HPV Vaccine Bill Raises Controversy
Democratic Missouri Senator Jolie Justus of Kansas City thinks this legislation is important.
"This is a cancer that is curable, and this is a cancer that we can prevent," she said. "It's my understanding that 90 percent of all cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus".
Under the bill, schools would have to provide information on HPV and cervical cancer to parents and female students. Parents would also be able to excuse their daughter from the inoculation.
Insurance companies must provide coverage for the shots for females 11 to 21 years old.
Bill morrissey, a pharmacist at Kilgore's Pharmacy, isn't sure if requiring the vaccination is a good idea.
"I don't know if it's something that necessarily needs to be legislated. Sometimes I hesitate to have the governed involved too much in personal health decisions," he said.
Missouri isn't the only state with bills for HPV vaccinations. About 18 other states are debating similar bills.
The vaccination costs for under the bill is not yet known. For individuals, the cost is close to $500, with each dose costing about $150.
Senator Justus says the vaccinations will be expensive but are worth it.
"A preventative vaccine now is extraordinarily cheaper than the cost of cervical cancer down the road."
There is a similar HPV vaccination bill in the Missouri house; both bills are in their early stages. The idea for the vaccinations bill came from a University of Missouri student.