Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
January 2, 2007
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte and Representative Farrar commend Governor Perry on issuing an Executive Order to add the HPV Vaccine to the List of Immunizations Required

(AUSTIN) -- On Friday, February 2, Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating the Health and Human Services Commission to require sixth grade girls to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine before beginning the 2008-2009 school year.

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and State Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) filed legislation on November 14, 2006, Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 215, which will add the HPV vaccine to the state health department's list of required immunizations for sixth-grade girls to be admitted to school.

The legislation was based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that girls as young as 9 years old get the HPV vaccine. Similar to other vaccines required for school children, the bills contain a provision allowing parents to opt-out of the HPV vaccine requirement for medical, moral or philosophical reasons.

In June 2006, the vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration allowing for vaccinations of girls and women. The vaccine can prevent disease from two types of HPV that are responsible for about 70 percent of all cervical cancers.

Senator Van de Putte and Representative Farrar said, "We commend Governor Perry on taking a bold step towards eradicating cervical cancer and saving lives. His order sends a clear signal that we intend to protect our daughters lives, making Texas a leader on this critical issue. We will continue to carry our bills trough the legislative process, as it is important that this be adopted in statute, as well."