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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

American Policy Roundtable Announces Effort to Stop Mandatory HPV Inoculations of Children
February 13 2007

Rob Walgate, (800) 522-VOTE

Columbus, Ohio – The American Policy Roundtable, founded in Ohio in 1980, is calling for a state by state campaign to stop legislation mandating the inoculation of children for HPV, the human papillomavirus. Today on their website, Roundtable exposes the HPV vaccine campaign as the brainchild of a Washington-based political organization with strong links to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co., Inc. the sole manufacturer of Gardasil, the mandated HPV vaccine.

"HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and completely different from other communicable diseases that require childhood inoculations," stated Dr. Charles McGowen, Chief Medical Policy Advisor for the Roundtable. "The long term benefits and dangers of Gardasil have not yet been determined. Forcing 11 and 12 year old girls to be inoculated is premature and potentially dangerous."

Legislation is currently proposed in 20 states requiring the HPV inoculations. All states require the vaccination for children to continue in public and in some cases, private schools as well. Some states have included parental "opt-out" language permitting parents to exclude their daughters from the mandatory vaccinations.

"Linking this highly controversial vaccination to access to public and private education for middle-school girls is a clear abuse of power," stated Melanie Elsey, National Legislative Director for the Roundtable. "Parents should have the right to opt-in to medical care for their children, not be forced to climb out of a state dictated policy that could be harmful to their children. Furthermore, the links between the drug company Merck and this sudden firestorm of state mandates is simply too convenient. One company stands to make millions from this forced inoculation plan in the states."

State efforts in Ohio and Florida will be launched immediately to stop proposed legislation. Florida Legislative Director Elaine Merritt will be working to alert Floridians to the dangers of the mandatory inoculation measure. "We have a very short legislative session in Florida so citizen action will have to be swift and effective," Merritt stated. "We urge every parent and grandparent in Florida to get the facts on this important issue and protect their families from government intrusion over their health care choices."

The Roundtable is a non-profit, non-partisan education and research organization founded in 1980. For more information, visit APRoundtable.org.

Contact Rob Walgate, Vice President, for further comments and interviews at 1.800.522.VOTE.