About-face likely on cancer drug for teens

NZ Herald November 05, 2007
Labour looks likely to change its mind and approve cervical cancer vaccination for 12- and 13-year-old girls. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was seeking urgent advice on the vaccine after the British Government decided last month to go ahead with it. But the lobby group Family First says such a move ignores the moral issue, and that a vaccine would promote promiscuity. Helen Clark told the Labour Party conference at the weekend that she was instructing the Ministry of Health to report urgently to the Government on the British decisions “because where we can prevent deadly cancers, we should”. Trials of the vaccine against the human papilloma virus showed it could prevent 70 per cent of cervical cancers.She also said that no vaccine would be compulsory. Outgoing Health Minister Pete Hodgson said in May that the vaccine, Gardasil, would not get Government funding but the decision would be would be reviewed in a year or two. Helen Clark has decided to move faster. Bob McCoskrie of Family First said yesterday that a vaccine was “a medical response to a moral issue”. “We are accepting by default that kids are going to be sexually active at a time that is not suitable or safe for them.” He said the vaccine would be like giving a 12-year-old a condom and saying, “Just in case”.


Labour U-Turn Over Cervical Cancer Drug Dominion Post