Health Department will not require papilloma vaccination

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(Host) The Vermont Health Department is updating immunization rules, but it will not require girls to get vaccinated against the disease that can lead to cervical cancer.

The new rules would require vaccines against several common childhood diseases before students can enroll in school.

Those are for chickenpox, whooping cough, and meningitis, among others.

There is a vaccine now for the human papilloma virus, or HPV which wasn’t included on the list. Two types of the virus cause an estimated 70% of all cervical cancer.

Speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, State Epidemiologist Cort Lohff says the vaccine "Gardasil" is still too new.

(Lohff) "We don’t have a fully functional program in place to be able to provide everybody with access to this vaccine at this point, although the Health Department is working on getting additional funding to support a more universal vaccination for all girls 9 to 18 years of age."

(Host) The new rules would not go into effect until the fall of 2008 and still need the approval of the Legislature.

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