The state of Michigan is pushing a requirement which will force parents to either get their daughters vaccinated against HPV, or require a letter from a physician stating that they have refused the vaccination, but have been counseled regarding the risks, for all girls entering sixth grade. Now I'm not against the vaccine. However, I am against a nanny-state, or some bureaucratic pogue telling me what is best for MY children. Thus, I wrote this letter to the editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette, and will also be copying it to my state Senator and Representative, as well as that worthless piece of flesh we have occupying the governor's office right now:
Once again, the government's desire to intrude into citizen's private lives has caused an introduction of legislation which takes away individual's right to make an informed and PRIVATE decision.
The recent effort by the legislature in Michigan to force parents to provide documentation showing that girls have been immunized against the human papilloma virus invades the decision-making process of parents in the lives of their children. While the ultimate goal of this legislation is honorable, requiring some sort of registration of the children who have received or have declined the vaccination equates to a scarlet letter of sorts. What business is it of the schools if my child has been educated as to the risks of HPV? I can see a requirement for chicken pox, measles, or some other disease that is contracted through casual contact or via touch. However, there is only one method of being infected with HPV and decisions surrounding that activity are something best left to parents, the child, and their pediatrician.
Are we also going to require that the boys entering sixth grade receive this same education? Since the transmission method requires activity between a boy and girl, it would seem logical to vaccinate boys as well. In addition, recently a published report in the latest Obstetrics and Gynecology journal recommendeds that boys be vaccinated as well. HPV has been linked with penile, anal and neck cancer in males.
Thus, not only does this legislation invade the private relationship between parents, pediatricians, and their children, but also discriminates against boys, who not only transmit the disease, but have their own share of intrusive diseases that result from this virus.
I am not arguing against this vaccine. In fact, if a vaccine is eventually developed for boys, I will have both my children vaccinated immediately. However, that is my choice, not one that should be forced upon me by a self-righteous government which has decided that it can parent my children better than I can.