Push to mandate HPV vaccine for girls in state, BX

THE BRONX - State lawmakers are considering a controversial move; mandating that young women in the Bronx and the rest of the state get the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV).The vaccine was approved last year and can prevent most types of cervical cancer in girls and young women. Experts say it's most effective when given to girls before they are sexually active. Lawmakers say those facts make it logical to pass legislation requiring the vaccine.Critics of the plan argue that since HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, the vaccine could encourage girls to have sex. Others contend the cost of the vaccine is too expensive since it has to be given in three doses in six months. Parents contend because of that, they should be the ones deciding whether their daughters are vaccinated.Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) has said the vaccine needs to be mandated because it will eventually lead to the elimination of cervical cancer, but will wait until the public is more confident about the vaccine to mandate it.

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