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Assessing Mandatory HPV Vaccination: Who Should Call the Shots?

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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

Affiliations: 1: 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. 2: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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