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Florida proposal could force new HPV vaccine requirement for state public school students

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 16:13:32-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A bill filed this month in the Florida Senate would create a new vaccine requirement for public school students. 

SB 1558: School Health Immunizations, also known as the "Women's Cancer Prevention Act", revises child immunization requirements to include a vaccine for human papillomavirus. 

"If we're not given the choice to make our own health care decisions, then what are we given the choice to do," asked parent England Davis. 

Davis said she is ready to uproot her daughter from school if she's forced to get vaccinated for HPV. 

"If that legislation passes, I won't be able to keep her in public school," said Davis. "I will not, I refuse, I will home school her out."

Public school students in Florida are already required to get vaccinations for tetanus, mumps, and other communicable diseases. 

"HPV causes six different types of cancer in both men and women," said Dr. Anna Giuliano, a cancer epidemiologist with Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa. "The vaccine is very safe, the benefits far outweigh any of the side effects."

Dr. Giuliano says vaccinating more young people will help eliminate cervical cancer, the most common disease caused by HPV. 

"In my lifetime, we would see in the state of Florida almost no new cases of cervical cancer," said Dr. Giuliano. 

Some say deciding whether or not vaccinate should be left to the parent, not the state. 

"Home school would be an option right away," said Rachel Nye. "I don't believe that anyone should be forced to vaccinate their child."