Virginia: House Advances Bill to Lift Vaccine Mandate
January 21, 2011
A state requirement that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against the STD human papillomavirus is being challenged by some lawmakers. On Thursday, the House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to a measure that would eliminate the mandate. Del. Kathy Byron (R-Lynchburg), who sponsored HB 1419, said the decision to vaccinate should be left to parents, not the state. Virginia is the only state that requires vaccination against HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer. Byron also expressed concern about the vaccines' side effects. Del. Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), who is an OB/GYN, strongly opposed the bill, saying studies show universal HPV vaccination would save thousands of lives. HB 1419 is scheduled for a final House vote on Friday.
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