Headline: Senate Bill 117 proposes to add vaccines for Human Papillomavirus and Meningococcal virus to the list of required immunizations before a child entering school.
Argument in favor:
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that is becoming more common in the United States. The infection can lead to warts and cervical cancer; an individual may not know they have HPV and can potentially give it to their partner. The CDC recommends children receive the three-part vaccine at age 12 before they become sexually active. Meningococcal virusis a bacterial infection that appears in the bloodstream or thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord. It is a rare but serious infection that when not treated immediately can result in permanent disabilities that include deafness, brain damage, and other neurological problems. The infection is also known to be fatal. The additional vaccine requirements will help combat against these viruses. .
Parents and doctors are concerned about the short and long term side effects of these vaccines. Many physicians hesitate to recommend the HPV vaccine due to side effects including fever, fainting, anaphylaxis, autoimmune disease and in some cases, death. Additional skepticism exists due to limited data on the HPV vaccine being able to prevent cervical cancer.
What will the bill do?
Senate Bill 117 will expand the current list of diseases for which a child must receive immunization before entering school or being admitted to a child care facility; unless they are exempt for medical or religious beliefs.
Background on existing legislation:
Current state law requires a child receive the following vaccinations prior to enrolling in an educational facility: Tdap, DTaP, MMR, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Varicella, and polio. The aforementioned vaccinations are designed to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, chicken pox and polio.
How bill will change existing legislation:
Senate Bill 117 will amend the existing legislation by adding two additional vaccintion requirements for HPV and Meningococcal virus.
Impact and Cost:
Families with school-aged children will be affected by SB117.
Most insurance companies cover the cost of vaccinations. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “If your child’s health insurance does not cover vaccination, he may be eligible for free vaccine through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Many pediatricians participate in the VFC program, which is a federal program that provides certain children with all recommended vaccines at no cost.”
February 1 2015: Prefiled. Referred to Committee on Education.
February 2 2015: From Printer. Read First Time. To Committee.
April 11 2015: Bill Shut down.
Senate Bill 117
An Act relating to education; expanding the list of diseases for which a child must obtain an immunization before enrolling in a school or being admitted to a child care facility in this State unless an exception applies; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.