Citing price as the reason, Alaska authorities backed off requiring – and providing – Gardasil shots to young girls and women.
While it is possible to see this announcement as just another cost-cutting measure, the liklihood is that the serious controversy around this unnecessary, dangerous and ineffective vaccine which actually increases cervical cancer incidence in women by as much as 44.7% is the real cause for this back-off.
Whatever the reason, girls in Alaska whose families cannot pay for this shot are a great deal better off than girls whose families can afford it and do make the much hyped, but dangerous decision to give their daughters Gardasil.
Vaccination is so dangerous, despite the hype and hoopla which supports this very profitable segment of the pharmaceutical industry, that it is a totally uninsurable risk. That means that no insurance company will provide a policy to the manufactures to protect them from the liability law suits that they could be exposed to when their products cause harm.
Who will pay if Gardasil causes death and damage? Surely not Merck, Gardasil’s manufacturer. The FDA, the supposed “regulatory agency” which keeps dangerous products off the market, bowed to pressure and conflict of interest and rushed Gardasil through without adequate trials to establish even short term safety. And it has done something else. It has removed any threat of liability from any drug or vaccine manufacturer who causes harm through their product IF that product has been approved for any thing at all by the FDA.
So who will pay for the death and damage to otherwise healthy girls and women who died or were crippled in the immediate post-vaccination period? Who will pay for the cancers and deaths yet to come in a poorly tested vaccine which was rushed to market to make, literally, a killing without proper evaluation? Who will compensate women who cannot bear children as a consequence of this vaccination for the grief of their infertility, should that be one of the long-term effects of Gardasil injection? Who will pay for the injury to children and husbands who loose their mothers and wives prematurely if Gardasil is a long-term killer?
SCHOOL PROGRAM: 15 others will still be offered but these were too costly.
By GEORGE BRYSON
Published: November 7th, 2008 02:28 AM
Last Modified: November 7th, 2008 11:16 AM
For the first time in more than 30 years, the State of Alaska will no longer offer all vaccinations free to all Alaska schoolchildren, the state Division of Epidemiology reported this week.
When the new policy begins on Jan. 1, two of the newest and most expensive vaccines — immunizations for girls to prevent cervical cancer and for both boys and girls to prevent meningitis — will only be offered free to low-income, uninsured or Alaska Native and American Indian children.
Other Alaskans will have to rely on health insurance policies to cover the expense, or pay for the vaccines themselves.
Federal funding of the state’s universal immunization program has failed to keep pace with the increasing cost and rising number of recommended vaccines, said Laurel Wood, manager of the Alaska Immunization Program.
For that reason, the state will cut back on two of more than a dozen vaccines it currently distributes to Alaska health care providers at no cost, including:
â€¢ Gardasil, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls, and
â€¢ Menactra, the meningococcal vaccine for boys and girls.
Under provisions of the federally funded Vaccines for Children program, both immunizations will continue to be offered free to young Alaskans who are Medicaid-eligible.
They will also be offered at federally funded health clinics (including the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center) to “under-insured” children whose family policies don’t cover the cost of vaccines.
Fifteen older vaccines — including immunizations to protect children against hepatitis, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, measles, mumps, chickenpox and influenza — will continue to be offered free to all Alaskans under 18 years of age, regardless of income or insurance.
After the cutback, about 4,000 Alaska girls in need of the HPV vaccine and about 5,500 boys and girls in need of the meningococcal vaccine won’t be covered, Wood said.
The meningococcal vaccine costs the state $76 a dose, Wood said. The HPV vaccine — which requires three doses over a period of six months — costs about $300 per child for the complete series.
Trying to provide those vaccines at no cost to all Alaska school children would require an additional $1.6 million, Wood said.
The number of recommended vaccines has grown along with their costs, the Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin reported this week. In 2000 the entire battery of recommended vaccines cost $219 per child. Today the cost is $1,120 for boys and $1,429 for girls.
The cost of the HPV vaccine is the budget-buster.
Last year the state managed to cover that extra cost by tapping additional funds provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wood said. But that was a one-time fix.
“It was basically a disproportionate amount of money for the size of our population compared with other states,” Wood said.
Since the HPV vaccine was first made available in June 2007, the state has distributed 33,000 free doses to girls between 9 and 18 years of age, Wood said.
The vaccine is recommended for young women up to the age of 26, but it’s not mandatory to attend public schools.
The meningococcal vaccine was first made available in January, 2006. Since then the state has distributed about 36,000 free doses to boys and girls between 11 and 18 years of age,” Wood said.
Persons with questions about the Alaska Immunization Program should contact the state Division of Public Health at 269-8000 or 1-888-430-4321.