Activists seek bill to roll back HPV vaccine mandate

By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A group of Rhode Island activists is pushing legislation to remove a requirement that school children get the HPV vaccine before entering the seventh grade.

Rhode Island and Virginia are the only states that require school children to get the vaccine that blocks common strains of human papillomavirus, which can lead to certain cancers later in life.

Rhode Island parents can now get an exemption based on religious or medical reasons, but the activists want to further roll back the mandate because the sexually transmitted virus cannot be passed on through normal school activities.

Shawna Lawton of the Rhode Island Alliance for Vaccine Choice said she has been working with state Rep. Justin Price, a Richmond Republican, to introduce a bill to eliminate or weaken the mandate.

© The Associated Press WLNE-TV 2016