Monday, February 27, 2012

Virginia Senate Dems score another big win, defeat HPV Immunization repeal

Against all odds, Virginia's Senate Democrats have been able to use the tremendous backlash in the media and the general public against the extreme overreach of Republican members of the General Assembly on social issues. The Republican brand in Virginia has been badly damaged.

From the office of State Senator Barbara Favola:
Senate Democrats Defeat Repeal of
Sixth-Grade HPV Immunization

Richmond, Virginia — Feb. 27, 2012 — Momentum in the Republican Senate seems to have slowed after Thursday’s defeat of the “personhood” bill. Acknowledging that their divisive social agenda has been resoundingly rejected—not only in Virginia but nationwide—Republicans joined Senate Democrats to kill a bill that would have repealed a 2007 law requiring sixth grade girls be immunized from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.

Senator Barbara A. Favola (D- Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun) said, “I am extraordinarily glad that the Commonwealth will continue to immunize young people against this deadly disease”.

Senator Favola added, “The best way to eradicate cervical cancer is widespread HPV vaccination. In the past, the most successful immunization programs, such as those for smallpox or polio, required universal vaccination. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, but with this vaccination, there is hope for ending the suffering caused by cervical cancer.”

Since 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended HPV vaccinations for girls. On February 1, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that boys also be routinely vaccinated against the virus. This follows a vote in October by a CDC advisory panel, also recommending boys receive the vaccine against HPV. Contrary to the medical community’s recommendations that vaccination programs be expanded, House Republicans introduced legislation to eliminate Virginia’s 2007 law mandating that girls receive the first dose of the vaccine before entering sixth grade.

Current law contains a lenient waiver policy: Parents can choose to forego vaccinations for their daughters after reviewing information describing the link between HPV and cancer.

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