Choose or Forced If there was a vaccine to prevent a virus that could lead to a deadly form of cancer would you want it? Of course you would. The human papillomavirus vaccine also known as HPV vaccine does just that. In the two essays on public health, “HPV Vaccine Texas Tyranny”, by Mike Adams and “The HPV Debate Needs an Injection of Reality,” by Arthur Allen, these two authors discuss their different opinions on the human papillomavirus vaccine.
In the essay, “HPV Vaccine Texas Tyranny,” Adams expresses through a cartoon and commentary his opposition to mandatory HPV vaccine injections for girls in Texas. Allen’s essay, “The HPV Debate Needs an Injection of Reality,” addresses both sides of the argument about making the HPV vaccination mandatory while expressing his own opinions on the subject. Allen is more persuasive in his writing, discussing various opposing viewpoints. The inclusion of historical data makes his article more credible and convincing than the essay by Adams.
The title, “HPV Vaccine Texas Tyranny” by Mike Adams is very appropriate for this essay. The essay outlines how the Texas state government acts as a tyrant by forcing young schoolgirls to get the HPV vaccine. The essay starts off suggesting that the vaccine isn’t just for protection from cervical cancer, but instead related to a “dirty money connection” (445). The essay urges readers to stop and think about certain drugs and vaccines to determine it will really be beneficial to young girls or for the pharmaceutical companies that are profiting by exploiting the Americans public.
Adams states, “The entire industry, including drug companies, doctors, medical journals and the mainstream media, is twisting the facts to create the illusion that these vaccines are both safe and effective when, in reality, they are probably neither” (447). The Merck and Company is the manufacturer of Gardasil a vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 for use in the prevention of certain types of HPV. = A key Merck lobbyist, Mike Toomey served as the chief of staff for the governor of Texas.
Merck was also a large contributor to the governor’s election campaign. Knowing this, it isn’t surprising that the governor is now, trying to mandate the mass vaccination of young girls with a drug that will earn tens of millions of dollars in profits for Merck. Is the Texas governor’s office concerned about the health of young girls or concerned about rewarding a large campaign contributor? As a result, Texas is seen as a medical tyrant for forcing all young schoolgirls to undergo these HPV vaccinations even against parents’ wishes.
Using a cartoon to express his option is a very persuasive and effective tool, clearly showing young girls being forced to get the vaccine while the state is making a deal with the pharmaceutical companies. However, the Adams’ essay rants about how wrong making the HVP vaccine mandatory is but doesn’t present or address an opposing argument. It is clear that Adams is against making the HPV vaccine a requirement and against the lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical companies. Adams portrays the pharmaceutical companies as “money hungry”.
The author doesn’t provide information about why drug companies need money to continue medical research and improving health and preventing diseases. He underemphasized the benefits that pharmaceutical companies provide to the underprivileged with vaccines such as DTP, MMR and chicken pox free of charge or below market price. This is an indication that the pharmaceutical companies aren’t just after money. Even though Adams writing was very effective, Arthur Allen’s essay entitled “The HPV Debate Needs an Injection of Reality” is clever and presents a balanced argument.
The way the author compared the HPV vaccine to the Hepatitis B vaccine was a persuasive tool showing how a previous vaccine that caused controversy when it was introduced has improved the health of children since becoming mandatory for school attendance. It was very effective to start with that comparison to show readers that in the long run making the HPV vaccine mandatory will also lead to improved health among young girls. Arthur Allen presents strong points for the mandatory vaccine while addressing opposing viewpoints.
He highlights that “as long as the HPV vaccine is not required, the people who need it the most probably won’t get it. ” For the young girls that really need the HPV vaccine to be able to receive it, they need the vaccine to be mandated and affordable or even free of charge. Making the HPV vaccine readily accessible will help the vaccine to gain credibility over time. The vaccine has only been available for less than five years it does not have the credibility that is only gained over time.
Colleges around the country are currently providing HPV vaccines to both men and women that choose to get vaccinated. Merck has national television and periodical advertisement campaigns for Gardasil urging parents to ensure that their daughters to be “one less”. Even though the vaccine is not required, parents and young women have the choice to receive the vaccine from their pediatrician. Hopefully, HPV vaccine will eventually become mandatory and available to all young girls reducing the occurrences of cervical cancer. Overall, Adams’ essay was one-sided on the issue, which damaged his credibility.
Allen’s essay was more informative and gave historical data about other mandatory vaccines. He showed both sides of the argument regarding the HPV vaccine and this approach made this essay more credible and persuasive. I do not think anything regarding medical procedures and vaccines should be mandatory with a few exceptions. The main exception is in situations where failure to comply will threaten the greater health of the community at large. For example, smallpox is a highly transmissibility and deadly disease and vaccination is the only way to protect people.
In this situation failure to vaccinate will lead to the spread throughout the entire population. Given that HPV is a sexually transmitted virus, I do not think a mandate is necessary. I believe that is it important for parents and young women to be aware of the vaccine, the disease it prevents, the possible side effects of the vaccine and give them the option to choose whether they wish to receive the vaccine. Those who want the vaccine should have access to the vaccine but no one should be forced to receive the vaccine.