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April 9, 2007

Senate Bill 80: Requires Females to get the HPV Vaccine

Author:
Senator Suzanne Williams, Bob Bacon, Chris Romer, Paula E. Sandoval, and Sue Windels

Summary:
This bill requires a female student and her parent or guardian to be presented with information regarding the link between human papillomavirus and cervical cancer and the availability of a vaccine to prevent certain types of HPV. It also requires female students to present evidence of the receipt of the vaccine prior to attending school or the election of the parent or guardian for the student not to receive the vaccine.

On Thursday, April 5, SB 80 was finally postponed indefinitely (killed) in the Senate Appropriations Committee. However, the content (all or partial) of SB 80 could show up under HB 1347 or HB 1301 as an amendment. SB 80 is the bill that orchestrated the administration of the HPV vaccine to sixth grade girls in CO among other things. This situation will be closely monitored and reported to you if anything happens.

Status:

1/15/2007Introduced In Senate; Assigned to Health and Human Services plus Appropriations
1/31/2007(Senate) Committee on Health and Human Services Refer Amended to Appropriations
2/9/2007(Senate) Committee on Appropriations lay over unamended
3/16/2007(Senate) Committee on Appropriations lay over unamended
4/5/2007(Senate) Senate Committee on Appropriations Postpone Indefinitely

HSLDA’s Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

Background:

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a group of viruses that have about 100 different strains or types. Over 30 of these viruses are sexually transmitted. While most HPV infections are dealt with by the body’s immune system and no symptoms occur, there are several types that can cause cervical cancer or genital warts. For more information about HPV see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s online information.

Those who are most likely to get HPV are those who have sex at an early age, have many sex partners, or have a sex partner who has had many partners.

However, the only FDA approved HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is not a cure for HPV or cervical cancer. Instead the vaccine seeks to prevent the four specific types of HPV (6, 11, 16, and 18) which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. There is currently no cure for these sexually transmitted viruses. Even the FDA and the CDE admit the only “cure” is abstinence before marriage and a monogamous relationship during marriage.

There have been no long-term studies of the HPV vaccine. Children in the 9-year-old age group have been monitored for only 18 months and there have been no studies on the carcinogenic risk or the general toxicity of the vaccine itself. From July 2006 to the end of 2006, there were 385 unique reports of adverse events filed with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following the receipt of the vaccine. Visit the National Vaccine Information Center for a full review of these reports.

Additionally, there is some concern that rushing to mandate the HPV vaccine for pre-teen girls will not have the intended affect of preventing cervical cancer. Early immunization may not be effective because the vaccine could wear off before the person is most susceptible. Gardasil has only been proven to have five years of proven effectiveness. While there appears to be a 10-to-15-year incubation period for certain HPV types potentially becoming cervical cancer, the average age a woman contracts cervical cancer is in her mid 40s. For more information read the Washington Times article, “Cancer-virus Vaccine Targets Wrong Age Group.”.

Over the past few months, Merck, the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Gardasil, has lobbied vigorously to mandate the HPV vaccine for middle school age girls. At present there are over 34 states where HPV bills have been introduced. Several state legislatures have defeated such proposed legislation.

Due to all of the concerns raised about mandating the Gardasil vaccine to middle school age girls Merck has abandoned its efforts to lobby state legislatures to require the vaccine.

 Other Resources

Bill Text    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History

March-5-2007—Colorado—HPV Bill Stopped!