In a few months 12-year-olds in the nation’s most populous state can, without parental consent, get a controversial vaccine in public schools to treat a sexually transmitted disease.
Even for ultra-liberal California this may seem astounding, that children can receive any sort of non-emergency medical treatment without the approval of a guardian. As if this weren’t atrocious enough, the costly vaccine (Gardasil)—linked to dozens of deaths and thousands of debilitating side effects— will be largely financed with taxpayer dollars.
Worse yet is that a disturbing number of girls and young women who received Gardasil have died or suffered serious adverse effects such as paralysis, seizures and blindness since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast tracked its approval under pressure from the pharmaceutical giant (Merck) that makes it. Just this week Judicial Watch released the latest of many daunting federal reports exposing the deaths of 26 girls who received the shot in the last year alone.
Before that Judicial Watch uncovered droves of FDA records, obtained by suing the agency, that document the damage associated with Gardasil which is promoted as a miracle shot that can prevent certain strains of cervical cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In 2008 JW also published a special report detailing Gardasil’s approval process, side effects, safety concerns and marketing practices. Undoubtedly, it illustrates a large-scale public health experiment.
Yet, incredibly, at least 20 states have passed laws requiring funding for Gardasil or education programs promoting the vaccine. Among states that have enacted Gardasil-related measures are Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island and Utah. In all 50 states, tax dollars help pay for the shots because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes them available through the federal Vaccines for Children program.
But California has broken away from the pack in a big way by making Gardasil, which is administered to girls as young as 9, available without permission from a parent. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown this month, the new measure (Minors: Medical Care: Consent Bill) will take effect in January. That means anyone 12 years of age or older can consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease, according to the actual language of the law.
This includes the strains of cervical cancer, communicated only by sexual contact, that Gardasil’s manufacturer claims to prevent. The new law was clearly crafted for this one drug and a chunk of it is dedicated to touting it because “HPV vaccination prior to the onset of sexual activity is critical since most infections occur within a short time frame post initiation.”
Of interesting note is that the key California legislators who passed the Gardasil law received campaign money from Merck, according to a Sacramento-based investigative journalism group that published a database with the names and numbers. All of the lawmakers are Democrats who each got between $300 and $3,500 from the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate.