by Jill Stanek
The National Conference of State Legislatures has listed all legislation pertaining to the HPV vaccine, including legislation to forbid a mandate. Here is a wrap-up of the latest actions:
onTexas: Gov. Rick Perry continued to "angrily" defend his executive order mandating the HPV vaccine to all 11- and 12-year-old girls in his state, even after the Associated Press reported here and here Feb. 21 that Merck made a $5,000 donation to his campaign and $5,000 to eight state lawmakers' campaigns the very day Perry's chief-of-staff met with aides about the vaccine. Meanwhile, the LA Times reported Feb. 25 that parents of three Texas girls are suing Perry; and a bill rescinding Perry's order, cosigned by 90 of 150 members of the state House, was voted out of committee and is on its way to the floor.
Arkansas: Although the Cervical Cancer Task Force of Arkansas recently recommended mandating the HPV vaccine, members of the task force last week said this was a "long-term goal," according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
California: An HPV vaccine mandate bill has not been assigned to a committee, according to the LA Times Feb. 25.
Connecticut: The head of the Department of Public Health's infectious disease division stated Feb. 20 at a public health committee meeting that lawmakers should delay their decision on an HPV vaccine mandate for at least two years, according to the Hartford Courant, which also reported, "among the few speakers... who expressed unconditional support for a mandate [was] state Rep. DebraLee Hovey... national treasurer of Women in Government," who introduced the bill.
Florida: Sen. Mike Fasano said on Feb. 19 he would delay his mandated HPV vaccine bill for one year, according to the Associated Press.
Georgia: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a bill mandating the HPV vaccine was to be heard in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. The head of the GA chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes requiring it.
Illinois: Both the Senate and House HPV mandate bills were placed on hold in committee hearings last week. Meanwhile, state records show Sen. Debbie Halvorson and state Rep. Sara Feigneholtz, both bill sponsors, were wined and dined separately and privately last year by GlaxoSmithKline, one of the two HPV vaccine makers.
Maryland: A bill mandating the HPV vaccine was withdrawn in January over concerns children are not getting vaccines already required, reported the LA Times Feb. 25.
Michigan: The legislature where the first mandated HPV vaccine legislation was introduced defeated it in December, reported the LA Times Feb. 25.
Mississippi: An HPV vaccine mandate bill died in the Public Health and Human Services Committee Jan. 30.
Ohio: Legislation requiring the HPV vaccine failed in late 2006, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
South Dakota: The HPV vaccine here is voluntary. The House on 2/20 approved a bill authorizing $9 million to provide the vaccine free to girls 11-18.
Virginia: The Washington Post reported 2/27 Gov. Timothy Kaine has "qualms" about signing the first mandated HPV vaccine legislation passed by a state General Assembly. He stated he may try to amend the bill to include "a generous opt out" provision. He has until March 26 to decide.