From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
February 5, 2007

Contact: Court Koenning (512) 463-0107 / (713) 876-4444


"Is this the new black plague? If not, lets debate these issues"

AUSTIN -- This afternoon Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) offered the following statement regarding Governor Rick Perry's Executive Order of last Friday concerning the mandated Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

"I am disappointed in the Governor's recent decision. There are many questions left to be answered concerning this vaccination, its effectiveness, its cost, its application and its long term effect. With no communication prior to the order from the Governor's office about the immediate health impact many are left wondering 'what's the rush.' Still worse, why would this Governor seek to circumvent the legislative process in this manner.

"The research I have come across indicates there are at least 100 strains of the Human Papillomavirus and the vaccination, Gardasil, only treats four of them. The American Cancer Society reports most women do not get cervical cancer from HPV and the National Institutes of Health report more than 90% of all HPV cases are harmless and go away without treatment. Currently, some parents opt to have their daughters vaccinated without a state mandate. At this point, I believe the optional vaccination alternative is the correct approach.

"For some, a mandatory HPV vaccination of all girls between the age of 11 and 12 may prove to be a well reasoned decision, but this process leads many to think there is much we don't yet know about the Governor's decision.

"The Governor owes it to the Legislature and to the public as to why these emergency actions are justified. Governor, is HPV the new black plague? If not, then we should respect the elected representative process. Let us debate these issues in public as it was intended."