HPV Vaccine Requirement Will Remain Law in Virginia

February 29th, 2012 by Kim Lenz

RICHMOND – The Virginia Senate has rejected a House-approved bill to repeal a law requiring girls to get a dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine before entering sixth grade.

The Senate voted 22-17 to send House Bill 1112 back to the Senate Education and Health Committee, effectively killing it for this legislative session. State Senator John Miller voted to send HB 1112 back to committee; State Senator Tommy Norment, the majority leader, did not vote.

The bill’s sponsor, Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg, has said that the General Assembly acted hastily in 2007 in passing the law mandating the HPV vaccine. She says that the vaccine has not been adequately tested and that parents should decide whether their children should get the vaccine.

About half of sexually active people will get HPV during their lifetime. It is a leading cause of cervical cancer in women and genital warts in men and women.

“I am extraordinarily glad that the commonwealth will continue to immunize young people against this deadly disease,” said Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington.

“In the past, the most successful immunization programs, such as those for smallpox or polio, required universal vaccination. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, but with this vaccination, there is hope for ending the suffering caused by cervical cancer.”

The HPV vaccine comes in three doses. Virginia requires girls to receive the first dose before entering sixth grade. The current law has a liberal opt-out clause: Parents can choose not to have their daughters vaccinated after reviewing materials from the Virginia Board of Health describing the link between HPV and cervical cancer.

Virginia was the first state to adopt such a law. The District of Columbia has a similar mandate.
HB 1112 was co-sponsored by Delegate Timothy Hugo of Centreville and six other Republicans. While Republicans generally supported the legislation to rescind the HPV vaccination law, Democrats strongly opposed it.

Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey of Highland Springs said he was “pleased that the Senate chose to effectively kill this legislation for this year, and it is my hope that the lives of young women will continue to be saved as a result.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that both girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12 get the vaccine to protect them from HPV.

HB 1112 was approved by the House, 62-34, on Jan. 27. Last Thursday, the Senate Committee on Education and Health voted 8-7 in favor of the bill after modifying the legislation. The committee’s version said the Board of Health would give parents information about HPV and the vaccine, and the parent “may then choose whether to have such child receive three doses of properly spaced human papillomavirus vaccine.”

However, the full Senate then voted to send the bill back to the committee until 2013.

8 Responses to HPV Vaccine Requirement Will Remain Law in Virginia

  1. davea05111

    February 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I’m glad I don’t live in Virginia. If anything qualifies and state-sponsored intravenous-rape this does. Other inoculations I understand, but one that assumes your daughter is having enough sex with different men to significantly increase her chance of HPV enough to require this inoculation is way beyond the pale. Way beyond.

  2. mytwocents

    February 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Good for the Senate! Delegate Kathy Byron is the one acting with hostility; it seems she wants women to be subject to cancer that could be prevented? What is that if not hostile? Ignorant, I suppose.

  3. MySaskCan

    February 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Pretty sure that any legislation forcing vaccinations is un-Constitutional and likely illegal. People need to know their rights and to ask for a waiver form if they don’t want their children vaccinated for this.

  4. John Wagoner

    February 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Are the HPV vaccines safe ? There have been five million Gardasil vaccines given, and there are reported to be over one hundred unexplained deaths and at least three hundred unexplained sever, disabling illness in otherwise healthy young women who have taken the Gardasil vaccine. This seems like a small number until you consider that the rate of cervical cancer is 2.4 cases per 100,000 people. This means in a sample of five million, you would expect 120 cases if cervical cancer. Since cure the rate of cervical cancer is 75 %, then in the five million people, there are 30 people at risk of death from cervical cancer. The CDC says reported cases of adverse effects represent 1 to 10 percent of the of the total adverse effects of this vaccine. Why are they under reported ? People assume a government back vaccine program is completely safe and don’t generally make a connection between the vaccination and subsequent illness. So, if you look at the people at risk from dying from cervical cancer ( about thirty five years after exposure, assuming it actually works ) and compare that with the unexplained deaths and serious illness found in the group that was vaccinated, you get a ratio of 30 dead from cervical cancer to 4000 people killed or seriously affected after taking the vaccine ( assuming a 10 percent reporting rate ). Even if half the reported cases of serious illness and death were not caused by the vaccine, you still get a ratio of 30 cervical cancer deaths to 2000 people injured or killed. Or putting it another way, the vaccination program is a menace in that it is creating more problems than it has solved.
    Why would you expose a child to life threatening risk to maybe prevent an illness that, on the average strikes at age 49 ? Which would be better, for forfeit life or health at age 15 or 50 ?
    Another point to consider, is that this vaccine has been neither demonstrated or proven to prevent cervical cancer by any clinical trials in women. The answer to that question wont be know for decades. No one knows how this vaccination program will effect the future rate of cervical cancer. Meanwhile no one knows how long the vaccination is good for, or whether its feasible to do booster shots. The effect of fertility, or whether this vaccine could itself induce cancer are complete unknowns.

    Why would you expose a child to life threatening risk to maybe prevent an illness that, on the average strikes at age 49 ? Which would be better, for forfeit life or health at age 15 or 50 ?

    Just opt out of this unnecessary, unsafe, and unethical vaccination program.

  5. CB

    February 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    @davea05111

    I’m glad you don’t live in Virginia, too.

    Why does one need assume that a women must have sex with multiple partners in order to contract HPV? All it takes is one.

    From the CDC: Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

  6. ducatidave

    February 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    This article is chock full of innaccurate statements. Smallpox was NEVER a “universally required vaccine.” Only approximately 10% of the U.S. population was EVER vaccinated for smallpox. As for polio, that disease rate had dramatically dropped off by the time Dr. Salk pushed forth his vaccine…and after that 1st polio vax year, polio rates had shot up 400%! There have also been NO studies showing a decrease in cancer directly linked to HPV vaccine administration. There is, however, plenty of common-sense evidnce that the HPV vaccine kills and chronicaly injures children.

  7. Nancy Keeler

    February 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    [quote name=”mytwocents”]Good for the Senate! Delegate Kathy Byron is the one acting with hostility; it seems she wants women to be subject to cancer that could be prevented? What is that if not hostile? Ignorant, I suppose.[/quote]
    Mytwocents should have her money returned to her. The following FDA document states that: “The FDA news release of March 31, 2003 acknowledges that “most infections (by HPV) are short-lived and not associated with cervical cancer”, in recognition of the advances in medical science and technology since 1988. In other words, since 2003 the scientific staff of the FDA no longer considers HPV infection to be a high-risk disease when writing educational materials for the general public whereas the regulatory arm of the agency is still bound by the old classification scheme that had placed HPV test as a test to stratify risk for cervical cancer in regulating the industry.” http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/07p0210/07p-0210-ccp0001-01-vol1.pdf I repeat MOST INFECTIONS BY HPV ARE SHORT-LIVED AND NOT ASSOCIATED WITH CERVICAL CANCER. This is just another ploy to increase the pharmaceutical companies income stream. Who is the IGNORANT one now?

  8. Jessica

    July 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    As a woman who contracted HPV from my HUSBAND, and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Let me tell you it only takes one partner, and my husband felt like he gave me cancer, it was terrible. Getting cancer is awful, and I lived in constant fear that the cancer cells would spread before my treatments took effect. Only people who have never experienced cancer say that it is no big deal. Why would anyone who has it in their power to prevent cancer not want to do it?!

    To John Wagoner I say that your numbers are flawed according to The American Cancer Society’s website and their most recent estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2012: About 12,170 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed. About 4,220 women will DIE from cervical cancer. This is quite a bit more than the 30 you predicted in your post. Oops.

    There is always evidence to support whatever viewpoint a person may have, but the fact remains that married or not, old or young, anyone can contract a disease. HPV is not indicative of promiscuity, and both males and females are affected. Do parents who are against the vaccine let their kids smoke? Probably not, why? Because smoking is not healthy and leads to…CANCER! OMG! Who wants their kid to get cancer?!

    This vaccination is no different from making kids wear safety belts in cars, eating healthy foods, or getting vaccinations for other preventable diseases. It is about keeping our society healthy. That is a goal that we all should have in mind, just think if we could eradicate cervical cancer?!! That would be amazing, and we have it in our power to make that happen.

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