Should The HPV Vaccine Be Mandatory?

By: Lorilee Victorino Email
By: Lorilee Victorino Email

The House and Senate recently passed bills to require all girls entering the sixth grade to receive the human papilloma virus or HPV vaccine.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine supports expanding access to the treatment. But Kaine wants to fully review the written opt-out provisions before signing it into law.

This is a controversial topic and some parents say it's an issue that involves religious beliefs and others say its all about keeping a child safe.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can potentially lead to cervical cancer and Gardisil is the first vaccine to prevent it.

"The stakes are very high with this, certainly advise your child in your appropriate parenting role against promiscuous sexually activity, what ever is in the realm of your beliefs, but at the same time you would protect them against anything you could," says Barbara Kirkland, a nurse at Shenandoah Women's Healthcare.

If the bill for the vaccine to be mandatory is signed into state law it will be required for girls about nine years of age to receive treatment.

The bill gives parents the option of reviewing information about the vaccine and exempting their daughters.

Governor Kaine has until late March to either amend the bill, sign it into law or veto it.

If governor Kaine refuses to make the vaccination mandatory it may be difficult for some people to get.

One concern about making the vaccine a requirement is that most state organizations and federal programs will not fund the treatment.

The cost of the vaccine is almost 360 dollars for each of the three vaccinations.

"Unfortunately if we don't make this vaccine mandatory it is unlikely that the state and federal government will help support and pay for the cost of the vaccine and those people that are socio-economically poor are going to have a hard time affording that and they are the one that really need it," say Len Aamodt, a physician at Shenandoah Women's Healthcare.

The cost of the vaccination is more than the amount of all childhood vaccines together.


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