Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (01.18.13)
The Virginia House of Representatives’ Health, Welfare, and Institutions’ subcommittee voted unanimously against Del. Patrick Hope’s (D-Arlington) bill, HB1614, to delete the words “for females” from the current statute requiring children to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). The change in the statute’s wording would have made it possible for boys on Medicaid to receive HPV immunization for free. Medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, fully supported Hope’s proposed word change.
HPV vaccinations would protect boys from cancer and prevent them from spreading HPV to their partners, according to Hope. In 2012, CDC recommended that boys receive HPV immunization. The Family Foundation and the Virginia Catholic Conference opposed the bill, stating that the decision to vaccinate should be between the physician and family. Some opponents cited fear of long-term effects of HPV vaccine. A loophole in current Virginia law allows parents to opt out of HPV vaccination for children.