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A missed shot: The failure of HPV vaccination state requirements
Date:11/1/2007

e authors note that, Quite apart from whether it was prudent public health policy to implement state requirements for HPV vaccination so soon after the vaccines licensure, these attacks on the state initiatives may have exacted a very real ethical price in terms of the publics understanding of the justifications for state vaccination requirements generally, as well as the publics understanding of the merits of the HPV vaccine itself. Additionally, they suggest that issues of price gouging, corporate profits, and political motives, may have also added to the opposition.

In order to move forward with cervical cancer prevention efforts, the authors suggest that attention be focused on assessing the long-term safety of the vaccine, while implementing effective patient and provider educational programs about HPV and the HPV vaccine, as this is the model that other successful vaccination programs have followed. "With a second HPV vaccine expected to be approved in early 2008, it is vital to understand the strategies that are most likely to lead to the long-term success of this remarkable weapon against cervical cancer," says Schwartz.

The authors also discuss the importance of designing and implementing HPV vaccination programs in developing countries. "Cervical cancer is a worldwide concern, but its impact is particularly severe in the developing world, says Schwartz. It would be tragic if the negative attention created by the debate over HPV vaccine mandates in the U.S. hamper efforts to make the vaccine available to those internationally who could benefit most from it."

Additional article authors are Arthur Caplan, PhD, Director, Center for Bioethics, Penn; Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH, the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Executive Director of The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, Johns Hopkins University; and Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA, the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Chair of Bioethics and Medicine at the Phoebe R. Berma
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Contact: Kate Olderman Tavella
kate.olderman@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-8369
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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