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Long Island School Districts Push Back On HPV, Flu Vaccine Mandates

John Amis

Southampton schools have joined a growing number of districts on Long Island that oppose legislation to add more mandatory school vaccinations.

One bill requires children be immunized against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cancer. Another bill mandates flu shots. 

Southampton schools wrote to state health committee members to kill the measures when they reconvene in January. The district says the requirements are an “erosion of parental rights.” 

At least 16 other Suffolk County school districts have written similar letters. They say children are not at risk of HPV infection while at school, so the requirement would be inappropriate. They also question the overall effectiveness of flu vaccines. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children receive the first of two HPV shots by age 12. Federal guidelines also say everyone older than 6 months should get a flu shot every season. 

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.