One representative has introduced a bill that would eliminate a mandatory Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization for school children.
Rep. Sherry Roberts, who is the primary sponsor for the legislation, testified before members of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare on Wednesday. She said decided to introduce the bill upon the request from citizens who say they were injured by the vaccines.
“It is widely believed that the benefits of receiving the vaccine do not outweigh the medical risks involved, and this decision is best left to parents,” Roberts said. “This legislation will achieve exactly that, to put the vaccine discretion back into the hands of the parents, where it belongs.”
In 2016, the state made it mandatory for all incoming seventh-grade students to receive the HPV vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some types of HPV can cause health problems, including genital warts and cancer.
If Roberts’ bill passes, it would allow parents on behalf of their children to opt out of vaccines for non-casual contact diseases, including HPV, which is only transmitted through sexual contact.
The bill would also require the information relating to vaccinations to be sent home to parents notifying them of their right to opt out of the vaccine.
“Since HPV is not an airborne contagion, not everyone is at risk,” Roberts said. “Therefore, many parents believe that the Department of Health is overstepping its boundaries by mandating the HPV vaccine for their children.”