09 April 2007


I will be surprised if this news does not provoke some sort of legislative kerfluffle:

Early this summer, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will begin distributing more than 20,000 doses of Gardasil ®, the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, to public and private clinics statewide.

The state will pay Gardasil’s cost only for girls age 9 through 18 who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children’s program. The state intends to continue providing all other vaccines currently recommended for children at no charge.

Gardasil - and public provision thereof - has sparked debates in numerous other states. I attended a presentation on it earlier this year and was surprised to hear some of the Alaska natives in attendance ask pointed and sharp questions about the vaccine that betrayed a deep skepticism of making it widely available.

Add to that the fact that there are some social conservatives in Juneau who are likely disappointed their same-sex benefit issue is drying up and are looking for a new issue and you've got the makings of a great issue for folks to huff-and-puff and look self-important on.

1 comment:

CabinDweller said...

Kerfluffle indeed. Matters won't be helped in the least by coverage like I saw on local television last night here in Squarebanks. The teaser was something like, "Next up - a controversial vaccine..." blah blah blah, setting the tone for the discussion about the vaccine about the right wingers issues with it, rather than, say, the health issues involved or the failed effort by the manufacturer to have it made a mandatory vaccine.

Instead, it's going to devolve into a row about whether or not giving girls the vaccine is going to make them more likely to become sexually active at some point.