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Virginia governor backs law requiring HPV vaccinations for school girls

[JURIST] Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine [official website] has announced that he will sign a bill [text] requiring sixth grade girls to receive a vaccination for the human papilloma virus (HPV) [CDC fact sheet], a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer. The law, which passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday, would take effect at the beginning of the 2009 school year. Parents would be permitted to opt out of the requirement by signing a form.

In February, Texas became the first state to require that girls be vaccinated [JURIST report] when Governor Rick Perry (R) [official website] issued an executive order in the face of legislative opposition. That order may be overturned by the Texas legislature, however, which is advancing a bill [JURIST report] to rescind. Kentucky [Murray State News report] is currently moving ahead with its own legislation to mandate HPV vaccinations, and lawmakers in about 20 other states are considering similar measures [PJEPHL report]. CTV has more. Listen to a late-January podcast by Governor Kaine on HPV vaccinations.

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