YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Did everyone hear the exciting news last week about the new FDA approval the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer? I hope so because this is the best news that I have heard in a long time in the fight against cancer. We finally have a real vaccine to fight cervical cancer. This vaccine can help save the lives about 3,700 women. We should have all been doing the happy dance down Peachtree St, but instead of the happy dance there seems to be some reservations about this vaccine. How can that be I asked myself last week? How can a vaccine that will save lives have reservations attached to it?
Well, if you have been reading the articles on this vaccine apparently there are parents out there that are afraid to have their daughters vaccinated because they are worried that this will give their daughters a green light to have sex. Huh? I don't understand the connection between getting a vaccine to prevent getting cervical cancer and having sex. I mean sure the type of cancer that we are talking about stems from the HPV virus, but really if parents were to think about this the answer is obvious you give your daughter the vaccine. If parents were really to weigh the pros and cons of protecting their daughters against cancer and them supposedly having the green light to have sex then the pros of the vaccine far out weigh the green light issue in my opinion. Cancer is a ugly and brutal disease that no one should have to face and the thought of getting cervical cancer when it could been prevented in the first place it makes my blood pressure rise. In the end you could be saving your daughter's life by getting her vaccinated and isn't that far better then worrying about whether or not she is getting that green light to have sex. Also, if you have done your job as a parent then your daughter would know its not a green light to have sex and that she should wait until she is really ready to make that kind of decision for herself. Then next big question for this new drug is who should pay for it? Because this vaccine is expensive. It apparently costs about $300.00 dollars a pop.
This is the political side of this blog. Who is going to be footing the bill because the cost of this drug is far beyond the budgets of nearly every city and state health departments? Any many health insurers don't pay for vaccinations. Why I'm not sure because it would seem to me that if you prevent cancer then maybe wouldn't cost insurance companies as much. I always lead to believe that prevented medicine is cheaper in the run long. I could be wrong about that, but it makes doesn't it? If we prevent a women from getting cancer then isn't cheaper to insure her then when she does get it and the medical bills from chemotherapy and radiation start to pile up. Not to mention the doctor visits to the oncologist office that can be a couple hundred dollars just by themselves. The medical treatment to fight cancer is staggering. Here is the moral dilemma will only rich Americans who can pay out of pocket have access to the new vaccine? Ironically enough that is precisely the group that needs the vaccine the least since they are already getting their daughters good medical care. Its the poor that needs this vaccine more than other group. Because they are the least likely to get regular check ups by a doctor. The moral thing to do is to make sure the very best that we can that all young women are vaccinated. Now is the time to push our legislatures to make sure that the money will be there to make this happen. Of coarse it will hard to convince Sonny and all the other Republicans that we should make this happen in the state Georgia considering they shoved 75,000 children off of Peachcare, but we have to do it. We are not only waging war against terrorism, but we also waging war on cancer and the health of our nation should be just as important as the war on terror. We must work on making sure that the opportunity that this vaccine provides is there for everyone and not just for the ones who can afford it. In my opinion, if insurance companies don't have to pay and public health departments cannot afford to then all the other moral issues surrounding this new vaccine become moot. Its time to prevent that from happening. We have to make sure our Health Care System in this country isn't going to be the death of us.