The Senate killed a bil Monday that would have done away with the requirement for sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
On a vote of 22-17 - Senate Majority Leader Sen. Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment did not vote - the chamber decided to send the measure back to the Education and Health Committee and essentially table it for the year.
"This is one of the problems that you have when people who aren't (medical doctors) get involved in areas that really should be left to the medical field," Said Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax, before asking that the bill be returned to the committee and quietly forgotten.
HPV is transmitted sexually and can cause cervical cancer among women, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
Sen. Steve Martin, R-Chesterfield, said the bill wasn't doing away with the HPV vaccine, it just makes it an opt-in rather than an opt-out decision for families.
Under current requirements, families can opt-out and not have their daughters vaccinated.
"This bill changes it from basically an opt-out provision we already have to a fully-informed opt in provision," Martin said. "It does not create the problem suggested here. It does fully eliminate it; it still exists."