Don't jump the gun on new vaccine

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The Georgia General Assembly is considering a measure that would require all girls to take a new vaccine that prevents human papilloma virus (HPV) infections.

Certain strains of HPV are associated with the development of cervical cancers. This vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year and appears to offer a real advancement in the prevention of disease.

However, I am concerned with the rush to make this a mandatory vaccination. Although the drug appears beneficial, I have concerns that it may have unintended side effects that were not detected in the small number of women in the initial clinical trials, or may have problems that may arise over the long haul.

These concerns are common to every drug that the FDA approves. In fact, the FDA requires manufacturers to perform post-marketing surveillance on all newly approved drugs and vaccines. There have been several unintended problems with vaccines in the past. A recent example includes vaccines against rotavirus that have been linked with a potentially life-threatening twisting of the intestines.

I think that a much more rational approach to public policy here would be for public health authorities to encourage its use in the short term, but withhold making it a mandatory vaccination until we have a few years' worth of post-marketing surveillance data to assess.

Greene Shepherd, Pharm.D., Martinez

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CINDYLOUWHO 03/03/07 - 11:16 am
being someone who has hpv i

being someone who has hpv i think it is a good thing to advise young girls to do. i have seen the suffering that comes with cervical cancer and it's not pretty. if we can possibly prevent it then that would be absolutely wonderful. i just wish it had been available to me.

DCFONE 03/03/07 - 01:33 pm
?Regarding the mandatory

?Regarding the mandatory vaccine. Anyone old enough to remember Hilter, the holocost, blacks being used as "experimental bodies", homeless people that have few choices when they go to a hosp., would know just how dangerous it is for a government to say you HAVE to take a vaccine, or anything done to your body because someone else says so. Your body is yours alone. Better stand up and fight against this. It will be only the begining. You think welfare people, handicaped people won't be "fixed" so as not to re-produce. You think this is far out? Not to people that are 60 and over. We remember well , the times of all of the above.

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