ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A proposed bill in Albany could soon require children to get the HPV vaccine to be able to attend public school or daycare. The HPV vaccine is approved for males and females ages 9 to 45.
It prevents certain cancers and is usually given to boys and girls around the age of 11 or 12.
The proposed bill would require all children born after January 1, 2008 to received the HPV vaccine to attend public school or daycare. Lawmakers want to make the vaccine mandatory and it is causing some concern.
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician, says HPV is a germ most people get by the time they are teenagers or adults.
“The trick is a lot of people’s bodies are able to get rid of it on their own,” said Dr. Murray. ” A lot are not.”
When a person’s immune system can’t get rid of the virus it can cause certain types of cancer.
“Many different types of cancers,” said Dr. Murray. ” Mouth, neck, head, and also genital cancer.”
For that reason, state Sen. Brad Holyman, who represents the 27th district, wants to make the HPV vaccine mandatory, but some parents are not on board.
“I don’t think that should be enforced,” said Ashley Gantt, a parent. “I don’t think someone should be obligated to make their kids get that vaccine.”
When it comes to vaccines some parents are always concerned.
“How would it affect their bodies, their immune system, etc.,” said Gantt.
Holyman says the HPV vaccine is safe and should be mandated to protect children from cancer. Dr. Murray agrees.
“Since so many people can have this germ and not know it and the downside of having this germ is so great, all different types of cancers, I think preventing it as soon as we possibly can is the best answer,” said Dr. Murray.
For parents who are still unsure about the vaccine and would like to know how it works, she says they should turn to their primary care doctors.
“Far and wide pediatricians, family practice doctors they want to talk to families about this,” said Dr. Murray. “They want to answer all of your questions and they want to share information with you.”
According to the CDC, each year in the U.S. HPV causes almost 35,000 cases of cancer in men and women. They also say the HPV vaccination can prevent more than 90 percent of HPV cancers.
Right now Rhode Island, Virginia, and the District of Columbia require the vaccine for kids to go to school.