ANCHOR LEAD: CAN THE STATE OF TEXAS FORCE PARENTS TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Does vaccinating girls against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer somehow encourage them to have sex? That’s the objection some parents are raising against the recently approved human papilloma virus vaccine, which the state of Texas is requiring for early adolescent girls. Maria Trent, an expert in adolescent medicine at Johns Hopkins, offers her opinion.
TRENT: The interesting thing is that parents will always have rights. Even if it’s a mandated vaccine parents can still say that they don’t want their child to have the vaccine, under religious objections or other objections they can say that they don’t want their child to have it, they have to actively say that, but there’s no evidence that the vaccine will cause young people to become more sexually active but I think it should encourage parents to talk to their children safe sex, changes in their bodies, it’s just an appropriate time to do it, 11 years of age, which is when most people are opting to give the vaccine. :27
More states seem poised to follow the lead of Texas in requiring HPV vaccination. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.