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Concerns remain after R.I. HPV vaccination mandate

Organizations such as Rhode Islanders Against Mandated HPV Vaccines protest RIDOH’s decision

Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

After mandating a first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine for all students entering the seventh grade, the Rhode Island Department of Health estimates that almost three-quarters of seventh graders had received their first dose by the first day of the 2015-16 school year, said Joseph Wendelken, acting public information officer for RIDOH.

The actual percentage might be even greater in the Ocean State, which already boasts one of the highest HPV immunization rates in the country, Wendelken said. The percentage does not take into account students who had vaccinations even a week after the first day of school due to extenuating circumstances such as delayed physical examinations, he added.

RIDOH passed the mandate in July 2014, and it officially took effect Aug. 1, The Herald previously reported.

“We expect that number to keep climbing,” Wendelken said. “It’s typical that when a vaccine is incorporated into the school immunization schedule, it starts at a baseline and starts to creep up as doctors, parents and school administrators get used to that being a part of the routine.”

Some Rhode Islanders have expressed reluctance to accept the decision, both because of the nature of the mandate and because of the association of a sexually transmitted disease with young children.

Aimee Gardiner, director of outreach for Rhode Islanders Against Mandated HPV Vaccines — a nonprofit created to oppose the mandate — said the organization and others favor “standing for our rights and for not having an overreach of government.”

“The problem is not about the vaccination itself whatsoever,” Gardiner said. Rather, the organization takes issue with the government mandating a vaccination for a disease when it does not impact a child’s education.

Gardiner said that the organization has three main goals with regards to HPV vaccinations: to make HPV vaccinations an option instead of a mandate, to make it more difficult for RIDOH to mandate another vaccination in the future and to advocate for informed consent. Once a vaccine is mandated, “all the risks and benefits that the patient has the right to know tend to go by the wayside,” she said.

Gardiner said she believes the decision of whether or not to vaccinate should rest solely with families. If an HPV vaccination is antithetical to its beliefs, a family can declare a religious exemption by completing a RIDOH form, she said.

Wendelken said he believes it is important that children are vaccinated around the seventh grade because the vaccine is most effective when administered to 11- and 12-year-olds. He stressed the fact that though HPV is transmitted sexually, children have the greatest response to the vaccine if it is administered “long before there’s any sexual contact.”

“The HPV vaccine protects against a virus that we know leads to cancer, and it’s incredibly beneficial and valuable,” Wendelken said. “Now it’s up to doctors across the country and state to try to communicate to parents the importance of this immunization.”


  1. Why would we object to creating safe spaces between our legs? Are we waiting for Paxson to appoint some kind of committee over the issue? She would be glad to. That is the only thing that she knows how to do.


    The push is on for everyone to get neurotoxins shot into their bodies. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies would prefer patients and healthcare professionals remain unaware of some important information.

  3. ShadrachSmith says:

    What we really need is a bunch of 3rd world immigrants with no vaccinations.

  4. Medical Fascism takes many forms. The coercion….pardon me, the “mandate” for these vaccines would be a bad idea even if they were entirely safe and worked perfectly.

    As is well known, they are not, and do not.

    This must be left as a choice to parents, it is a fundamental of Freedom of Individual and/or Parental Medical Choice.

    Rhode Islanders must force the Dept. of “Health” to rethink this decision and it is quite correct to implement legislation that would proscribe them from ever doing this stunt again. It is politically, as well as medically dangerous.

    Lifelong former Rhode Islander
    Dr. James R. Pannozzi AP (ret)
    Sarasota, Florida

  5. There is no Cervical Cancer Crisis or Epidemic in the US.

    -HPV by itself does not cause cervical cancer. Evidence shows it takes a combination, or co-infections – multiple viruses or virus/bacteria combinations to cause cervical cancer. Examples include Epstein Bar virus, HIV, and Chlamydia, along with HPV.
    -It has never been proven that the HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer. There is no scientific evidence of any kind.
    -There are over 100 strains of HPV, only about 15 of which can “contribute” to cervical cancer. HPV vaccines only includes four (4) strains, leaving you open to more than two-thirds of the dangerous strains. You will still need to get routine screenings for cervical cancer.
    -It will take at least 20 years before it is scientifically determined if the HPV vaccines works because that’s how long it takes cervical cancer to develop in females naturally. Based on this it has yet to be determined if booster over the next 20 years for a child will be necessary.
    -You don’t change or reduce the incidence of cancer by receiving the vaccine.
    -Two of the stains in the shot do not cover Black females-a group that has a higher chance of developing cervical cancer: http://www.medscape(dot)com/viewarticle/813365
    -The average age for a female to develop cervical cancer is between the ages of 45-55. Yes, there are rare exceptions to this like anything in life but 12 year old children DO NOT GET CERVICAL CANCER. Teens & twenty somethings do not get Cervical Cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the rarest cancers in the U. S. with 12,000 cases reported per year and 4,000 deaths.
    -Gardasil was “fast tracked.” This was illegal. The FDA requires new vaccines to undergo testing and a waiting period of 4 years. Gardasil was developed and on the market in 6 months, with FDA approval.
    -Merck’s vaccine trials used NON-INERT placebos for bogus “safety” results!

    -The origins of the HPV vaccine – A case of corruption in science: http://www.sott(dot)net/article/305663-SOTT-Exclusive-The-origins-of-the-HPV-vaccine-A-case-of-corruption-in-science303. 5 412

    From GreenMed:
    There are no restrictions with regard to conflicts of interest for the employees of the CDC or for those of the FDA (Kuehn, 2010). Each employee of either agency is allowed to own stock in drug companies. There is of course the revolving door. The most blatant example of revolving door corruption may be the action of the former director of the CDC, Julie Gerberding. Gererding blocked the CDC’s planned retraction of their recommendation for HPV vaccine after significant numbers of girls had died or been rendered paralyzed by the HPV vaccine. Soon after blocking the retraction, Gerberding was offered and took a position at Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, the world’s best selling HPV vaccine, as head of Merck Vaccines Department (Reuters, 2009). It is a level of corruption that we would expect to see in only third world countries.
    Kuehn, B. (Feb 3, 2010). Office of Inspector General: CDC Lax in Policing Advisors’ Conflicts of Interest. The Journal of the American Medical Association303. 5 412

  6. Rhode Islanders against mandated HPV vaccinations stands strong against the mandate for the HPV vaccine. Join Us & Follow us on Facebook @RIagainstHPVmandate

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