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Battle Brewing Over HPV Vaccine Legislation

EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Some parents are urging lawmakers to nix any proposed vaccination bills involving sexually transmitted diseases and elementary school children.

The controversy is about HPV legislation.

Should school children age 9 and above have mandated immunization against the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus, or HPV, without requiring their parents' approval?

"Separation of pharma and state. People want the right to choose what goes into their children's bodies," said East Setauket parent Jessica Rudin. She recently began a social media campaign, which more than 82,000 have signed, slamming the proposed HPV requirement in schools.

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show spikes in cervical cancers and the sciences is solid that the vaccine works best if it's administered before sexual activity begins.

Some New York lawmakers are cosponsoring two bills.

"Why not give our young people the opportunity to guard against, protect themselves against, anal and cervical cancer?" said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. "To me it's a no-brainer. I don't understand why we would leave this one out."

New York state schools already require children, regardless of parental approval, to be inoculated against nearly a dozen diseases, including hepatitis B, which can also be sexually transmitted.

Advocates now want the HPV vaccine added to this group and enforced by law.

"I think it's a great idea. At a young age, just to make sure everybody is being safe and everybody is being protected," one man told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.

"Parents should have the choice whether or not they want their child to have that vaccine," one woman said.

Some pediatricians are getting pushback from some parents.

"It is definitely a safe and effective vaccine. Where I have a problem, where a lot of the physicians in this area have a problem, is the state trying to shove this down people's throats without parents being in the loop," said Dr. John Zaso, a pediatrician with the Nassau Board of Health.

Advocates in Albany believe that may be the price to pay to eradicate a sexually transmitted disease.


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