Thursday, August 23, 2007

The latest attack from our Colonial Masters in D.C.

I went to the PTA meeting at Saipan Southern High School the other night, and a couple folks from Public Health came and educated the parents about a program to give free vaccinations for the human papillomavirus (HPV) to all girls 18 and under in the CNMI. This is the most expensive vaccine in existence, the presenters noted at almost $400, and HPV is the cause of 100 percent of Cervical Cancer. The vaccination is obviously a sensible precaution that virtually all young women should take, and for these young women of the CNMI it is free.

I think this is very generous of our colonial masters in Washington D.C., who usually spend their time seeking to destroy the CNMI in a fit of payback and revenge through federalization. I was scratching my head wondering how they could know from 10,000 miles away that it is a good idea to prevent HPV? I was thinking we should demand an impact study on whether vaccines actually vaccinate in the CNMI? Perhaps they shouldn't have destroyed local government by this incursion into local public health. I guarantee the local government officials would gladly give up their next few junkets for the opportunity to inoculate our local girls against a deadly disease. What a bunch of bullies the Feds are! If they give us a free new power plant next, I demand we secede.

53 comments:

BoReGo said...

It doesn't do much for girls who are already sexually active and may have contracted one of the four strains of HPV. It also has not been studied long enough although DPH says there are no reported health risks except that girls faint when they get their shots. It's recommended for girls as young as 9. It's also recommended that boys get the shot, but for now there is only enough money to vaccinate those promiscuous girls.

Jeff said...

The boy's shot isn't approved in the U.S. yet. It isn't a money thing.

That some girls might have HPV doesn't seem relevant to preventing the rest from getting it. Not that anything is fool proof, but these things get studied a bit before approval. If I had a daughter, she'd be getting the shot, that is for damn sure.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

...or they could just give one shot to Brad.

BoReGo said...

The shot itself isn't FDA approved yet, and DPH said it was too expensive to give all boys and girls. I have three daughters and still want to be sure it is safe.

Jeff said...

If it isn't FDA approved, how could they be administering it? I don't get that. They told a different story last night than what you're saying.

Silly Socrates said...

Silly wants to know if the $400 dollars could be put into a worse use such as fixing basic water or power supply, or getting enough text books for classes.


Just asking a silly question,
Silly Socrates

Jeff said...

Or better yet, illegally misappropriate the grant and send our local political delegation to Manila or Hawaii to get investors, since that worked so well last time. Cervical cancer is probably not that bad.

BoReGo said...

100% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV. I think it's aweful.

Bryan said...

a study...lol...I think that's Saipanese for "stalling tactic"

G said...

is this the drug in question?

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01385.html

glen

Jeff said...

I think so. They said it was administered in three shots like that one. I don't think there is another vaccine. roxanne at public health is the point person on this.

BoReGo said...

There's no such language as Saipanese. Who said anything about a study? The vaccine is touted to be 100% effective in preventing strains of HPV, there are four. The FDA has not approved it yet, boys and girls get HPV, it's the most common STD out there, and it is very expensive. There will need to be parental permission to administer it, and for girls from 9 - middle school, it won't be made available for free. Bottom line: HPV is horrendous, but without a true determination of the possible LONG TERM (sorry Angelo) side effects, I am still very apprehensive.

Jeff said...

I still don't understand how non FDA approved vaccines could be administered. I honestly doubt they are doing that. We still follow FDA rules here.

Would any new drug or vaccine have a very long term study?

How could you realistically have any new medicine that way?

I personally think HPV is more of a risk than the vaccine.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I like the dripping sarcasm. Best post in a while, Jeff.

Just one quick point: at $400 per shot, someone is paying. So who is on the hook? The American taxpayer is the slave this time instead of the CNMI taxpayer?

Maybe some thought should be given to having those who benefit, paying the tab as opposed to sticking a taxation gun to someone else's head and forcing them to pay the bill for the little darlins who haven't received the message to put a rubber on it or put a sock in it.

Whether it works or not, whether it is FDA approved or not are both interesting questions.

Maybe it is a dastardly plot by the CDC to test here using human guinea pigs without their consent. Imagine them coming 10,000 miles just to take advantage of our youth here on Saipan. The heinous, heartless, colonizing bums!!

BoReGo said...

I do too Jeff, but they clearly said it wasn't approved yet. On second thought, if it isn't safe, then it would be worse.

Jeff said...

Who clearly said that because if that is what they are doing, it is outrageous. They never said anything like that at our meeting, and I'm still incredulous about it.

And Bruce, thanks for the left handed compliment. I was going to note that the wittiness of your columns makes you the Mencken of Tanapag.

BoReGo said...

Rox, the Dr. that was with them. I forget his name, he said the only side effect was that girls faint.

BoReGo said...

Gardisil has been approved by the FDA. I don't know what they're bringing here, but I remember them saying that they didn't know yet if there were any serious side effects and that it wasn't approved. I was morning and I was alert, but I could have mis-heard it.

Jeff said...

And to answer your question Bruce. The vast majority of us don't want to see people needlessly suffering and dying simply because they are poor, which is why the hospitals are required to offer at least basic care. Preventing HPV and cervical cancer is cheaper than fixing the outbreak of the disease. Despite your socially darwinistic political ideals, I know you are too good a person to want to see needless pain, suffering and death, even if that requires, deep gasp, taxes. Admit it Bruce. Look at the bright side, at least this isn't going to Halliburton or the war, it's going to some fatcat pharmaceutical companies. I think that is the bright side.

G said...

i got the link above from the FDA site itself. It clearly states that Gardasil (the vaccine) is approved (if it is the same drug... i don't see why it wouldn't be.)

here is another link that sheds more light on HPV, itself, and the drug Gardasil. this page contains some FAQs.

if you people are truly concerned about the administering of this drug within our schools, then prior to killing frankenstein, why not ask if them if this is the drug, read up on it and make an educated decision...

glen

G said...

that came off harsh. it wasn't meant to be. text doesn't convey tone.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

That is a true compliment, oh Jeff. Thank You.

My wit may be good but his syndication record seems a bit better than mine so far.

On the other hand, as Tanapag columnists go there are two of us, Ruth Tighe (whose name I have never learned to pronounce correctly even though I have known her for years) and myself. I am always impressed with Ruth's hard work and outstanding research. Her take on current events is often an eye opener. She writes well too, and I for one am glad she still stays at it and publishes weekly on chomorro.com and on cnmi.net.

BoReGo said...

On the phone with Lynn Tenorio. It is the FDA approved vaccine that CDC is bringing over, not the one waiting for approval.

Jeff said...

I'm glad then I decided to not post my harsh retort.

Jeff said...

You're more Mencken like than her, so the award still stands, she's more of a less cranky Andy Rooney. BTW, I visited Mencken's home/sort of museum in Baltimore back in my college days. I'm surprised you're a fan, he's a bit rough on Southerners.

BoReGo said...

Lynn wants to have a list of parent's most asked questions/concerns that she can create a brochure for.

BoReGo said...

Don't worry G. I've been known to be hypersensitive to kid issues, but I got it straight from Lynn. Maybe someone got their information wrong, but she clearly said they are bringing the approved drug here. This is not a drug to cure cervical cancer- it is a drug to prevent cervical cancer that is an onset of the HPV sexually transmitted virus that is 100% linked. If you have one or more strains of HPV, the vaccine does nothing for you. I still think boys need it too.

Jeff said...

They specifically said at our meeting the boy's vaccine isn't approved yet in the states, but is elsewhere. I've read that HPV is worse for girls, but I agree it would be nice.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Anyone know what the incidence of HPV, or all STDs for that matter, is here in the CNMI?

Is this a pervasive problem or do we have 3 teens and 4 adults with the drips or whatever.

So do I understand correctly that this drug only prevents cervical cancer not the HPV itself, Borego? If so, how would this drug assist boys? No many with a cervix. Maybe a couple of hairdressers (not that there is anything wrong with that). (:-))

BoReGo said...

It prevents cervical cancer by preventing the HPV that causes it, or has been positively linked to it. If you’ve never contracted any type of HPV then you’ll be free of it, hopefully for life. Boys get HPV too, it’s the most common sexually transmitted disease and sometimes symptom-less. Boys give girls HPV and vice versa. I guess it’s more urgent to get it to the people with cervixes because boys can risk warts - but girls can actually die. There are four strains of HPV (you ever got a cold sore or wart)? The cervical cancer incident rate in the CNMI is super high, I don’t remember exactly how high, but enough to warrant a mass vaccination. I checked with someone else who was there, and they heard the rep. say it was the unapproved vaccine coming, so I wasn’t on crack that day, but Lynn Tenorio is the ultimate source and we can all rest assured that it will be Gardisil straight from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

bigsoxfan said...

Excellent exchange of ideas. I'm all for spending money on protecting kids from a horrible cancer which would take their life years down the road, in exchange for a case of child rape or even a youthful mistake. Of course, I'm also in favor of the death penalty for child molesters, but I think I'm in the mainstream on the tax dollars for a vaccine.

Glad it was't the un-approved one, I would hate to see the PSS wasting money these days.

Jeff said...

It's federal, not pss paying it. They can't pay for enough teachers or toilet paper.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Juan Peron had HPV. Both of his wives died of cervical cancer.

Boni, Why sorry Angelo?

Jeff said...

She used ALL CAPS and she has been saying that for years, and it was common sense, that's why.

BoReGo said...

I CAN'T HELP MYSELF!

glend558 said...

Not one word of appreciation for what is being done. Only looking the gift horse in the mouth. Most ungrateful, I think.

marianas life said...

few, glad someone took the time to clear up the misinformation. the vaccine is currently under review for boys in the US by the FDA. There have been a few, small clinical trials, which were necessary to get the FDA approval and the side affects were no more frequent, different or worse for the girls receiving the placebo vaccine.

Rubella vaccine is given to both boys and girls because men pass it to the women and if the woman gets pregnant with rubella the baby can become mentally retarded from the virus.

Men with HPV are usually asymptomatic, that means they don't know they have it. So yes, boys should be vaccinated as well. It causes 100% of cervical cancers, 90% of anal cancer (men and women), 40% of penile cancers, and 40% of vulvular cancers.

The vaccine works even for girls who've been sexually active. The problem is it won't work against one of the 4 strains that cause cancer so it won't be as effective, but will still be far more effective at preventing cervical cancer than not doing the vaccine at all.

My daughter is definitely getting it. And if it were approved for women over 26, I'd get it too.

BoReGo said...

I am glad DPH is taking this on, like they did offering flu vaccines. There is nothing wrong with not understanding, wanting more information and being a little skeptical at first. I have three girls and I sometimes am overwhelmed by how much I love them, how I second guess every decision I make because I want the best for them. Big government scares me and mass "anything" does too. I respect the folks up there at DPH, but I don't let them make decisions for my children. And if I sounded ungrateful then I apologize for how others took it, but no one will be able to comfort me if I make a bad decision and hurt my children. No one will stand at their bedsides and weep.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks Boni and Bree for the info.

Alexander is only 3 so is only at the collecting phone numbers stage right now. I'll get him a shot when he's a bit older.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Oh.

Jeff said...

Just get Alexander Bateman through law school ASAP in case I screw up somehow.

Jeff said...

I think Boni was just reacting to some bad info, Glen.

BoReGo said...

I was.

Saipan Writer said...

One last, late comment.

My daughter has had the first two doses of this vaccine. She didn't faint. She didn't have any reaction at all, other than a slightly sore arm. Last dose will be in December.

Doctor Ada gave us lots of information verbally. My understanding was that this vaccine protects against about 75% of the causes of cervical cancer (not 100%--but that's still a lot), that it is most effective if given before girls have any sexual encounter (and I'm not sure they even give it later), and that it protects against other things like genital warts and others herpes-caused problems.

I think it's great. I know women here who died from cervical cancer. And that's just been heart-breaking.

I don't think it's for promiscuous girls, but for all girls. The reason it's given to them when they're young is to make sure they get it before they have sex. We mothers may want to wait because we trust out daughters, but I think that's risky because girls can be victimized, too. And some girls are voluntarily having sex way too early, but they don't need to be punished with cervical cancer. So better to reach all of them before it's too late.

Vaccines always have some risk to some small segment of the population, and if you fall in that small segment, you're going to hate the vaccine, but if not, the benefits are truly amazing.

(And Jeff, I laughed out loud when I got to the end of your original blog post. Good sarcasm.)

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Great spoof on the colonialization whining going on. I'll bet that the most vocal of the "anti-colonizers" don't even consider the benefits of U.S. association such as this great program, NAP and federal education funds that are relied on so heavily here. Danny Aquino and the like will probably try to have you believe that the vaccines are poisened with a formula that will make those who take it become Stepford Wives of obediance to the colonial masters while repeatedly chanting the Texas state anthem.

BoReGo said...

Yeah, we all live for the federal handout. Geez, contrary to what you believe, not every brown person here relies on the feds for their livelihood. Now I AM offended.

Jeff said...

Who is you?

Who said, or even implied, every brown person relies on the feds for their livelihood?

There is a lot of overblown rhetoric going on about colonialism, and that's from white people like Bruce also, who I had in mind writing this. Almost everything said about the feds is bad, nothing good, such as this program.

BoReGo said...

Mr. Nerves of steele who suggests I be more appreciative than the average American for food stamps and federal aide. I think the way the welfare state is run, it's just another way to keep poor people poor, and lazy people lazy. People I know who get food stamps eat Angus beef for dinner. Who would give that up?>

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Wow, I'm not touching that. The U.S. is damned if they do, damned if they don't I guess.

BoReGo said...

Why are you referring to the U.S. as if we weren't Americans? Are we supposed to be more grateful than the average American for these things? The last time I looked, this was part of the U.S.A.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Since this went public I just had to respond.

Mine doest't drip as much though. No, not that drip. The article....sarcasm wise.

With over 50 posts this proves to be a great 2 way topic, Jeff. Good work! (Even if you are wrong about their motives).

Jeff said...

I think I have it pretty clear. This is a great way to give out corporate welfare to the pharmaceutical industry. At least this is constructive, unlike the $12 billion per month in Iraq. Preventing this disease is cheaper than fixing the problem once it happens as well. It's positive from that standpoint also.

BoReGo said...

One more thing: I did some reading.I don't trust the internet entirely, but it's more information than we're getting from DPH right now. The Dr., I think his name was JP, had no real answers and even sounded flippant about side effects. I do feel like I have to say something. I don't think I am influencial here, but I do know that DPH is, especially for our illiterate and elderly community. I'm not worried about bloggers and young people. You are all smart people who can make choices on your own. There is a lot of power in the hands of the government here, and the less informed we are , the better for them. It's not good enough anymore. That's what I love about the blogosphere - it's information rich. I think our community deserves the same, don't you? You brought it to everyone's attention immediately and promted a discussion, which is the way it should be - healthy.

It's easy to find fault and to defend anything because there is so much about both written. It's harder to find balance, but dialogue helps us do just that.