The Virginia state Senate has effectively killed a bill that would have struck down the mandatory requirement that all female schoolchildren be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The vote Monday by the chamber’s 20 Democrats and two of its 20 Republicans sent the measure back to the Senate Education and Health Committee, where it will remain in limbo until at least the 2013 legislative session, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch
The move to repeal the 2007 state law requiring sixth-grade girls to be immunized against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer, was sponsored by Republican Del. Kathy J. Byron.
According to the Times-Dispatch, public health officials and supporters of the vaccine argued that it prevents the spread of the disease and that the law currently allows parents to opt out of the vaccinations anyway.
Supporters of Byron’s measure, however, questioned the safety of the vaccine and said it should be given only to children whose parents are certain they want it.
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