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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

6/15/2007

Statement on HPV vaccine in New Jersey by
Andrew Schlafly, AAPS General Counsel

The cost of buying and administering the three-dose HPV vaccine is at least $400 per child. But a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, Feb. 28, 2007) disclosed that only about 3% of women are ever infected by the diseases targeted by this vaccine (HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18). That means it costs over $13,000 (33 times $400) to protect just one girl.

But not even that girl is fully protected at a cost of over $13,000. That is because the HPV vaccine, like most vaccines, would not remain effective (without booster shots) for more than ten years. The average age of diagnosis of cervical cancer is 47 years. A 12-year-old girl who receives this vaccine but does not receive booster shots after she leaves school has little benefit. The $13,000 spent for her sexual activity is wasted.

It is likely wasted even if she received booster shots. Given a false sense of security, the girl is unprotected against the other sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes, hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, and AIDS.

Meanwhile, the vaccine does cause harm. It was never fully tested on 12-year-olds. This vaccine can cause death or serious illness in girls who would never need it. This vaccine itself may cause cancer as Merck failed to test for that. Merck itself urges against using this vaccine on pregnant girls, but under a mandate some of our schoolchildren would receive this vaccine while pregnant.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not support a mandatory HPV vaccine. Dr. Jon Abramson, a member of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices, said that "I told Merck my personal opinion that it shouldn't be mandated. And they heard it from other committee members." (Washington Times, Feb. 27, 2007)

The bottom line is that this proposed mandate is a million-dollar handout to Merck, which uses our girls as guinea pigs. It would give our teenagers a false sense of security in having sex. It gives fool's gold to our children rather than real help. Instead of paying over $13,000-per-girl on something that probably won't work, let's put that money into more cost-effective medical care.