Assessing mandatory HPV vaccination: Who should call the shots?

Gail Javitt, Deena Berkowitz, Lawrence O. Gostin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-395
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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