As some of you may have unfortunately witnessed in the most recent GOP debate, Michelle Bachmann has stirred a controversy igniting the creativities of conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers everywhere.
The story basically goes like this:
Governor Rick Perry issued an order in Texas to add HPV vaccines to the mandatory list of vaccinations required for grade school. While the order itself was overturned, Bachmann attempted to sting Perry by claiming that the vaccine is dangerous and could cause mental retardation. She claimed that the reason for Perry’s vaccination order was because Merck (the pharma company that produces Gardasil, the vaccine in question) had contributed to Perry’s campaign.
The facts go like this:
HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, or more commonly: genital warts is the most common STD worldwide and is the 2nd largest cause of female cancer (CDC).
In 2006, the FDA approved the first ever HPV vaccine which protects against most kinds of cancer-causing strains.
Investigations by the AMA, CDC, WHO, and other major health organizations have cleared the vaccine as safe. Of 23 million administered dosages, 772 (that’s .003%) reported serious effects. To be fair, all medications will have serious effects in a statistically insignificant portion of the population.
There is no evidence to support Bachmann’s claims. Though she has been asked to produce scientific material on the matter, she remains empty-handed.
Boys and girls ages 11-12 should be vaccinated before they are sexually active. The vaccination consists of 3 shots and will go a long way to protect the health of the youth and to combat this viciously contagious STD.
In the USA we have had mandatory vaccinations for school kids for decades. Parents have always had the option to refrain from vaccinating their kids. This is not changing.
But Bachmann hasn’t gone all wrong; there is reason to believe that Gov. Rick Perry is in the pocket of Merck. Most of our politicians have already been bought by large corporations. While this is alarming, unjust, and anger-inducing, it says nothing about the actual safety of Gardasil.
In the coming year or two, prepare to hear a lot of bullshit coming out of politicians’ mouths about your sexual health. The bullshit is most often seen fountaining from the mouths of the conservative ones.
The best weapon we have is knowledge. Research their claims against the claims of scientists and/or related professionals before you believe politicians. Arm yourself with information, and go forth powerfully and in good health.