CHICAGO (CBS) — Legislation proposed by a state lawmaker from Evanston would require students entering the sixth grade to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine.
The bill proposed by state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) would amend the Communicable Disease Prevention Act – requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health to require all students entering sixth grade to receive the HPV vaccine.
The rule would regardless of whether the students attended public, private, or parochial school.
The bill would also require confirmation that a student has completed the series of HPV vaccinations upon entering the ninth grade, of freshman year of high school.
If approved, it would take effect on Jan. 1 of next year. The bill demands that the rule be adopted in time for students to receive the vaccination before the start of the school year beginning in 2022.
Researchers who reviewed 65 studies in 14 high-income countries found that since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, there has been a “substantial” decrease in HPV infections and related conditions.
They found that the two HPV types that cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers, known as HPV 16 and HPV 18, were significantly reduced after vaccination — by 83% among girls aged 13 to 19 and by 66% among women aged 20 to 24.
HPV is a common virus that’s spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the leading cause of cervical cancers and can cause five other types of cancers, including anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal (mouth and throat).
The reduction of these infections is “a first sign that vaccination could eventually lead to the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem,” the study’s lead author, Mélanie Drolet, an epidemiologist at Laval University in Canada, said in a statement.
Some tweets this week called the requirement an infringement on parents’ freedom and placed emphasis on the fact that HPV is sexually transmitted.
This bill will mandate the liability-free #HPV #vaccine for every 6th grader. The 2 dose series must be completed to enter 9th grade. No exemptions, no exceptions. HPV is sexually transmitted, not even a communicable disease. This is not ok! @RobynGabel #HB4870 #KILLTHEBILL pic.twitter.com/ZEiVzE5QfJ
— Northern Illinoisans For Medical Freedom (@ForIllinoisans) February 12, 2020
Thats cool @robyngabel that youre good with reproductive rights, so am I. However taking the right away from parents to make medical decisions that are best for their kids apparently isnt something you agree with. Stop #HB4870.
— Cordon Sroka (@CordonSroka) February 13, 2020