by Jill Stanek
From today's Washington Times:
The chairman of the federal panel that recommended the new cervical-cancer vaccine for pre-teen girls says lawmakers should not make the inoculation mandatory, as the District and more than 20 states, including Virginia, are considering.
Dr. Jon Abramson, chairman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee on immunization practices (ACIP), also said he and panel members told Merck & Co., the drug Gardasil's maker, not to lobby state lawmakers to require the vaccine for school attendance.
"I told Merck my personal opinion that it shouldn't be mandated," Dr. Abramson told The Washington Times. "And they heard it from other committee members."
Dr. Abramson said he opposes mandating Gardasil, which prevents the cervical-cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), because the sexually transmitted HPV is not a contagious disease like measles and he is not sure states can afford to inoculate all students....