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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
VIRGINIA: House Passes Repeal of HPV Vaccine Mandate
Michael Sluss
January 30, 2012
Roanoke Times (01.27.12) - Monday, January 30, 2012

In a 62-34 vote Friday, Virginia's House of Delegates passed HB 1112, which would eliminate the state mandate that girls be vaccinated against human papillomavirus before entering sixth grade. The General Assembly in 2007 approved adding HPV vaccination to the state's list of required immunizations for children. Under the law's liberal opt-out clause, parents can refuse their consent for vaccination after receiving information about the link between HPV and cervical cancer.

A similar bill to eliminate the mandate passed the Republican- controlled House last year, but it failed to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate Education and Health Committee. Republicans now hold a majority on that committee after taking control of the Senate this year. The sponsor of HB 1112, Del. Kathy Byron (R-Campbell County), said parents and doctors should decide whether to vaccinate girls against the STD.

Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton) said she is concerned that the children of low-income families would have more difficulty accessing the vaccine without a state mandate. She also expressed dismay that more female House members were not involved in the brief floor debate.

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