State Representative Josh Elliott is co-sponsoring Bill 7199 that would make it mandatory for children entering the ninth grade to be vaccinated against HPV.

Josh Elliott, State Representative for the 88th District, said, “This is around the time that that’s important that we get to the children before they start having intercourse.”

HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted infection. It can cause health problems, including genital warts and cancer.

Many people opposed to the bill testified in front of lawmakers. 

Ann Henry said, “Our lives have been destroyed.”  

Henry said her daughter received the HPV vaccine as a freshman in college. She told News 8 that Linny was on the Dean’s List and very active in school, but after receiving the HPV vaccine, she could no longer read or write.  

Henry said, “She lost the ability to speak for a while. She had a stroke. Now she has very loud hiccups that will not stop and it’s making the fluid build up in her lungs.”

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Some parents said it should be their choice. 

Liz Linehan, State Representative for the 103rd District, said, “I will be vaccinating my children with the HPV vaccine, but I do not believe it should be mandated. Technically, you can’t catch HPV sitting next to someone in biology class.” 

Melissa Sullivan with Health Choice CT said, “Once I give birth, then that child becomes my responsibility. And I protect a child. I know that child best and I choose what goes into that child.”

Robin Innaimo told News 8, “I think more research needs to be done. There have been some complications with people that have had the HPV vaccine, so I think a little bit more research should be done prior to being mandatory.”

Others think mandating the vaccine is a good idea. 

A mother told News 8, “I think they should get it done. Protect your kids.”

Kaitlyn D’Onofrio added, “To prevent the spread of disease obviously whatever we can do to keep it down.”

State Rep. Elliott said the HPV vaccine would only be mandated for someone who is in a public school, not someone who is in a private school or religious-based school.