State health officials say there are no plans to change a new requirement that middle school students in Rhode Island get the HPV vaccine even though some parents, and now some lawmakers, have expressed concerns.
Children entering seventh grade in September must get the vaccine unless their parents seek an exemption for medical or religious reasons. C., are the only other jurisdictions that require the vaccine to attend school.
After mandating a first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine for all students entering the seventh grade, the Rhode Island Department of Health estimates that almost three-quarters of seventh graders had received their first dose by the first day of the 2015-16 school year, said Joseph Wendelken, acting public information officer for RIDOH.
The actual percentage might be even greater in the Ocean State, which already boasts one of the highest HPV immunization rates in the country, Wendelken said.
"No one's child is being forced to be vaccinated against HPV," she said in a statement.
"Any parent can exempt their child from HPV vaccination if they feel a deep conviction that HPV vaccination is not right for their child." Joy Fox, a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov.
The department isn't considering changing the school immunization regulations, but it also won't exclude a child from school for not being vaccinated against HPV, she added.The recognition that invasive carcinoma of the uterine cervix is the end result of some genital tract human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and the development of prophylactic vaccines to prevent these infections are major recent achievements of public health medicine.The quadrivalent Gardasil HPV vaccine from Merck & Co., Inc., was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2006 and was subsequently recommended by the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for vaccination of adolescent girls and young women.The percentage does not take into account students who had vaccinations even a week after the first day of school due to extenuating circumstances such as delayed physical examinations, he added.“We expect that number to keep climbing,” Wendelken said.