Law & Governance, 14(2) June 2010

Discussion and Debate

Gardasil® – The New HPV Vaccine: The Right Product, the Right Time? A Commentary     

Joel Lexchin, Neil Arya and Sonal Singh


[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy 5(4).]The federal and provincial governments have undertaken a universal immunization program to protect school-aged girls against cervical cancer using the new human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil®. While the vaccine appears to be effective and safe, there are a number of important unanswered questions regarding it and the effects of the immunization program. Here we briefly review key literature about the vaccine and then use the Erickson criteria, which offer an evidence basis for decision-making regarding national immunization strategies, to evaluate whether the program is congruent with sound public health policy. Our analysis of the national decision to recommend and fund a vaccination program using Gardasil® raises significant questions about the basis for this program.


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