Fear: The Most Powerful Emotion on the Planet
In 2005, Merck & Co.—the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate—was poised to get FDA approval for Gardasil, a supposedly foolproof vaccine against cervical cancer.
In June 2006, the influential government Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended that shots be given to all pre-teen girls starting as young as nine at the discretion of their doctors.
Merck operatives and lobbyists blitzed state legislators with the news. Their message of fear: Unless you make Gardasil a requirement for entrance into junior high and high schools, girls in your state could die of cervical cancer. So far, fearful lawmakers in 20 states are drafting bills that make the vaccine mandatory.
If the bills become law, the three shots of vaccine—totaling $360 per child— will represent billions of dollars for Merck.
Fear Begets Fear-1
Many parents are fearful of their daughters being forcefully vaccinated. As John Carreyrou wrote in The Wall Street Journal:
Tina Walker, the mother of an 11-year-old girl in Flower Mound, Texas, says she would prefer to wait until the vaccine has been on the market for several years before subjecting her child to it. “We are the guinea pigs here,” she says.
Tina Walker is spot-on. No one knows the long-term effects of this vaccine. The Wall Street Journal reported that so far “82 adverse events” have occurred as a result of Gardasil injections.
How hungry is Merck for this business? One of its lobbyists in Texas is the former chief of staff for Governor Rick Perry and Merck’s political action committee donated $6,000 to Perry’s re-election campaign. This past week, Governor Perry issued an executive order mandating that every female child entering the sixth grade must be vaccinated with Gardasil starting in 2008.
Currently, Merck is being sued by 1,400 patients—and families of the deceased— for failing to reveal that the long-term use of its drug, Vioxx, could result in heart problems and death. Presumably it is desperate for the Gardasil windfall in order to pay off the projected billions in Vioxx judgments.