 2007 when Texas governor Rick Perry issued an executive order to mandate the vaccine for all young women in Texas. Even though it was met with much opposition and ultimately failed, the question still remained: should we have a mandatory HPV vaccine for all women? The two sides of the argument clash, each bringing significant evidence to bear on the issue. Mathematical models indicate that with a vaccine as effective as this one (about 100%), mandating the vaccine will stamp out the virus types targeted by the vaccine. HPV is the most common STI with 45% of college age women currently infected. Freeing society of such a dangerous virus, the number one cause of cervical cancer, is a highlight of the pro-mandate argument. The opposition suggests that personal liberty is at stake, and that parents should have the choice to vaccinate their children if they believe the vaccine is worth it for them. What do you think? Is it reasonable to limit personal liberty for the good of the community in the face of a spreading killer virus?

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    Mar 7 2012: Kevin,
    Thank you for the information on HPV and the studies cited. Also, I was being kind by not bringing his financial ties into the equation, but I have read about his link to Merck...he's the governor of Texas afterall, not that he is ever in the forefront of anything unless its to help his political aspirations.

    I'm having to go without internet presently, so when I have access I'm going to look into the info on Guardasil. I worked in the pharma industry for several years and enjoy perusing the published studies. I will leave it at that! Take care! Thanks again.
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      Mar 8 2012: No problem! Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

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