Published 15 September 2006
Next month the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is set to determine whether pre-adolescent girls in the U.K. will receive a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease at primary school.
The vaccine, Gardasil, marketed by Sanofi Pasteur MSD, was approved for use in women by British authorities in July, and by the end of the year GlaxoSmithKline’s version, Cervarix, is likely to be available. Both target human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus transmitted exclusively by sexual contact that in rare cases leads to cervical cancer.
Paralleling a similar debate in the United States, much of the controversy about putting the vaccine on the childhood schedule has been about whether doing so will give youngsters a false sense of safety and lure them into promiscuous sex.
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