BY COLIN PRICE | Correspondent for USA TODAY
Republican Govs. Kate Brown of Oregon and Larry Hogan of Maryland signed legislation Friday expanding the use of a federally funded vaccine that protects people against cervical cancer. Brown called the legislation “a critical step in strengthening cervical cancer prevention in our state.”
The new legislation puts Maryland and Oregon among 14 states that allow the vaccine in a booster, providing vaccines to more than 135,000 women in each state. Each law provides for a two-year period to obtain the vaccine from a public health official.
Nearly 8,000 women in each state died from cervical cancer in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
During the first four years of the law, Maryland will pay for vaccine by diverting money from a program to provide vaccines to children under age 18 who are born without a formal home birth certificate.
The legislature authorized using money from the state’s Adoption and Foster Care Program to pay for the booster vaccines. Previous legislation shifted money from the program to expand access to vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, commonly called whooping cough.