The Human Papillomavirus is known to be just one of the few illnesses one can contract while having a sexual relationship with a person. The severity of the virus in the body may vary from getting genital warts to contracting cervical, vulva, vaginal and anus cancer in women; anus and penile cancer for men. Many pharmaceutical companies have been racing one another in concocting possible countermeasures in preventing people from contracting these very dangerous diseases. I have watched the news regarding updates on cures and vaccines, especially the debates by government officials about the credibility of these vaccines and how should it be distributed to the public. When the vaccine for the HPV virus was released sometime around 2007, it was very surprising that when Rick Perry ordered an executive mandate in Texas saying that high school girls are required to have the vaccine immediately, it met a lot of controversy and questioning considering the legality of the said mandate. On a personal note, Perry’s mandate seems to have legal grounds as it promotes protection from the dreaded sexually transmitted disease. STD is not a laughing matter so it was a right move for Perry to mandate the mandatory vaccination of his people.
In a column written for a famous medical journal, one reason opposition leaders are against a mandated vaccination system such as the one done by Perry is because of the fear that it would only increase the sexual activity of teenagers. This is an unproven claim as many are now aware of the dangers of contracting STD, cancer and even unwanted pregnancy because they have been properly educated by their families, by their teachers and by the environment around them. Teenagers are also properly educated at present and are now responsible enough to understand what risks would happen if they still push for unprotected sex. There have been numerous studies that sex education and distribution of condoms did not show a rise on the number of teenagers that are having sex. Turning back to the mandated HPV-vaccination order, opposing it would only show that sexual activity is realized by the government and it would slap them for the reality that it is a problem that must be regulated in one way or another. Should it have been mandated, it would protect teenagers from the risks of unprotected sex and the dangers of an active sex life. They would also be taught on how important it is to be protected even if they have decided to abstain from any sexual activity.
Not all have disagreed with Perry’s mandate in the Senate despite the arguments that have been flung to the Texas governor about their concern over mandating the HPV Vaccine. Some states such as Maryland and Virginia have introduced the same mandate to their constituents and pointed out important details on why the mandate for the vaccination is necessary. One argument raised by those who have supported the mandate is that it opens up opportunities for those who would be affected the most of the disease and opens all the channels for these people to have access to the vaccine. There are also parents that have pointed out that they are very glad that the government is taking the initiative in giving opportunities for their children to avail the vaccines. Some of them came from low-income and uninsured families and with the mandate to open up all channels for them to have access to the vaccine, they are very grateful to be given a chance to fight against the dreaded disease. It is true that the government would be stepping into the role of parents but parents, if they cannot afford such protection, they would be very open in allowing the government put forth programs such as mandated HPV vaccines because it would help their children to be free from cancer. Some pointed out that Perry’s mandate would enable teenagers and children to protect themselves from the two high risk types of the HPV virus that can cause their untimely deaths.
At present, Rick Perry has overturned his decision regarding the mandate and claims that he did not do any proper research regarding the matter before he requested for the mandate. Some see this as a political strategy due to the incoming presidential selections. But many are still questioning his motives regarding his change of heart and his preliminary reason on pushing for the mandate in the first place. Given the positions that have been raised by both parties, it may cause some rifts on how the public should view these conflicts. On the one hand, it is beneficial to have full access to the vaccine especially for those who are not insured in any health agency and for those who cannot afford it at all. Plus it could save a lot of young girls from contracting the currently incurable STDs and cancer. But on the other hand, forcing people to take the vaccine is against their freedom to make a choice and chose how they were to obtain the vaccine. Politicizing the issue would not really help as the law-enforces, lawmakers and the government should think about making it available for all. STD and cancer are dangerous, but if prevented, it could save a lot of lives.
Charo, R. Alta. "Politics, Parents and Prophylaxis - Mandating HPV Vaccination in the United States." The New England Journal of Medicine 356 (2007): 1905-1908. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.
Rein, Lisa and Ovetta Wiggins. "Many in Senate Back Mandatory HPV Vaccination." The Washington Post. The Washington Post., 19 Jan. 2007. Web. 13 October 2011 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/18/AR2007011801772.html>.