Michele Bachmann’s opposition to vaccinating young girls against HPV, a policy Rick Perry once championed — and her allegation that it can lead to mental retardation — is now getting further pushback from outside of the regular political sphere, with the American Academy of Pediatrics chiming in.
The Academy released this statement late Tuesday, joining the list of people rebutting Bachmann’s comments, and the theory that vaccines cause brain damage:
“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.”