The HPV Vaccine: Tyranny, or a Valid Approach in Need of a Dose of Reality?

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Taking away a person’s right to choose can leave them feeling violated and disempowered. Taking away a parent’s right to choose what is best for their child can be even more disempowering and frustrating. A number of people are experiencing such frustration as a result of Governor Rick Perry’s mandate that all young Texas girls must be vaccinated for the HPV virus. In both, “HPV Vaccine Texas Tyranny” by Mike Adams, and “The HPV Debate Needs an Injection of Reality” by Arthur Allen, the authors disapprove of the vaccination mandate; while both articles differentiate in tone, justification of the mandate, and reliability of sources.
Throughout the articles, Allen’s tone and approach express doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccination, while Adams’ tone and approach is geared toward his anger at the political system and drug companies. Allen’s more objective approach and Adams’ less objective approach are evident in their word choices, calls to action, and use of punctuation. Adams’ word choices are more inflammatory, while Allen is more understated. For example, Allen in describing the mandate says he has “reservations” (449). Adams describes the vaccine as “absolutely worthless” (445). Allen speaks of those involved as the “medical community” (449) and “drug firms” (449). Adams speaks of the “sick care industry” (446) and “Big Pharma” (447). The articles each present a call to action; Adams asks that the reader reject the vaccination entirely, and stand up to this “tyranny” (447) and spread the word by posting a cartoon and linking to his article. Allen urges that the Government “shouldn’t rush” (450) the mandate to give it time to gain “credibility” (450). Adams’ use of punctuation is much more emotionally laden. He freque...

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Clearly there are a number of opinions on whether this vaccine should be mandatory or not, and further investigation is needed. Some critics are against the vaccine itself; others like Allen question the timing of the mandate. Allen’s essay convincingly argues that the mandate should be delayed to get public buy in. It is unfortunate that Adams’ style and lack of support keep his essay from making what could be valid points about the safety of the vaccine, and the possibly unethical relationship between drug companies and politicians regarding this mandate.

Works Cited

Ackley, Katherine Anne, ed. Perspectives on Contemporary Issues: Reading across the Disciplines. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage learning, 2009. Print.
Adams, Mike. “HPV Vaccine Texas Tyranny.” Ackley 445-47.
Allen, Arthur. “The HPV Debate Needs an Injection of Reality.” Ackley 448-49.

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