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Speak Out: Senate Shelves HPV Vaccination Bill

Opponents of repealing the requirement say it is necessary preventive care for girls, but tell us: Is the General Assembly infringing on parental rights?

State senators postponed a bill Monday that would have repealed the law requiring sixth-grade girls to be immunized from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

The Senate voted 22-17, with two Republicans joining 20 Democrats, to send the bill back to the Education and Health Committee for consideration in 2013.

House Bill 1112, sponsored by Del. Kathy Byron (R-22nd District), passed the Republican-heavy House of Delegates 62-34 on Jan. 27.

Byron also submitted a similar bill in the 2011 session, which the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected.

"I am extraordinarily glad that the Commonwealth will continue to immunize young people against this deadly disease," Del. Barbara Favola said in a statement. "The best way to eradicate cervical cancer is widespread HPV vaccination. In the past, the most successful immunization programs, such as those for smallpox or polio, required universal vaccination. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, but with this vaccination, there is hope for ending the suffering caused by cervical cancer."

Under current law, parents may request their daughters skip the vaccination after reading information that informs of the link between HPV and cancer.

In a newsletter to constituents on Jan. 30, Byron said the vaccination requirement is an overreach of the government's authority on public health matters.

"I am sponsoring this bill because I view the mandate as an unnecessary intrusion on parental rights," Byron wrote. "The other childhood vaccines that Virginia does mandate are there for good reason. The diseases they affect are communicable through casual contact and pose immediate public health hazards. Mandating this vaccine was an expansion by government of its role in public health."

Tell us: Do you think the law mandating HPV vaccinations is necessary or is the General Assembly overreaching its authority? Speak Out in the comments.

Richids Coulter February 28, 2012 at 10:28 PM
"The best way to eradicate cervical cancer is widespread HPV vaccination." WRONG! No science supports that ridiculous statement. Seems Favola has never heard of pap smears, which aren't toxic and don't cause countless deaths among healthy teenage girls, or render them unable to lead a normal life ever again. Medical tyranny, oh how powerful lobbying can be. The vaccine manufacturing industry spent $250 MILLION in 2010 lobbying at the federal level alone, pennies to them.
ksale February 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM
The vaccine manufacturing industry... that's what this is about. The vaccine manufacturing industry. Don't be fooled.
Claire March 05, 2012 at 01:58 AM
The rate of cervical cancer in the United States is extremely low. According to Dr. Diane Harper, a leading medical researcher for the HPV vaccine, we would have to vaccinate for 60 years in order to see any decline in our cervical cancer rates. Everyone gets the human papillomavirus at some point in their life and in 90% of people, the virus resolves on its own with no treatment. The HPV vaccine is associated with 91 deaths of young girls and thousands of adverse reactions. Parents need to have complete information about the HPV virus and the vaccine before making this decision. No state should be endorsing this controversial vaccine.

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