Stop Don Balfour

This is a horrible idea.

Georgia is one of at least 18 states considering a law that would require every girl entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, which causes cervical cancer.

Recently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry created a flap when he signed an executive order requiring the HPV vaccination for all girls entering the sixth grade. Some religious groups oppose mandating a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease. Others worry about how poor or uninsured families would pay for it.

While it might be worth doing later, right now we should not be using teenage girls as lab rats. At a minimum we should wait a year when there will be more drugs on the market doing the same thing, thereby using marketplace pressures to lower the costs. The current monopoly held drug is way higher than other required vaccines like the MMR.

Waiting another year, will also help fully vet the drug on school age children — something that has been repeatedly reported as not having been done on the present drug.


The bill made it out of committee with 3 dissents. David Shafer, in committee, said it best:

If this virus is only transmitted sexually, I want to state for the record that my daughter will not require the vaccine until she is 35.

Technorati Tags: HPV vaccine


  1. Bull Moose says:

    Waiting another year means hundreds more cancer cases.

    Erick, I almost can’t believe that you are against a cancer vaccine.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Gotta love those “unfunded mandates” by Senators to direct what parents should do.

    How about this, instead, Senator Balfour? Every girl who enters the 6th grade must have a chastity belt installed that cannot be removed until they hit 18?

    Wouldn’t that save these poor girls from a lot more diseases than just the cervical cancer one?

    (Note…I’m just being flippant here…I personally think the State Senator is completely OUT of his f*cking mind…)

  3. Ben Marshall says:

    You guys against this are freakin’ idiots! We have the opportunity to stop the spread of a certain type of cancer among women, and everyone is opposing it! The fact we are having this debate is ridiculous.

    Bill, how is it an unfunded mandate if you can opt out having of it because of the cost being too high?! Thus, it means it is optional. if you feel the cost is too high. Any moron who thinks $100 today, and most likely less in the future, isn’t worth vaccinating your daughter from a cancer means you are retarded.

    The bill even has an opt out for religious reasons, for those so concerned.

  4. Old School Politics says:

    Has any one stopped long enough to realize that Merck is the only manufacturer of this immunization. They stand to profit tremendously if this effort passes. This is not about cancer, kids, or whats right. Its about money.

  5. Ben Marshall says:

    What’s your point? Drug companies have patents over the drugs they manufacture. They’ll profit regardless if this passes. Pfizer made a killing off of viagra, and they should for the research and investment they put into it. Just as Merck is suffering because of vioxx and its other effects. Happens to every drug company.

    Plain and simple, this vaccine can stop women from getting a form of cancer, and it is being done at the 6th grade level because that is when kids are required to get xyz shots for schools anyways.

  6. Josh D Ondich says:

    The texas HPV immunization law is a mandatory for all girls entering 6th grade without parental conscent. I oppose any government local or federal to use school children as lab rats for Drug Compaines. There are studies that show because of the HPV laws annual
    drug companies profits will triple. I consider this a form of Corporate Welfare. It is very unconstitutional I oppose all forms of Corporate Welfare.

  7. hsldawg says:

    Interesting to me that we’re only discussing vaccinating GIRLS against HPV. Who’s infecting them with the virus? Yes, I will probably discuss vaccinating my daughter with my husband and our pediatrician but would prefer that Senator Balfour and the rest of his political cronies NOT be in the room!

  8. tombee says:

    There is a perfect example of government intrusion. Who needs parents anymore? If the government’s paramount concern is saving lives, why not outlaw cigarettes, which kill millions? Why not mandate Nicorette (or whatever that stuff is that makes you not want to smoke) for all teenagers? Of I forgot, they are too busy making sure that liquor is available on Sundays.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Let me see if I understand you “conservatives” who are supposed to be making policy decisions based on unemotional rationale.

    You’re going to “require” that all 6th grade girls get the shot IF they can “afford it.”

    Wow…so, you are not interested in providing the shots for free (in the interest of SAVING all the young ladies they can save), but, just those who can afford it.

    Yes, Balfour and Shafer sure have some warm hearts about people, don’t they? ONLY if the parents can afford the shots, should they take their daughters to the doctor to get one.

  10. Ben Marshall says:

    The Georgia version allows opt outs, its not corporate welfare, puleeeaz.

    hsldawg-This vaccine is to prevent cervical cancer, and males can’t get cervical cancer, therefore there isn’t a reason to vaccinate them!

    Bill-Who says I’m a “conservative?” Look, if Balfour writes his bill to allow an opt out for those who don’t want to pay the money, you decry him. If he makes the government pay for it for all girls, you will decry him for it.

    Is you’re issue with it being required, or required without paying? So if the government pays for all vaccinations, is this okay with you?

    Guess what, when kids have to get vaccinated for measles and mumps before entering school, the government doesn’t offer them free of charge.

    Also, if you read the article, Sonny’s budget sets aside $4.3 million to help pay for vaccinations for those children that are underinsured.

  11. hsldawg says:

    I don’t want to get into a medical debate but just to clarify; the vaccine is to prevent HPV, which can LEAD to cervical cancer. Yes, only women get cervical cancer but men can certainly contract HPV.

  12. Ben Marshall says:

    You are correct. I have heard nothing as to the fact that this vaccine can’t help men be vaccinated against receiving HPV. If that’s the case, then you have a point. However, the drug is not being marketed as an anti-STD vaccine, but an anti-cancer vaccine, which is probably why it is only being discussed in terms of vaccinating females.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    I must correct myself: Apparently, Senator Shafer voted against the bill, not for it.

    And, according to this article, the vaccine’s effectiveness is only good for 5 years.

    Other factoids about the vaccine (from my source in the committee):

    “The vaccine has only been on the market for nine months and was not tested on minors. It costs $400 or more, is available from only one company and lasts less than 10 years.”

    By all means, Senator Balfour, make sure that ONLY kids whose parents can afford to plunk-out $400 to get the vaccine have a chance to save themselves from getting cervical cancer…

  14. Bill Simon says:

    I wonder….WHO is the lobbyist for Merck in Georgia Legislature? How much was Balfour bribed…err…lobbied with to get him to introduce this legislation and vote in favor of it?

  15. Joy says:

    Bringing up the mumps and measles vaccines in comparison to the HPV vaccine is silly. My children are not going pick up HPV from someone sneezing in the hall. My daughter will most likely get the vaccine, at the age of 15-16, or at such time we decide it is right for her. Fortunately for me, that’s 10 years away. There is plenty of time for me to watch for any longer term health issues.
    Were she turning 15 today, I’d seriously consider vaccination, to cover her through the age of 20. As a 12 year old child? Never!

    I resent that I would be forced to register for the “opt out”, and that my tax dollars will be going to pay for those who cannot afford it, while I get the “privilege” of paying for the vaccine out of my own pocket. Let the parents of Georgia keep the tax dollars that would have been spent on the program, and decide on their own if and when to vaccinate!

  16. DougieFresh says:

    If Merck thinks this is such a great idea for the children, how about Merck agreeing to provided the vacine with cost. How quickly their support would evaporate.

    Eating oats prevents cancer too, as well as heart disease. Should we now require that all people are forced to eat oatmeal and bran muffins for breakfast?

  17. grabbingsand says:

    If this virus is only transmitted sexually, I want to state for the record that my daughter will not require the vaccine until she is 35.

    Yeah. Funny.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Shafer would make such a presumptive statement, particularly since it involves a female and his perceived control over her life and future. After all, Shafer was one of three outspoken sponsors for 2006’s SB 123, an incredibly intrusive bill that sought to limit access to emergency contraception. And please, don’t excuse this as if he were acting simply as a protective father. Such statements are pandering, the stuff of which empty soundbites are made, not to mention incredibly embarrassing for his own daughter.

    Really, would you like your future sexuality (or proposed lack thereof) to be read into the legislative record?

    (And by the way, encouraging such statements does little to persuade detractors from thinking that opposition to this bill is based much more on morals than on the actual safety of the child in question.)

  18. Erick et al,

    Here are just a few things that may influence Balfour’s decisions. Will research Individual Corporate Officers, Opaque PACS and associated Law Firms at a later date. Sorry to bother you guys with underlying facts:

    Candidate Name: Balfour II, Donald Kenneth
    State Senate District 9
    Sought Reports Registration Information
    FilerID Office C2006000169
    Year 2006 State Senate
    District 9

    Merck & Co. Inc.
    Dupont-Merck Plaza
    Wilmington, DE 19880-1988
    Monetary $500.00

    Philip Morris USA, Inc.
    120 Park Ave.
    New York, NY 10017-1001
    Monetary $1,000.00

    200 Wilmont Rd.
    Deerfield, IL 60015
    Monetary $1,000.00

    Pharmacy Services Taxable, Inc.
    213 Third St. P.O. Box 63
    Macon, GA 31088
    Monetary $2,000.00

    Abbott Laboratories PAC
    100 Abbott Park Rd.
    Abbott Park, IL 60064-6028
    Monetary $500.00

    Genentech, Inc.
    P.O. Box 9030
    San Francisco, CA 94083-9030
    Monetary $250.00

    GlaxoSmithKline, Inc.
    P.O. Box 13681
    Philadelphia, PA 19101-3661
    Monetary $1,000.00

    Bayer Corporation
    100 Bayer Rd.
    Pittsburgh, GA 15205
    Monetary $500.00

    Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    P.O. Box 840769
    Houston, GA 77284
    Monetary $1,000.00

    GlaxoSmithKline, Inc.
    P.O. Box 13681
    Philadelphia, GA 19101-3661
    Monetary $1,000.00

    Novartis Corp.
    One Health Plaza
    East Hanover, GA 07936-0793
    Monetary $500.00

    Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of Ameri
    1100- 15th Street, NW
    Washington D.C., GA 20005
    Monetary $500.00

    1) Pharmacy Services Taxable, Inc.
    213 Third St. P.O. Box 63
    Macon, GA 31088
    Monetary $500.00

    2) Pharmacy Services Taxable, Inc.
    213 Third St. P.O. Box 63
    Macon, GA 31088
    Monetary $500.00

    Waffle House
    5986 Financial Dr.
    Norcross, GA 30071-2949
    Monetary $2,000.00

    Titlemax Management
    15 Bull St.
    Savannah, GA 31401
    Monetary $1,000.00

    Posted on HPV topic: 10:30a.m. 2/28/07 on Peach Pundit but Erick would not let it go through. This is a repost under the “Stop Balfour Topic”

  19. Bill Simon says:


    Get a damn sense of humor…Shafer was cracking a JOKE!

    Freakin’ Liberals…you folks never WILL get a sense of humor, will you? Always wrapped-up in your own navel, aren’t ya?

  20. grabbingsand says:

    Bill, come on.

    When you or I or anyone else that doesn’t hold political office makes a comment like that, it is a joke. But when it is said by an elected official during a politically-charged discussion or debate, one that counts on the swaying of public opinion to maintain merit, jokes like that one take on a potency. Because wisecracks are easier to repeat and pass along than actual discussion or length policy. They’re portable.

    And when that joke comes from someone with a legislative record supporting repeated attempts to control or hamper reproductive rights (“offered” sonograms in ’05, emergency contraception in ’06, “offered” sonograms this week, so on), the joke doesn’t come off as funny at all.

  21. gatormathis says:

    Simom sez…….
    “The vaccine has only been on the market for nine months and was not tested on minors. It costs $400 or more, is available from only one company and lasts less than 10 years.”

    Which brings about my question. In lieu of the Vioxx problems, and many others, does this vaccine really have enough available data to begin injecting it into children, unknowing of the possible birth defects it might bring or any other harmful longterm side effects?

    All of these problems show up after only years of trials and use.

  22. mrssimmons says:

    The illogic in support of this as a mandatory vaccine is astounding. Just because a person does not support having a law that forces children to have a vaccine in order to go to school does not mean that someone doesn’t see the value in the vaccine.

    The reasons against it being mandatory are quite valid:
    – It is relatively new and the long term side effects have yet to be known or evaluated.
    – It has not been tested widely on young girls, yet the bill mandates they be injected with it.
    – It is very expensive and would strap taxpayers with a huge bill to cover all the girls whose families cannot afford to be in compliance with the bill.
    – HPV is not a disease that could be spread by simply complying with a state’s compulsory education laws as is the case with diseases such as polio, TB, rubella and measles.

    The emotional rhetoric of Ben Marshall may be persuasive to illogical people, but the fact remains that he has only Merck marketing materials to back up his claims that Gardasil is the savior of school children.

    You may not believe we are even having this debate, but asserting that the debate is over does not make it so.

    You may attempt to skirt reasonable and civil discussion by labeling your opponents heartless and cruel, but that does not make them so.

    This debate has everything to do with the fact that a republican, an alleged conservative, wishes to make it commonplace in Georgia that we use our children as pharmaceutical guinea pigs. He wishes to make it commonplace that lobbied legislators override the reasonable objections of medical researchers and practitioners.

    Where in the bill are the rights of the parents to opt out when their objections are not religious or financial? How about a “I don’t agree with the marketing materials nor monopolies subsidized by government” objection?

    This bill is the very embodiment of corporate welfare. It forces parents, insurance companies and taxpayers to hand over money to the sole provider of the vaccine which has yet to be proven effective and safe for the girls the bill mandates to have it.

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