Beginning this fall, all seventh graders in Rhode Island must receive the first dose of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is already widely used, although some parents object.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In most cases it just goes away, but in others it can cause cervical and other kinds of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend routine vaccination for boys and girls around 11 years old.
And So Rhode Island, beginning this fall, will require that all seventh graders get the first dose of this three-dose vaccine. Eighth and ninth-graders will be included in the requirement in the next two years. Parents can exempt their children for medical or religious reasons.
The Department of Health will be holding a series of community meetings to answer questions about the immunization requirement throughout August.