Kaine to sign HPV vaccine into law
Virginia will become the first state in the nation with a law requiring girls to receive a potentially helpful– although controversial– vaccine against some sexually transmitted diseases. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports this morning that Governor Tim Kaine says he'll sign the bill that would add a cervical cancer vaccine tested at UVA to the battery of immunizations Virginia's schoolgirls receive.
The bill that Kaine says he'll sign, HB2035, would add the human papillomavirus vaccine, or HPV, to the array of "required" vaccines but allow dissenting parents to opt out for their daughters. The AP notes that only one other state, Texas, requires such vaccine, and that move came from an executive order.
Currently, pharm giant Merck and Co. is the only maker of the vaccine, dubbed Gardasil, and Merck stopped its lobbying for the drug three weeks ago after its motives were questioned.
The vaccine is controversial because, administered as a battery of three shots to middle-schoolers, it protects against a sexually transmitted disease as well as genital warts.
Pictured here: UVA pathologist Mark Stoler, who wants a conversation with every parent in America. (file photo by lauren brooks)