In 2007, many legislatures considered, and two enacted, bills mandating HPV vaccination for young girls as a condition of school attendance. Such mandates raise signifcant legal, ethical, and social concerns. This paper argues that mandating HPV vaccination for minor females is premature since long-term safety and efectiveness of the vaccine has not been established, HPV does not pose imminent and signifcant risk of harm to others, a sex specifc mandate raises constitutional concerns, and a mandate will burden fnancially existing government health programs and private physicians. Absent careful consideration and public conversation, HPV mandates may undermine coverage rates for other vaccines.
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Document Type: Research Article
The Law and Policy Director at the Genetics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She is also a Research Scientist in the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.
Publication date: 2008-06-01