King Votes in Favor of Rescinding Governor’s HPV Mandate

March 14, 2007

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Austin – State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) voted for legislation to rescind Governor Rick Perry’s recent mandate that all sixth-grade girls in Texas be required to be vaccinated for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Assuming the Senate approves the measure; parents may still voluntarily allow their children to be vaccinated for HPV but would not be required to have their children vaccinated.

“Governor Perry’s heart is in the right place, and we all share his desire to reduce cervical cancer in Texas,” King explained. “But mandating this vaccine would put government in between parents and their children and we should never interfere with that relationship.”

The HPV vaccine was approved by the FDA for only eight months before it was mandated, and many experts have questioned whether its testing was sufficient to determine whether it is safe and effective. Several groups in the medical community, such as the Texas Medical Association have opposed the mandate.

“I am not opposed to the HPV vaccine but I am strongly opposed to the state telling parents that we know better than they do,” King said. “Until we know how the vaccine could affect the future health of these young girls, it would be extremely irresponsible for us to mandate it. We’d be sending a false message to families saying that we know it is safe when, in reality, there are so many questions left unanswered about its effectiveness and long-term implications.”