by Fran Eaton
If you heard an audible sigh of relief Tuesday afternoon, it was from parents of 11 and 12 year old girls who escaped the long arms of Big Pharm as the Illinois House passed SB 937 this afternoon sans an HPV vaccination mandate.
Instead, Senator Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) and her House co-hort Rep. Naomi Jakobbsson (D-Champaign) stepped back from requiring girls to have the HPV vaccine for school attendance. With today's bill passage, the state will require doctors to simply give information about the HPV vaccine to pre-teen girls' parents at their new 6th grade physical examination time. SB 937 is headed for Governor Blagojevich's desk after passing the IL Senate in March and the State House today.
Parents, you did it! Your calls and emails stopped this massive national Merck movement forcing their newest product, Gardasil, on preteens. Your outcry stopped what could have been a serious disaster for young girls as the FDA now reports thousands have suffered negative side effects from the 3-shot series.
Illinois Review congratulates all -- including the bill sponsors -- who responded to the call for fairness and caution in rushing to mandate a new vaccine. We are thrilled to have had a part in this effort and to have thrown a wrench into the HPV vaccine's supposed done deal.
Check out Illinois Review's HPV Vaccination stories here to review all that was said and done -- both statewide and nationally -- to make a difference.
And a special kudos for the great hand IR contributor Jill Stanek lent to the effort. Thanks, Jill!