SPRINGFIELD – Despite over 58,000 reported post-injection negative reactions, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is asking Illinois to require grade schoolers to have two doses of HPV vaccine before they enter 6th grade.
Morrison's proposal would bring the number of required immunization doses to over 20 for school-aged children. Illinois law now requires multiple doses for students to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, Hepatitis B, chicken pox (varicella) and others.
However, Morrison's proposal is being resisted by an active group of mothers, just as it was in 2007, the first time a mandate was suggested in the Illinois legislature.
A vaccine for school-aged children to protect against a disease that's sexually transmitted was once again too far for an array of concerned mothers that began flooding the senator's office with calls and emails this week. Morrison's office is now saying the senator will soon be filing a motion to table her bill, SB 1659. The Illinois General Assembly website says the bill is waiting to be heard in the Senate Public Health Committee.
Gardasil, produced by Merck, is the only HPV vaccine available in the U.S. The product, introduced in 2006, is most effective on four of an estimated 120 human papilloma virus (HPV) strains. The virus, left untreated, commonly leads to genital warts and can lead to cervical cancer.
Negative side effects have been reported after Gardasil injections, especially among teens. As of April 30, 2018, the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) shows more than 58,992 reports of HPV vaccine reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths. Those numbers includes 430 related deaths, 794 hospitalizations, and 2,773 disabling conditions. Over 45 percent of the reported serious adverse events occurred in children and teens 12-17 years of age.
Lawsuits against Merck have been filed in Japan, Spain and Colombia, in which victims are seeking compensation for their injuries.
Mandating a vaccine relieves the manufacturer from product liability and places any remedy the U.S. federal vaccine court may award upon a source partially funded by fees paid by those receiving vaccinations and supplemented by taxpayers. Merck has been trying since 2006 to have states mandate their product for school age girls.
At the federal level, the company has spent at average of $5 million a year lobbying the U.S. Congress on issues of importance to their company.
Morrison's proposal does not differentiate the students' gender, only grade level, for requiring the HPV vaccine.
Illinois Review has a number of HPV vaccine-related stories over the past 12 years of the vaccine mandate being considered in Illinois that can be found HERE.
Illinois' current immunization schedule: