SENATE, No. 2286

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 23, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator ELLEN KARCHER

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Vitale

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires distributing information about HPV to parents and guardians of seventh to twelfth graders, vaccinating girls in grades seven to 12, and establishing a public awareness campaign.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning human papillomavirus and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes and Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and can be transmitted without intercourse;

     b.    Although most HPV infections are benign and many strains clear on their own, certain strains have serious consequences including cervical cancer and genital warts;

     c.     HPV has been detected in over 90% of cervical cancer cases, and the American Cancer Society estimates that over 9,700 new cases of HPV-related cervical cancer will occur in the United States this year;   

     d.    In June 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a new vaccine for use in girls and women ages nine to 26 that prevents infection of the four HPV strains most closely associated with cervical cancer and genital warts;

     e.     The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that this vaccine be administered routinely to girls 11 to 12 years of age because vaccinating before initiation of sexual activity produces a more effective immune response;

     f.     It is estimated that vaccinating 12-year old girls could reduce by 95% the number of certain HPV-related cervical cancer cases; and

     g.  It is appropriate to take measures through education and vaccination to significantly reduce medical problems and deaths attributable to HPV.

 

     2.  a. The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, shall develop an educational fact sheet about the human papillomavirus (HPV) for distribution to parents or guardians of students in grades seven through 12.  The educational fact sheet shall include information about the causes, symptoms and means of transmission of HPV, the availability, effectiveness and risks of the vaccine, and where additional information can be obtained.

     b.  For the 2007-2008 school year, a school district shall distribute to parents and guardians of students in grades seven through 12 the educational fact sheet on HPV, in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Education. 

     c.  Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, a school district shall distribute the educational fact sheet annually to parents or guardians of students in grade seven in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.

     d.  The Commissioner of Education also shall make the educational fact sheet available to private schools educating students in grades seven through 12.  Such schools are encouraged, but not required, to distribute the fact sheet to parents or guardians of students at the school.

 

     3.  a.  Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, all female students shall be immunized against the human papillomavirus (HPV) as a condition of enrollment in grades seven through 12, except as provided in section 4 of this act.

     b.    Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, a principal, director or other person in charge of a public school in this State shall not knowingly admit or retain a female student in grades seven through 12 if her parent or guardian has not submitted acceptable evidence of her immunization for HPV or evidence of an exemption pursuant to section 4 of this act prior to or during enrollment in grades seven through 12.

 

     4.  A student shall not be required to be vaccinated pursuant to section 3 of this act if the parent or guardian has provided:

     a.     a written statement submitted to the school that is signed by a licensed physician indicating that the vaccine is medically contraindicated; or

     b.    a written statement submitted to the school from the student's parent or guardian, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older, explaining how the administration of the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the parent or guardian, or student, as appropriate; except that a general philosophical or moral objection to the vaccination shall not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds.

 

     5.    The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education and the Director of the Division on Women in the Department of Community Affairs, shall establish a public awareness campaign to inform the general public about the clinical significance and public health implications of the human papillomavirus, including its causes and the most effective means of prevention and treatment.  The public awareness campaign shall be established in accordance with accepted public health practice and recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and within the limits of available funds and any other resources available for the purposes thereof.    

 

     6.  The Commissioners of Education shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to carry out the purposes of this act.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, to develop a fact sheet on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and directs the Commissioner of Education to distribute the fact sheet to parents and guardians of students in grades seven through 12 at the start of the 2007-2008 school year.  Beginning with subsequent school years, distribution would be to parents and guardians of seventh graders only.  Private schools are encouraged, but not required, to distribute the fact sheet.

     The bill also requires that, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, female students in grades seven through 12 be immunized against HPV as a condition of attending school.  The bill provides for exemptions for medical reasons and conflicts with bona fide religious tenets or practices; general philosophical or moral objections are not sufficient to obtain an exemption.

     In addition, the bill requires the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education and the Director of the Division on Women in the Department of Community Affairs, to establish a public awareness campaign to inform the general public about the clinical significance and  public health implications of HPV, including its causes and the most effective means of prevention and treatment.

     HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.  Certain strains have serious consequences, including cervical cancer and genital warts.  HPV is associated with more than 90% of cervical cancer cases, and the American Cancer Society estimates that over 9,700 new cases of HPV-related cervical cancer will occur in the United States in 2006.

     In June 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new vaccine for use in girls and women ages nine to 26 that prevents infection of the four HPV strains most closely associated with cervical cancer and genital warts.  The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that this vaccine be administered routinely to girls 11 to 12 years of age because vaccinating before initiation of sexual activity produces a more effective immune response and could reduce the number of HPV-related cervical cancer cases by 95%.