Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Thursday he would sign legislation requiring all sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.
Virginia would become the second state to mandate the vaccine for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and the first to do it through legislative action. Texas Gov. Rick Perry sidestepped the Legislature and ordered the shots for girls there, but lawmakers are considering overriding that order.
'I think it strikes the right balance,' said Kaine, who wanted to make sure parents would have enough time to review the vaccine and allow them to opt out 'without having to jump through hoops.'
The requirement would go into effect for the 2009 school year. If parents want to opt out, they must review literature provided by their child's school, then sign a form.
The federal government approved Gardasil, the only vaccine on the market, in June and suggested it be given to females before they become sexually active.