immunization

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Beginning this fall, all seventh graders in Rhode Island must receive the first dose of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is already widely used, although some parents object.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In most cases it just goes away, but in others it can cause cervical and other kinds of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend routine vaccination for boys and girls around 11 years old.

James Volk / CDC

Three strains of meningococcal bacteria - the critters that can cause meningitis - circulate and cause disease in the U.S. Until recently, we only had vaccines to protect against two of them. But in October 2014, the FDA approved a new vaccine for the strain known as serogroup B; on January 23rd, the agency approved a second vaccine for serogroup B, this one requiring just two doses, rather than three.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials say several adults may have been exposed to a person with the measles last weekend. The exposure might have happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 22nd in the emergency department at Rhode Island Hospital or later that evening in the emergency department at Roger Williams Hospital. Hospital officials say a man later diagnosed with measles presented at Rhode Island Hospital between 3 and 6 in the morning. He left against medical advice. Around 6 pm that evening he went to Roger Williams Hospital with a worsening fever.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

That depends on your priorities. But first, here's what's at issue:

The state’s health department is considering updates to its immunization policy for school kids from preschool through college. The proposals would require flu shots for kids up to age five and the HPV vaccine for kids entering ninth grade.

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