The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been a divisive topic right from the start. The vaccine, branded as "Gardasil" or "Ceravix", is the cervical cancer vaccine created by Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively.
The issue generated much debate in 2007 when Gov. Rick Perry, Texas, rushed a mandate bypassing state legislation by creating an executive order to mandate girls to receive the HPV vaccine. The order called for all girls to receive the series of immunizations in the sixth grade (11 to 12 years of age).
This decision had ignited a firestorm of controversy, including other states looking at similar laws, and in 2011 the debate continues in many forms.
Under a new California law put into place by Gov. Jerry Brown, and passed earlier this month, children over the age of 12 will be able to access STD-prevention services from their doctors, including the controversial HPV shot, without parental consent.
After this law was passed, many questioned the loss of parental rights and other related concerns to children having access to this type of healthcare without parental consent.
According to 10News in San Diego, a local grandmother is outraged after she learned her 11-year-old grandson was administered the HPV vaccination during a doctor's appointment; she learned after the fact he was given this vaccine.
While Tammie Dennis' grandson did go to the doctor for 'required' immunizations in order to begin middle school, the HPV immunization was not a shot needed to attend school. News10 reports,
"The exam went OK," Dennis told 10News reporter Allison Ash. "They gave him the immunizations and when we were leaving, the nurse gave me a card for follow-up."
At this point Dennis realized something was not right and questioned the nurse. Reportedly Dr. Sandra Perez walked up and said, "Don't make a big deal out of it."
Dennis said Dr. Perez told her the vaccine is part of the normal range of shots given to all kids.
"And I asked her, 'Do you give this to children without their parents knowing, them not getting any information about what the effects are and why they’re getting it?'" said Dennis.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't until about a week later that a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel even recommended this vaccine for boys .
Additionally, even if the boy was 12, the new California law does not take effect until Jan. 1, 2012.
News10 reported, "Perez said she is a strong advocate of the HPV vaccine but told 10News she does not administer any vaccinations without parental approval. She declined to share the specifics of Dennis' grandson’s case."
Dennis has filed a complaint and Dr. Perez has been dropped as her grandson's healthcare provider.
Last month Michele Bachmann criticized Rick Perry about his HPV mandate and this brought on new controversy. Digital Journal had reported how Michele Bachmann clarified her position on HPV and 'Perrycare'.