Coventry School Committee asks Raimondo to rescind HPV mandate

The HPV vaccine has been added to the list of mandatory vaccines for seventh graders who attend public and private schools in Rhode Island.

The fight over mandatory HPV vaccinations for school children continues.

A range of opinions on the topic keeps it from going away.

On Tuesday night, the Coventry School Committee took it one step further and voted unanimously to send a resolution to the Gov. Gina Raimondo's office, asking her to rescind the mandate.

"It was a way that we could acknowledge the power of the people in the state," said School Committee member James Pierson, who introduced the resolution.

It passed with a 5-0 vote.

"It's largely symbolic," Pierson said. "All we're simply asking is that the governor and the Department of Health - we respectfully request they reconsider the mandate and actually remove the mandate."

For Pierson, and other people who oppose the mandate, it's about letting parents make medical decisions for their children, and not hinging a medical vaccine on the children's ability to get an education.

"This resolution is about parental rights and the rights of parents to choose the treatment that best fits their children in conjunction with their pediatrician providing them with the information they need," he said.

NBC 10 News reached out to Gov. Gina Raimondo about the new developments.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, "The governor recognizes there are concerns about mandatory vaccinations, but the CDC recommends the HPV vaccine as a safe and effective way to help prevent cancer. As a mom, she supports steps to help our children and families be as healthy as possible."

The HPV town hall meeting scheduled for Thursday in Newport has been canceled.

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