In the most recent GOP debate, Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michelle Bachmann tussled over the particulars of Perry requiring Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.
Though he now admits it a mistake, Perry had attempted to require the vaccination to protect young girls from HPV, a leading cause of cervical cancer. Bachmann argued that, because of his decision, Perry was an advocate of heavy government control.
However, regardless of the politically charged arguments from these presidential-hopefuls, there is a different vaccine that requires far more attention that it is receiving.
After holding its summer “public meetings,” the CDC is still in debate over whether to recommend the vaccine. If it decides to not recommend the vaccine, parents will be robbed of their ability to choose whether or not to vaccinate their infants because the vaccine will not be available on the open market. The CDC will not make a decision until February 2012.
In the meantime, however, the CDC still has chosen to not display any information on the vaccine, the public meetings, or the impending decision on its website to the public. Additionally, the overall argument from the CDC remains that infant meningitis is extremely rare, and therefore the vaccine may not be “cost-effective” – meaning the price of the vaccine may not be worth the number of lives it will save.
Yet, according to a report from Ottawa Life Magazine, the CDC should not regard bacterial meningitis as a low risk illness for infants.
“It is the most common life-threatening infections disease in babies under one,” states Kerri Toloczko, Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum in Washington, D.C.
“In Canada, 10-20 of every 100 meningitis patients die and more than half of those are under five.”
Additionally, a recent report on meningitis by the World Health Organization states:
“Even when diagnosed early and adequate treatment started, 5% to 10% of patients die within 24 to 48 hours. ”
Because of this, Toloczko believes “The only sure way to cure meningitis is to prevent it.”
Therefore, a variety of groups from Meningitis Angels to the Hispanic Leadership Fund have been speaking out in favor of a CDC recommendation.
“In plain English, this is a no-brainer,” said Mario Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund. “There’s just no good reason why the CDC should not place this vaccine on the routine schedule.”
Everything considered, I have to agree.