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Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC  20052
Liz Borkowski, MPH
Managing Director
202.994-0034

 

News > Press Releases

New Report Examines Laws that Would Mandate HPV Vaccine for Young Women

January 18, 2007

CONTACT: Thomas Kohout 202-994-0468
Alexandra Stewart, JD, 202-530-2331

Washington, DC — If legislation introduced last week in the District of Columbia becomes law, young women will be required to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) by the time they enter the sixth grade. Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, California, Kentucky and South Carolina are also poised to consider similar legislation. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer.

To place those proposals in a broader context, a new paper reviews some of the scientific, legal, ethical and financial issues surrounding the HPV vaccine and compulsory vaccinations. The paper, HPV Vaccine: Recommendation or Mandate?, is being issued through the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, which is affiliated with the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University.

The paper concludes:

  • State laws that require immunization as a condition of enrollment in school increase the use of vaccines, reduce disease, lessen racial disparities in vaccine coverage and increase available funding. According to a recent New England Journal of Medicine (December 7, 2006) commentary, "Requiring HPV vaccination by law will almost certainly achieve more widespread protection against the disease than will policies that rely exclusively on persuasion and education."
  • Surveys have generally shown that young women are very interested in getting the HPV vaccine, that parents are willing to have their children vaccinated, and that clinicians are inclined to offer the vaccine in their practices. Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse the use of the vaccine by their members.
  • Experts emphasize the importance of creating immunization opportunities. Adolescents, especially from minority and low-income communities. have poorer access to care than any other population in the United States. A voluntary HPV vaccine is less likely to reach adolescents in medically underserved communities, contributing to further health disparities.
  • Concerns about individual liberties, patient autonomy, and parental rights, and attitudes towards adolescent sexuality, generally underlie objections to an HPV vaccine mandate.
  • Whether or not the HPV vaccine becomes mandatory, existing financing mechanisms will leave some women without coverage for it, forcing them either to pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket, or to go without potentially lifesaving protection.

A copy of the report is available at: http://www.gwumc.edu/sphhs/~hpv. For more information about the HPV vaccine: Alexandra Stewart, JD, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, 2021 K Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006, 202-530-2331, stewarta@gwu.edu

This report is the first in a series of White Papers to be issued by the School of Public Health and Health Services through its Rapid Public Health Policy Response Project — a project which will provide swift, data-driving reports on breaking public health-related news.

2003

September 9, 2003 - Stopping the #1 Killer of Women: New Initiative Calls for Improving Heart Disease Prevention in Primary Care Settings

May 8, 2003 - Anne F. Foster-Rosales, International Pioneer in Women's Reproductive Health, Receives Excellence In Women's Health Award

May 8, 2003 - U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Women's Health

May 8, 2003 - Leading Champions of Women's Health, CIGNA HealthCare Honored at Gala Luncheon

2002

October 3, 2002 - Alarming Rates of American Women are Undiagnosed and Undertreated for Depression During and After Pregnancy

July 31, 2002 - New Consumer Guide Helps Women Make Sense of Today's Health Benefit Choices

May 16, 2002 - Reproductive Health Pioneers Dr. Georgeanna Seegar Jones & Dr. Howard W. Jones Recieve Lifetime Achievement Award

May 16, 2002 - Donna Lopiano, One of the Nation's Leading Advocates for Women & Girls in Athletics, Receives Excellence In Women's Health Award

May 16, 2002 - Trail-Blazing Human Rights Group Receives Excellence In Women's Health Award

May 16, 2002 - Pioneering Women's Health Advocates, Prominent Human Rights Group Honored for Improving Women's Health at Gala Luncheon

April 16, 2002 -  Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Women's Health Care Is Focus of National Symposium

January 11, 2002 - Comprehensive New "Data Book" Examines Latest Research on Women's Health in America Today

2001

November 13, 2001 - Study Shows Impact of Managed Care on Ob/Gyns and Their Patients

November 12, 2001 - Physical Activity Associated with Quality of Life in Older Women

September 23, 2001 - Gender and Patient Satisfaction in Managed Care Plans

July 13, 2001 - Why Do Women Use Hormone Replacement Therapy? 

July 10, 2001 - Depression Common Among Women, But Few Seek Mental Health Services

June 27, 2001 - New Information on Motherhood and It's Impact on Women's Health

June 25, 2001 - Women Enrolled in Managed Care Receive More Gender-Specific Preventive Services

June 6, 2001 - Experts Re-Examine Landmark Women's Health Survey

May 10, 2001 - Excellence in Women's Health Award Winners

April 23, 2001 - Facing the Dilemmas Surrounding Genetic Screening for Breast Cancer

March 16, 2001 - Emergency Contraception: America's Best Kept Secret

February 7, 2001 - Jacobs Institute Announces Award Winner

February 6, 2001 - Osteoporosis & African-American Women

February 2, 2001 - Differences Between Medical and Surgical Abortions on Time Lost From Work

January 15, 2001 - Jacobs Institute Hosts Seminar on Dietary Supplements

2000

March 1, 2000 - Jacobs Institute Publishes Menopause Counseling Guidelines

March 1, 2000 - Jacobs Institute of Women's Health and the American Association of Health Plans Publish Women's Health Recommendations Report

February 18, 2000 - Jacobs Institute & Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Grant Supports Study of Women in Nursing Homes

January 1, 2000 - One of America's "Best Doctors for Women" Joins Jacobs Institute Board

January 1, 2000 - Assistant Vice President of New York Foundation Joins Jacobs Institute Board

January 1, 2000 - Jacobs Elects New President: Heidepriem to Lead the Institute into the Next Century

 
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