September 21, 2011

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

I never thought I would agree with Michele Bachmann on anything, but the furor surrounding her recent statements opposing mandated HPV vaccinations for pre-adolescent girls has given me pause.  I don’t agree with Bachmann’s reason for challenging mandated HPV vaccinations. There is no evidence that I could find on it causing mental retardation, but the media’s attacks on her statements suggest that there is no reason for anyone to questioning such a policy. One notable exception was NPR’s story on Monday morning by Richard Knox. Anyone interested in this policy should listen to this balanced story by Knox and his production team.

My concern about Bachmann’s comments is more that the furor surrounding them is likely to quash reasoned discussions of whether mandated HPV vaccination of girls is good public policy or a case of great marketing by a pharmaceutical company. Listen to Knox’s story and see what you think.

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing and CHMP Co-Director.