House approves bill to end HPV vaccine mandate
Virginia's House of Delegates approved a bill Friday that would drop the state's requirement that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus before enrolling in public school.
In 2007, Virginia was the first state in the country to enact a mandate that girls receive a vaccine against HPV, which causes genital warts and can cause cervical cancer, after a federal advisory panel suggested routine vaccination for 11- and 12-year-olds in 2006.
The bill is unlikely to be approved by the Democratic-controlled state Senate and enacted into law. But the House's strong rejection of the mandated vaccine, just four years after it was approved overwhelmingly in the same chamber, is a sign of public uneasiness with HPV vaccination.
"We just want to make sure parents are evaluating the risks of what their giving their daughters, and not a legislative body," said Del. Kathy J. Byron (R-Lynchburg), who is sponsoring the measure, ">HB1491. "I don't think that we have the medical degree to make those decisions."
The Republican-led House adopted the bill by a vote of 61 to 33 on Friday, after a lengthy and impassioned debate on Thursday that chipped away at the usual partisan lines.
Rosalind S. Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle
| January 21, 2011; 3:14 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate
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