Gender, Labor & Immigration, Health Care

Please pass the word around, this is incredibly important!

Do you know a young woman or family member that has been affected?

In July 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) added five new vaccinations to the list of required immunizations for immigrants seeking legal permanent residency in the U.S. or people applying for immigrant visas. The list included a vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection that is transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact and is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Following a recommendation by the CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices to administer Gardasil, the only HPV vaccine currently approved for the U.S. market to females ages 11 to 26 in the U.S., the recommendation became an automatic requirement for prospective immigrants and applicants seeking to adjust their status when the government updated its list of vaccines in July.

The policy went into effect on August 1, and advocates in the immigrant rights and public health movements are calling for a reversal with respect to the HPV vaccine. The mandate creates additional cost barriers for young immigrant women and immigrant families seeking adjustment of status or entry to the U.S., and unfairly forces immigrant women to subject their bodies to a vaccine that is new to the market and has unknown long-term efficacy rates.

Please consider sharing your story if you know someone who has been directly impacted by the new mandate for the HPV vaccine or any of the other vaccines involved. Contact Priscilla at [email protected] with your story.

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