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Congress Could Block HPV Vaccine Mandate

Just as various state legislatures fight about the dubious need for mandating a new and costly vaccine to treat the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, a bill introduced yesterday by U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) may change the political landscape considerably.

Written a month ago, Gingrey's bill would simply eliminate any federal funding for HPV vaccination programs. Although the Washington Times speculates the chances of getting such a bill on its own through Congress were remote, some believe it could be attached to the 2008 spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services that may not be blocked at all.

However, this potential obstacle hasn't stopped some, notably Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine, who has requested $4 million in state funds to provide the vaccine for children of low-income families.

Also amid the flurry of government news was an announcement from GlaxoSmithKline that they will file an application with the FDA for a HPV vaccine of their own called Cervarix. If the feds deem it necessary to grant Cervarix fast-track status, the vaccine -- just as unnecessary as Gardasil -- may be available by year's end.

Kaiser Network.org March 16, 2007

Washington Times March 16, 2007

CNNMoney.com March 14, 2007