SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A bill has been introduced in Sacramento to require students entering the 8th grade to have the HPV vaccine. This would apply to students attending public and private schools in California.
The HPV vaccine has been on the market since 2006 when the FDA approved it as a way to prevent cervical cancer in women. But it also benefits men in the prevention of penile cancer.
The recommendation is to have children vaccinated against HPV between the ages of 8 and 12. On average, teens become sexually active by 15.
Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry has introduced a bill that would require all incoming 8th graders to get the vaccine.
"People keep saying well it's just a woman's issue, no it's not just a woman's issue, it's a people's issue. I have a philosophy that anything I can do to prevent cancer I'm going to do that," expressed Aguiar-Curry.
Those students who are home-schooled or with a medical condition would be exempt.
"I know the people are going to be at my doorstep yelling and screaming at me but this is a fact of saving lives," she added
Opponents to the bill are already weighing in.
"This whole mandatory thing, there is no choice, parents have no choice, children have no choice," said Donald Harte who opposes the bill.
In 2005, San Francisco was one of a few cities in the United States conducting clinical trials. Now 17 years later, we spoke to the lead investigator of that study in the Bay Area.
"With this HPV vaccine, there is no legitimate debate, there are no side effects, there is no toxicity and it is now shown unequivocally to prevent infection and cancer, so there is no reason why young people shouldn't get this vaccine," explained Dr. Jacob Lalezar.
Hearings on the bill will begin in March.
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