Keith Wailoo, Julie Livingston, Steven Epstein, Robert Aronowitz : Three shots at prevention: the HPV vaccine and the politics of medicine’s simple solutions

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (3):237-242 (2015)

In order to fully understand the ethical, cultural, and political debate that moves around the papillomavirus vaccine, a bit of attention has to be paid to its history.In 2006 the first advertisements for Gardasil, the commercial name of the vaccine, started to appear in the United States. Merck pharmaceutical was the main dealer. Their “One Less” campaign was characterized by adolescent girls staring into the camera and saying, “I’m one less,” declaring their intention to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, and to be one less victim of cervical cancer; all it would take was three injections over six months. A few months after the appearance of the advertisement, the HPV matter took another turn when Texas Governor Rick Perry decided to issue an executive order mandating vaccination of all sixth-grade girls in the state. Texas, a state with a conservative political culture and well-organized anti-vaccination movement, bypassed the legislature, overturned Perry’s order ..
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-014-9312-6
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