HPV Vaccine

May 11, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 18
Should it be mandatory for school girls?
By Nellie Bristol

Introduction

Gov. Rick Perry introduces 31-year-old Heather Burcham to Texas lawmakers on Feb. 19, 2007. Suffering from terminal cervical cancer, Burcham testified in favor of a mandatory HPV immunization program Perry proposed for girls in Texas.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Gov. Rick Perry introduces 31-year-old Heather Burcham to Texas lawmakers on Feb. 19, 2007. Suffering from terminal cervical cancer, Burcham testified in favor of a mandatory HPV immunization program Perry proposed for girls in Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A new vaccine that prevents infections from a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes cervical cancer is being hailed as a major achievement in women's health. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for girls ages 11-12, and could be used by females ages 9-26. Some state lawmakers moved quickly to make inoculations mandatory for school attendance to ensure vaccine access regardless of socioeconomic status. The requirement was approved in the District of Columbia and Virginia. But reactions to an aggressive lobbying campaign by vaccine manufacturer Merck coupled with general concerns about immunization safety stalled efforts to mandate the shots in many states. Conservative groups joined the opposition, saying the vaccine would encourage inappropriate sexual activity and override parental autonomy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Vaccines
Feb. 19, 2016  Vaccine Controversies
May 11, 2007  HPV Vaccine
Jun. 13, 2003  Increase in Autism Updated
Feb. 07, 2003  Smallpox Threat
Aug. 25, 2000  Vaccine Controversies
Jun. 09, 1995  Combating Infectious Diseases
Jun. 18, 1993  Childhood Immunizations
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Cancer
Women's Health Issues