Friday, June 09, 2006

FDA Approves Life-Saving Vaccine

The FDA has approved the anti-HPV vaccine. We were wondering if the political guys over there would allow this.

Human papillomavirus is a common disease that is spread through skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact. Cervical cancer caused by HPV is a leading cause of death for women around the world.

Because HPV is spread sexually, the nuts at the Family Blah Blah groups opposed the vaccine, even though in clinical trials it was found to be nearly a hundred percent effective. The reasoning will be obvious to any normal-thinking person: the availability of the vaccine will encourage young women to have sex before marriage. I mean, duh, of c-o-u-r-s-e. You can't allow that.

Actually, I think the wack-ohs may have embarrassed themselves a little bit on this one. How many girls, do you think, remain virgins out of fear of human papillomavirus? I'm thinking this number will be essentially ... zero. At the same time, thousands of women die every year from cervical cancer, which can now be prevented with a simple shot. But hey, they said, that's not important, as long as there's another reason out there not to have sex.

Even when the scientists at the FDA recommended approval of the vaccine, nobody was sure that the administration would allow it -- it could have been like Plan B, where the scientists approve it, the ethicists approve it, people want it, and the political appointees in charge turn it down.
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it has approved the first vaccine designed to prevent cancer.
The vaccine, Gardasil, blocks infection by two types of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which account for about 70% of cervical cancer cases.

Gardasil also blocks infection by two other HPV types that cause about 90% of genital warts cases. Spread by skin-to-skin contact, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the USA. More than 90% of cases clear up on their own, but persistent infection with certain HPV types causes virtually all cervical cancers.

HOW WILL IT BE USED?: Q&A on the vaccine

Alex Azar, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, called Gardasil "a major step forward in public health protection."

Cervical cancer rates in the USA and other developed countries have plummeted since the introduction of the Pap test more than a half-century ago. But the disease is still the second-most-common malignancy and a leading cancer killer of women worldwide. First-ever cancer vaccine approved

OK, so that's a step in the right direction, that'll save a lot of lives.


Blogger grantdale said...

Oh dear, it looks like you lot are doomed.

Know for a FACT that the ONLY thing holding every young lady back was a fear of HPV, and now there's not even that.

And not even condoms work. Especially if you've learnt to apply them onto a banana, instead of your partner.

Doomed. Warned you. Didn't I.

(Hey guys -- hope all's well! Where is that currilcula???)

June 09, 2006 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group that has made much of the fact that, because it can spread by skin contact, condoms are not as effective against HPV as they are against other viruses such as HIV.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex," Maher claims"

Just like wearing a seat belt when driving "could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in" reckless driving?

That's ridiculous! Protecting our teenagers from harm is ALWAYS a good thing!

Aunt Bea

June 10, 2006 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, despite the propaganda coming forth from tolerance yada-yada groups, those who support the strengthening of families favor availability of the vaccines but not its imposition as a mandatory requirement for entry to public schools. Does TTF mean "TELL THE FALSEHOOD"?

The vaccine is not a one-shot deal but requires three shots for initial efficacy and boosters every few years to block 3/4 of the viruses which kill about 3600 hundred women out of the US population of 300 million every year. Each dose costs $360 so the initial round would be over a thousand dollars per person. One wonders if the money would save more lives if spent on abstinence programs.

Library Lounge Lizard

June 10, 2006 2:49 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

According to the article I linked here, each shot costs $120, so that'd be $360 total for three. Of course, that's in the US, it's probably less in other countries.

Hey, Ell^3, maybe you can do the math here -- how many days of Iraq occupation do you think would cost the same as essentially ending cervical cancer in America?


June 10, 2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

and in years to come when the rate of HPV and cervical cancer is up among the religious conservatives(although with their sterling record of celibacy until marriage and faithfulness to one partner until death- how could this come about!?)- I am sure the right wing will blame it on the rest of us.

At $360, it will not be mandatory for entry into public school- just another story to scare the "right" sort of people. Like so much else- I bet a bunch of people will be mouthing off about how horrible this vaccine is while making sure their own kids get it.

June 10, 2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lizard said, "those who support the strengthening of families favor availability of the vaccines but not its imposition as a mandatory requirement for entry to public schools"


Where did it say entry in public schools as requirement?


June 10, 2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


No. Does "Library Lounge Lizard" provide cover for "Lazy Lying Loser?"

Lazy: Had he bothered to read the full article excerpted, he'd have learned:

"Q. Will a booster shot be needed?

A. The answer is not yet clear. Eliav Barr, senior director of clinical research at Merck, says studies so far show the vaccine remains effective for up to five years. "We have had no cases where the vaccine started to lose its efficacy," he says. "We also have shown that the immune responses continue to be very stable." Merck will continue to track how long antibodies generated by Gardasil last and how long the vaccine continues to protect against cervical cancer, Barr says.

Q. Is there any other HPV vaccine in the pipeline?

A. GlaxoSmithKline's HPV vaccine, Cervarix, is in clinical trials. Cervarix targets the same two cancer-causing HPV types that Gardasil does, but it does not protect against the two types that cause genital warts. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology this month, Glaxo reported on a study that found that that Cervarix was 100% effective in protecting against the two cancer-causing HPV types in women ages 26 to 55. Glaxo also says that Cervarix offers cross-protection against two other cancer-causing HPV types, which account for about 10% of cervical cancer cases. Glaxo is planning to file for FDA approval of Cervarix by year's end, said spokeswoman Nicole Carp.”

Lying: Merck is still collecting data on the length of the effective period of 100% protection. Currently that protection has reached five years and "the immune responses continue to be very stable." The healthy competition between manufacturers will bring the price of this new vaccine down.

Loser: Two vaccines which are 100% effective on various HPV types will soon be available but Triple L wants to skip them and waste more money on Ring Thing type abstinence programs with failure rates over 80% instead.

Aunt Bea

June 10, 2006 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Triple L wants to skip them and waste more money on Ring Thing type abstinence programs with failure rates over 80% instead.

Of course Triple L would not want to talk about the 11 program study on abstinence programs that proved those programs do not work.

In Bush's home state of Texas the programs failed there as well.


June 11, 2006 1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there an echo in here?

Library Lounge Lizard
June 10, 2006 2:49 PM

Oh, that's right. TTF means "TELL THE FALSEHOOD".
June 10, 2006 2:52 PM

Maybe TTF means "TELL THE FALSEHOOD">>>>>
June 10, 2006 2:58 PM "

June 12, 2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a perfect example of two preferred radical right tactics: repeat the lie and demonize your opponent. It's what people do when they don't have a cogent argument.

Of course it's kind of hard to argue against the first ever 100% effective cancer preventing vaccine and yet this radical conservative "LLL" can't stop himself.


June 12, 2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

For the record:

I support the public distribution of the vaccine, especially targeting those most at risk (if that can be determined). It does appear to be a bit pricey as vaccines go, but what is the record with previous vaccines? Does the price for the vaccine go down with time?

June 13, 2006 4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are all quite finished (including Norman Bates wannabe, Aunt Bea), you can look back and see that I never argued against the vaccine. I only said that mandatory impostion is not the slam dunk TTF makes it out to be. Focus on the Family is also only against making the vaccine mandatory- not against its availability. Saying otherwise is TTF's current falsehood.

Again, the vaccine is very expensive and would require several shots and has only been proven effective for three and a half years. This is from a quote by a spokesman in last Thursday's Post. It's not hard to imagine spending that kind of money in a way that would save more than 2700 American lives (3600 X 75%). For that matter, we could more effectively reduce worldwide cervical cancer the same way it has been reduced to such low levels in the U.S.- make pap smears available to the poor in third world countries.

Hate to go all evolutionary on you but wouldn't widespread use of this partial vaccine only increase the prevalence of the viruses that are resistant to it?

Triple Lutz

June 14, 2006 6:19 PM  

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