Michigan girls entering 6th grade next year would have to be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, under a bill introduced in the state Senate by a bipartisan group of female lawmakers.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, a Republican, believes it would be the first such law in the nation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine in June for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26. The vaccine protects against some strains of the human papilloma virus, which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
The lawmakers reasoned that 6th grade is a good time for the vaccination because students already must receive tetanus and hepatitis immunizations by then. Government and advocacy groups have urged the vaccination before girls enter middle school.
A version of this article appeared in the September 20, 2006 edition of Education Week