When Rick Perry mandated the HPV vaccine (with an opt out) in 2007, the drug had only been approved the year before. So now that we’re five years down the road, has there been any rush among the states to mandate the vaccine? If mandates and vaccines related to STDs were too controversial for red states, what about in the blue states?
Turns out, the only two places that have mandated the vaccine are Virginia and D.C. In D.C., the city council mandated it amid controversy. Parents are allowed to choose to opt-out their daughters if they fill out a form.
Virginia passed the mandate in 2007. Earlier this year, the Virginia House voted to end the mandate; a senate committee voted against that measure, so the mandate remains in place. Parents are permitted to opt out.
To put these numbers into perspective, consider this: “In 2007, at least 24 states and D.C. introduced legislation to specifically mandate the HPV vaccine for school (California and Maryland withdrew their bills),” reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. That means in half the country somebody tried to pass a mandate – and almost nobody succeeded.