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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
VIRGINIA: Bills Would Repeal HPV Vaccine Requirement
Pia Talwar, Capital News Service
January 24, 2012
Loudoun Times-Mirror (Leesburg) (01.23.12) - Tuesday, January

Two bills now before the General Assembly would repeal the 2007 law requiring girls entering sixth grade to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus. Certain HPV strains targeted by the vaccine Gardasil cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. The law's liberal opt-out clause lets parents decline to have their daughters vaccinated after reviewing materials about HPV and cervical cancer.

"You are putting parents against the power of the state," said Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), who proposed HB 65. "This is pressuring the parents, and I don't think it should be done." Both HB 65 and HB 1112 would end the requirement for HPV vaccination, and both have been referred to the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions. On Jan. 19, a subcommittee voted 6-2 to advance HB 1112 - sponsored by Republican Dels. Kathy Byron (Lynchburg) and Timothy Hugo (Centreville) - to a vote by the full committee. [PNU editor's note: According to a report on the website of the Lynchburg News & Advance, the full committee passed HB 1112 on Jan. 24.] Byron's bill to repeal the HPV vaccination law passed in the House last year but died in the Senate Health and Education Committee, which was controlled by Democrats. This year, Republicans control the committee.

In case the requirement is not overturned, HB 824, also proposed by Marshall, would make the state liable for any injury caused by the vaccine.