HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new bill that would require boys and girls to be vaccinated against the Human papillomavirus faced strong opposition during a hearing at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Under the original language in Senate Bill 2316, seventh-grade students would have to receive at least one dose in order to attend public school.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus can lead to cervical cancer and other diseases. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the HPV vaccine for boys and girls at age 11 or 12.
One of the lawmakers who introduced the measure, state Sen. Rosalyn Baker, is a cervical cancer survivor.
"We don't need to have women die as a result of cervical cancer when there is a vaccine that can prevent it," she said.
Several parents, however, provided emotional testimony questioning the safety of vaccines in general.
"We have experienced all kinds of awful things for my children like bleeding eczema, asthma," said Mililani resident Virginia Porter.
"I feel like the HPV vaccine has not been on the market long enough to make it a mandate," said Dawn Poiani, a Nuuanu mother of three boys.