December 31, 2019
Happy New Year Washingtonians! We have an opportunity, once again, to write to our public health officials and support a vaccine with proven efficacy and safety – the human papilloma vaccine. On the January 8, 2020 agenda for the Washington State Board of Health is an item of interest to us all: ” Petition for Rulemaking to add HPV to chapter 246-105 WAC Immunization of Child Care and School Children Against Certain Vaccine-Preventable Diseases – Possible Action.” This item is being addressed by Board vice chair, Dr Tom Pendergrass. Dr Pendergrass is a hematologist/oncologist and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington. He is literally an expert in pediatric cancer and the board is truly blessed to have him as a member. Dr Pendergrass is proposing the HPV vaccine be added to the list of vaccines required for children. Let’s all take some time to write to the board in support of this proposal.
You must get your letter to them by noon January 3rd. You can submit your comments several ways, through this link: click here
If you cannot attend in person, please paste your letter into both an email and the form to be submitted. The letter will fit in the last comment box.
If you are unsure what this is about, please read the letter I have sent and feel free to use it as the basis for your letter. You may highlight my text and copy and paste it into your own letter. You may also attend the meeting in person and request to speak. If you do, please keep your comment very short as they will limit talking to only a few minutes per person.
December 31, 2019
Dear Dr Pendergrass and members of the Washington State Board of Health,
First of all, I write to commend you for your work in the last year with regard to keeping Washington healthy and addressing the measles outbreak. Washington is fortunate to have a such expertise on our board of health. You are truly experts and you have done great work, particularly in the face of the very aggressive push against your work by small anti-vaccine groups. You are appreciated by the vast majority of Washingtonians. Our public health is in good hands.
Next, I am writing on behalf of the advocacy group, Vaccinate Washington, to support Dr Pendergrass’ proposal to add the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to the schedule of vaccines required by WAC 246-105. Tens of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with cancers related to HPV yearly and thousands die every year. Many VaxWA members have had personal experience with cancers caused by HPV, either in themselves or loved ones. We have lost too many Americans to cancers caused by HPV. It is a modern miracle that science has given us a vaccine that will prevent cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. We know there is a great deal of misinformation online about this vaccine and we want to support your point of view: this is a safe and effective vaccine, one that has been well-tested in studies all over the world and has an extremely low rate of serious side effects. HPV cancers are preventable. The HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of cancers caused by HPV—estimated to be 32,100 cases ever year—from ever developing.
As such, I have found links to studies to support my assertions:
The University of Sydney, Australia published a review of the safety of HPV vaccine and concluded “The risk-benefit profile for HPV vaccines remains highly favourable.”
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published “Safety of human papillomavirus vaccines: a review“, which concluded “The incidence of SAEs is variable but in most cases causal association is not proven. Additionally, the occurrence of these events is similar in both vaccine and control groups.”
Many other studies on the safety and efficacy of HPV vaccine can be found at these three links:
I urge you to vote in favor of Dr Pendergrass’ proposal. When the anti-vaccine groups try to sway you away from this vaccine, please remember that they are not going to give you valid information. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is not going to give you valid data on how many people are injured by vaccines because reports to VAERS can be made by anyone and do not account for what medical records actually say about causation. The Vaccine Safety Datalink studies are the better source. There is no evidence of fraud with regards to this vaccine. People who make that claim are not using valid studies listed in the links above to support their claims. They are pseudoscience practitioners using debunked ideas to defame a vastly safe and effective vaccine. We are counting on you to know the difference between good and bad science when it comes to making decisions about our public health. Keep the great track record going by approving the addition of HPV vaccine to the schedule.
With great respect,
[your name here, member Vaccinate Washington]