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Riverhead superintendent to urge state officials against HPV vaccine mandate

Riverhead’s school board and district administrators plan to submit a letter to state officials opposing the proposed amendment to Section 2164 of the state public health law, which mandates a human papilloma virus vaccine for all public school students.
Board member Christopher Dorr, who said he is firmly against the mandate, suggested the superintendent submit a letter to state officials at the meeting. Dr. Henriquez said she’s already in the process of writing one, which will be reviewed Friday by board members, who will then sign it if they so choose.
“It’s opposing taking away parental rights to make that decision for the children,” the superintendent said after the meeting. “It’s an issue that is out there in the superintendent circles, so we’re certainly talking about it.”
The revised bill, under review by the Senate, would require all children born after Jan. 1, 2009, to obtain a dose of immunizing agents against HPV. If approved, it could take effect Sept. 1, 2021.
Last year’s amendment to the same law prohibited the use of religious exemptions from vaccination requirements — sparking concern among parents in the district. Mr. Dorr said he was also against the removal of that mandate.
“I think it’s up the parents to decide the health of their children,” Mr. Dorr said.
Neighboring Shoreham-Wading River Central School District has already submitted a letter to elected officials opposing the HPV vaccine amendment.
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