Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Immigrants, HPV Vaccine and Choice

At $162 a dose, the Bush Administration prefers Merk over choice. You are next.
In July, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services quietly amended its list of required vaccinations for immigrants applying to become citizens. One of the newest requirements? Gardasil, which vaccinates against the human papillomavirus (HPV). From the agency’s press release.

This regulation goes directly against the advice of Dr. Jon Abramson, chairman of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices. In Feb. 2007, Abramson said that he and other committee members advised that Gardasil should not be mandatory because HPV is not a communicable disease like chicken pox.

The problem with this regulation is that the HPV vaccine is not mandatory for U.S. citizens. Therefore, U.S. citizens are allowed to weight the costs and risks associated with Gardasil, but immigrants are forced to pay-out-of-pocket for a vaccine they might not want to take.

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