The Florida Senate is attempting to pass a new bill called the “Women’s Cancer Prevention Act” that would mandate that students—both male and female—get the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine at 11 or 12 years old.
Roughly 80 million people in America are infected with HPV. Approximately 14 million Americans newly contract HPV each year, usually through sexual contact.
The virus itself doesn’t often turn into a serious problem, but it can increase the risk of various cancers including cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, anal cancer, throat cancer and penile cancer. Every year roughly 27,000 people are diagnosed with cancer that’s linked to complications with HPV.
A similar bill was brought to the Florida legislature in 2011, but it failed to pass because a large number of people believe the government shouldn’t be able to regulate vaccinations. There have also been some concerns surrounding the safety of the HPV vaccine, leaving parents to question whether or not to give it to their children.
All About Women’s Dr. Steven Smith had this to say about complications with the HPV vaccine:
“Honestly I haven’t seen any side effects to the HPV vaccine. Officially, you could have an injection site reaction, some swelling, redness, an allergic reaction, but it’s so uncommon that neither me or my partners have ever seen a reaction.”
The bill is up for a vote later this year. If it passes, it will become law on July 1, 2018.
If you have questions about HPV or the vaccine, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. At All About Women, we want to make sure you feel comfortable and help you make an informed decision for your child. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.