Friday, November 20, 2009

CDC ends HPV vaccination requirement for immigrant women

In July 2008, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) implemented a mandate that immigrant women ages 11 to 26 who were seeking permanent resident status, must get the HPV vaccine. The mandate was considered discriminatory because it is costly and gender specific. Also, there isn't currently any requirement that American women must get the vaccine, so why should women seeking citizenship be required?

Well the CDC decided that effective December 14th, young women who are seeking legal permanent resident status in the United States will no longer be required to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The Federal Register notes,"while HPV may be an age appropriate vaccine for an immigrant applicant, HPV neither causes outbreaks nor is it associated with outbreaks...Further, HPV has not been eliminated, nor is in the process of elimination, in the United States. Therefore, because HPV does not meet the adopted criteria, it will not be a required vaccine for immigrant and adjustment of status to permanent residence applicants."

It's about time! Immigrant Rights and other social justice organizations have actively opposed the mandate and have organized against it since it became policy last year. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, have been leaders in insisting that the HPV vaccine mandate be repealed. It was another giant barrier on the already path to legal immigration.

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