February 27, 2007

Actions Taken On HPV Legislation In Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia

The following highlights recent news of state actions on human papillomavirus vaccine legislation. Merck's HPV vaccine Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline's HPV vaccine Cervarix in clinical trials have been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection with HPV strains 16 and 18, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases. FDA in July 2006 approved Gardasil for sale and marketing to girls and women ages nine to 26, and CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices later that month voted unanimously to recommend that girls ages 11 and 12 receive the vaccine. GSK in April plans to file for FDA approval of Cervarix, and it expects approval by the end of this year (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 2/1). Summaries appear below.

  • Florida: Two bills (S 660, H 561) recently were introduced in the Legislature that would require girls ages 11 and 12 to receive HPV vaccines, the Miami Herald reports. If either bill passes, the vaccination requirement would go into effect next year and would affect about 60,000 girls in the state, according to the Herald. Parents would be able to opt out of the requirement. The legislation has not been debated and likely will be more difficult to pass in the House than in the Senate, the Herald reports. The legislation has faced opposition from some conservative groups, including the Florida Catholic Conference, which is advocating that parents be allowed to opt in to a program for the vaccine rather than opt out of a requirement. Martin Myers, director of the National Network for Immunization Information, said HPV vaccines are a "milestone in public health" but mandates that girls receive the vaccine "might be too fast." He added that there are "many moral, ethical and social issues that have not been fully discussed yet" (Caputo, Miami Herald, 2/6).

  • Illinois: A bill (S 0010) introduced last week in the Senate would require girls ages 11 and 12 in the state to be vaccinated against HPV beginning in the 2009 school year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The bill would require public health officials to provide girls and their parents or guardians with written information about HPV's link to cervical cancer and about the vaccine's availability, according to the Sun-Times. Parents would be permitted to apply for an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D) estimated that it initially would cost $4 million to vaccinate the state's 18,000 uninsured girls ages 11 and 12, the Sun-Times reports (Baldacci, Chicago Sun-Times, 2/4).

  • Indiana: The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee on Wednesday voted 11-0 to amend a bill (SB 327) that would have required girls entering the sixth grade to receive an HPV vaccine, the Indianapolis Star reports (Hupp, Indianapolis Star, 2/1). The legislation stated that students "may not be prevented from enrolling in, attending or graduating from school for the sole reason that the student has not been immunized" against HPV. The original version would have required every school beginning in the 2008-2009 school year to report how many girls have been vaccinated (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 1/24). Under the revised bill, parents and guardians of girls entering the sixth grade would receive a warning from the State Department of Health about the link between HPV and cervical cancer. The revised bill would make the vaccination optional and also would require parents to notify schools about vaccination decisions within 20 days of receiving the health department warning, the Star reports (Indianapolis Star, 2/1).

  • Virginia: The House on Monday voted 80-17 to approve an amended version of a bill (HB 2035) that would require girls enrolling in the sixth grade in the state's public schools to receive an HPV vaccine, the AP/WTOP reports. The amendment allows parents or guardians to review information about the vaccine and opt out of the requirement. Exemptions already exist in the original version of the bill and allow parents to opt their children out of the vaccination for religious or medical reasons, the AP/WTOP reports. The state Senate passed a similar bill on Friday without the parental opt-out provision (Potter, AP/WTOP, 2/5).

"Reprinted with permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

No comments: