WA House passes measure to inform parents about HPV
[Editor's Note: If you live in the state of Washington and you are concerned about the health and welfare of 12 and 13 year old girls in your state, then you need to remember the name of House member Jeannie Darneille from Tacoma and let her know that you don't appreciate her lobbying efforts on behalf of Merck pharmaceuticals. She needs to be educated in the reality of vaccine dangers and to stop making false and unproven claims about the HPV vaccine being a "miracle". She's as shameless a hack and promoter for the pharmaceutical industry as is the governor of Texas and needs to hear from parents who don't appreciate her pro-vaccine "concerns" for their children. Thankfully, you have Republican House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt injecting some genuine concern for the health of young girls in Washington and is at least is leveling some verbal dampening at her rank hucksterism. ...Ken]
By Jennifer Byrd, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
March 13 2007
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington state House has voted to require that all schools in the state provide information about a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer and about a vaccine to protect against it.
The measure was approved Monday night on a 73-22 vote. It now heads to the Senate.
The bill would require all public and private schools to give parents of entering sixth graders information on the human papilloma virus, its symptoms, causes and places to obtain vaccinations.
Parents need to know a "miracle vaccine is available that is extremely effective if it is given before the virus that causes cervical cancer is contracted," Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, the measure's sponsor, said in a statement.
Several amendments offered by Republicans were rejected. One would have required a warning that the only "sure way" to prevent HPV is to "abstain from all sexual activity," and another would have exempted private schools from the requirement.
The federal government approved Gardasil, a three-dose vaccine that protects against HPV, in June for females ages 9 to 26. The vaccine protects against HPV strains that cause cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers and genital warts.
More than 500 cases of mostly minor side effects have been reported in girls and women who got the vaccine. Government health officials said last month that no additional warning labels are needed.
"I really hope this vaccine is all that it's promised to be," said Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum, minority ranking member of the House Health Care and Wellness committee.
Darneille noted that the bill does not require that girls get the vaccine, as in Texas, the only state with such a requirement.
Under pressure from parents and medical groups, Merck & Co., maker of Gardasil, said last month that it would suspend a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to get states to require it for school-age girls.
Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, said Merck's lobbying dampened some of the excitement that followed the initial announcement of the development of the vaccine.
"We saw corporate greed driving a shot for little girls that we didn't know the long-term effects of," DeBolt said.
Darneille argued that the vaccine has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.
"This is a vaccine that could begin to save lives today," she said.
The House voted 58-37 late Monday for a bill to grant high school and college journalists the same free-press rights as their professional colleagues.
The bill was amended to specify that neither a school district nor the governing board of a school district would be liable for student expression in school-sponsored media. The measure now heads to the Senate.
The HPV measure is [Washington state] House Bill 1802. The student press measure is House Bill 1307.
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