Local News Politics

by Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

After years of championing mandatory HPV vaccinations for young women, state Representative David Watkins has sponsored a resolution encouraging all Kentuckians to be vaccinated.

The human pappilomavirus is linked to cervical cancer and the vaccine is recommended for young women. But males can transmit the virus and some HPV symptoms have been found in men.

“It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Controls and pediatric groups recommend this vaccination be offered to men age 11 to 26 and young ladies 9 to 26,” says Watkins. “And I think this is very important because this is the first vaccine we have out that will actually reduce cervical cancer.”

Kentucky does not require young women to receive the HPV vaccination. Watkins previously sponsored legislation to change that, though it never became law.