Letter to the editor of “The Union Star”
To the Editor:
In the January 26 edition of the Virginian-Pilot, my colleague, Delegate Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) made a strong case for the use of Gardasil, the vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus.
Delegate Stolle’s points encouraging the use of this vaccine carry with them the passion of a man who has dedicated his life to caring for patients. As one of four physicians currently serving in the General Assembly, he brings a similarly heartfelt dedication to his service in Richmond.
However, whether or not this vaccine should be given to young girls is not the issue under consideration in the Virginia General Assembly. Whether or not the state should mandate the use of this vaccination is. Obviously, Virginia and other states mandate several vaccines as a requirement for enrollment in public schools. But unlike Gardasil, those vaccinations serve as a preventative for diseases that are transmitted through casual contact. As the sponsor the legislation that would repeal the Gardasil mandate, I do not share Delegate Stolle’s viewpoint. I believe that the decision on whether or not this vaccine should be administered should be returned to families and their doctors. And, parents should be able to make this decision without the interference or insistence of the government. By removing state government from the position of requiring – and effectively endorsing – a vaccine that has had its safety called into question, we would be ending the intrusion of the state into a decision that should be left entirely to individuals.