House Panel OKs Bill Requiring Cervical Cancer Vaccine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A House committee approved a bill today requiring Kentucky schoolgirls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

The measure adds a clear method for parents to opt out of the immunizations.

The three-shot vaccination protects girls and women against strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or H-P-V, that are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. A government advisory panel recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 or 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

Health officials say Kentucky has the 12th highest cervical cancer incidence rate nationally and the second-highest cervical cancer death rate.

The legislation is House Bill 345.

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