Michele Casey is busy most days being a financial planner, but even at her desk her thoughts aren't that far removed from her two daughters Emerson and Eryn. She's got a digital display of her kids in her office. Her older daughter is nine just the age when doctors are now recommending the new cervical cancer vaccine.
" it hits home for me because I would do anything I could to prevent them from having cancer"
As a a member of the cervical cancer task force for the state of Nevada, Michele is probably more knowledgeable about the vaccine than many parents. She's also very aware of the arguments against the vaccine. They include the theory that if we give nine year old and slightly older girls the vaccine parents will be giving them permission to have sex.
" For me the most important thing is that this is a tool to prevent cancer it is not a ticket to have sex."
The fact that this vaccine concerns a sexually transmitted disease and the cancer that can stem from it is controversial enough. But now some lawmakers here in Nevada are proposing insurance companies pick-up the cost of this vaccine which runs about five-hundred dollars.
Local gyneclogist Dr. Richard Rafael says only a few insurance companies are picking up the cost. " Public health and washoe county health will be providing this and its probably the cheapest way to obtain the vaccination. At this point? At this point."
Dr. Rafael says he doesn't see the cost taking a dive anytime soon even if insurance companies pay for it. That's because vaccines haven't typically been a money maker for the manufacturer.