More U.S. States Considering HPV Vaccine Requirement
January 27, 2007
A bill that would require sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against an STD that causes cervical cancer is likely to meet opposition in the Texas Legislature.
Although the bill includes opt-out provisions, critics argue that the measure would take away parents' rights, send the wrong message, and cost more than many parents can afford to pay.
The drug typically sells for $150 to $200 a shot, and many private insurers do not cover it.
The vaccine, called Gardasil, targets the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country, and the cause of nearly all cervical cancers. It causes about 10,000 cases of cervical cancer, and 3,700 deaths, in the United States each year.In December 2006, a similar bill was shot down in the Michigan legislature. California and Kentucky are also currently considering bills that would make the vaccine mandatory.