Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2007
Senator Constance N. Johnson
Sen. Johnson Decides Against Hearing for
State Sen. Constance N. Johnson has decided against
requesting a hearing for Senate Bill 487. The measure would have
required all Oklahoma girls entering the sixth grade to be immunized
against the human papillomavirus (HPV). In clinical trials the inoculation
was 100 percent effective in preventing precancerous cervical conditions
caused by the types of HPV included in the vaccine. The vaccine
protects against specific strains of HPV which cause 70 percent
of all cervical cancers.
“My main motivation for introducing this bill was to begin
a public dialogue and raise public awareness,” said Johnson,
D-Oklahoma City. “For the first time in the history of medicine,
we have a vaccine that can prevent a type of cancer. It’s
something people need to know about.”
In Oklahoma, cervical cancer is the eighth most frequent cancer
in women. The incidence rate for cervical cancer in this state is
10.4 per 100,000, compared to 9.3 per 100,000 nationally. Oklahoma
has a higher mortality rate than the national average as well.
Johnson said having achieved the goal of spurring a public dialogue,
she has determined that legislative action is not necessary, and
so will not ask for a committee hearing on SB 487 this session.
“In Texas, Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order requiring
the vaccine. In Oklahoma, the State Board of Health has the authority
to require specific inoculations,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she would bring a Senate Resolution to the floor to
help continue to raise awareness about the impact of cervical cancer
in Oklahoma as well the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine in preventing
“I want to encourage us all to continue to learn everything
we can about the benefits of this immunization and how it could
save lives right here in Oklahoma,” Johnson said.
For more information contact:
Senator C. Johnson's Office - (405) 521-5531