Young Women to Receive HPV Vaccine

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02-02-07 Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order for to require 11 and 12-year-old girls will have to receive a vaccine to prevent the Human Papallomavirus. The disease is transmitted sexually and known to cause cervical cancer...

Last year 400 women in Texas died from cervical cancer after contracting HPV.

Young people in Sherman are learning about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

"Certain stds can give you warts and rashes and irritation, things in certain areas that you wouldn't want them," said Dakota Gourd, an eighth grader at Piner Middle School.

Medical professionals also say to add cervical cancer to the list. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease known to cause cervical cancer. A vaccination prevents four strains of the disease. Now the State Health and Human Services Commission will have to adopt rules so 11 and 12-year old girls will receive the vaccination before entering the sixth grade.

Texas is the first state to adopt regulations, and some say it's a good idea.

"To be able to have a vaccine that would be able to do partial, now we know it's not 100%," said David Parker, Piner Middle School principal. "To be able to keep the HPV just what it can do to keep the kids safe in some ways I think it would be good."

"I think any vaccination that is going to keep our kids and our daughters healthy is a very good thing," said Rob Nelson, a parent of a 13-year-old girl.

Some young people have mixed feelings. Piner Middle School students have been learning about sexual activity in school through an abstinence program.

"Actually sometimes the vaccinations won't prevent it so you should get them just in case, but it might not help," said Molly Groves, a seventh grader.

"I definitely think it should be up to the parents and the girls decision itself. I don't think it should be forced upon them, but I do think it should be available," said Gourd.

Educators say by girls receiving this kind of vaccination when they're young will bring more awareness as they grow older.

"The whole point is for these kids to understand that we want to keep them safe and protect them as they make decisions in life as they get older," Parker said.

The regulations are scheduled to take effect in September of 2008. The vaccine is given in the form of three different injections, and costs about 360 dollars.

Governor Perry is asking to make the vaccine immediately available through state vaccination programs.