HPV bill delayed

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RICHMOND A bill amending the requirement that girls receive a dose of human papillomavirus vaccine before the sixth grade was delayed this past week in a House of Delegates committee.

House Bill 89, submitted by Delegate Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas, seeks to remove the requirement that girls receive the first of three doses of the HPV vaccine before entering the sixth grade. The bill was delayed by voice vote in the House Health, Welfare and Institutions committee.

Marshall said there could be problems with implementing the vaccination program because of the monetary cost and because of unknown long-term health effects caused by the vaccinations.

This is not the best way to go, Marshall said.

Pharmaceutical company Merck distributes the vaccine under brand name Gardasil. Merck officials say the vaccine protects against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that causes 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases and 90 percent of genital herpes cases.

The Gardasil vaccine is given in a series of three shots over a six-month period.

Marshall said there are other methods of protecting against HPV that are more effective and would not be as far reaching as the current plan

This is overkill, Marshall said.

Marshall also said there is no long-term data on what effects the vaccine might have and a state-mandated administration of the vaccine might come back to haunt promoters of the plan.

If the state mandates this (required vaccination), what happens later if the woman finds out she can’t have any kids? he said.

Marshall also proposed House Bill 188, which would extend the effective date that requires the first dose of vaccinations be administered between Oct. 1, 2008, to Oct. 1, 2011. The bill was amended this past week in a House committee, changing the effective date to July 2010.

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