Though the Legislature shot down Perry’s executive order requiring 12-year-old girls to be vaccinated with Gardasil to prevent the transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV), the Department of State Health Services' Texas Vaccines for Children Program began offering the vaccination in February 2007.
Over the last five years, parents have been able to have their children vaccinated for free if they qualify for Medicaid or are uninsured or underinsured.
Texas has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy estimates that about half of the state’s teenagers were sexually active in 2009. And the potential to spread [HPV] is incredible.” When the state began offering HPV shots in February 2007, Gardasil was the only FDA-approved vaccine on the market.
“In the long term, it’s going to reduce cervical cancer.