South Carolina state representative to introduce HPV vaccine bill

South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers (D) is expected to announce new legislation to make the human papillomavirus vaccine available to seventh graders.

The announcement is set to occur early next week at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. HPV is a common cause of multiple types of cancer. Nearly all cervical cancer is caused by HPV, according to

"One thing that I want everyone to understand is that the cost of someone who actually gets cervical cancer when it could have been prevented at an early age is draining," Sellers said, reports. "It's a cost that everyone in the community has to bear."

The Hollings Cancer Center said that the upcoming bill would allow the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to provide HPV educational materials and the HPV vaccine to school children as early as the seventh grade.

"In no way is it mandatory or in no way is it making parents go and get the vaccine," Sellers said, reports. "This is something that's a step in the right direction, and I don't want to let anybody stand in the way of this. It's going to be a long journey, but I look forward to having the discussion."

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley vetoed a similar bill last year.