The Gardasil vaccine seems to provoke a lot of controversy and still more misinformation, even as compared to typical anti-vaccine rhetoric.
Maybe since it is a newer vaccine or because it is for an STD, but for whatever reason, some folks can’t get over the fact that study after study has proven that the HPV vaccines are safe and effective.
Did Utah Ban the HPV Vaccine?
So if it is so safe and effective, then why did Utah ban the use of Gardasil?
There is a very small sliver of truth to the story though.
“Citing low demand, high costs — and questioning the benefits, Utah’s Southwest Public Department of Health does not stock or recommend Gardasil, the vaccine against HPV, the cancer-causing human papilloma virus.”
The Salt Lake Tribune
In most states, a decision like that by the Department of Health would be a big deal, because it would likely have to come from the state health department.
Not so much in Utah, where their 13 local health departments are independent of the Utah Department of Health. And they are each governed by local boards of health using a decentralized organizational model.
So the decision to ‘ban Gardasil’ wasn’t made by “Utah,” where the Department of Health has actually been recommending the vaccine since 2006.
It wasn’t even made by the Board of Health for the Southwest Public Department of Health.
The decision was made by one person – the agency’s director, Dr. David Blodgett.
Where Else Has Gardasil Not Been Banned
Even then, Gardasil wasn’t actually banned in the Beaver, Iron, Garfield, Kane and Washington counties of southern Utah that are served by the Southwest Public Department of Health where he is the director. The vaccine just wasn’t available at health department clinics in the area.
You could still get the vaccine at a doctor’s office or clinic, including free HPV vaccines from clinics that participate in the Vaccines for Children program.
So again, Gardasil wasn’t banned in Utah or even this part of southern Utah.
And do you know where else you can still get an HPV vaccine?
Gardasil is still available in Japan, India, France, Spain, and all of the countries where anti-vaccine folks say it was also banned.
Even in Japan, where governmental authorities did withdraw support for the vaccine while the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan further investigated safety and efficacy claims, an Expert Council on Promotion of Vaccination consisting of 17 Japanese academic societies recommends “renewed proactive support for the widespread use of the HPV vaccine.”
What To Know About the Myth of a Gardasil Ban in Utah
Gardasil was never banned in Utah. The director of one local health department has decided to not make it available at local health department clinics in southern Utah since 2013.
More About the Myth of a Gardasil Ban in Utah
- Utah Cancer Control Program
- Utah health official bans Gardasil, stirring controversy
- More Utah teens getting HPV vaccine, but still below national average
- What you don’t know about the HPV vaccine may hurt you
- Utah’s youth still have trouble accessing, completing HPV vaccine
- Japan bans Gardasil – debunking myths about the HPV vaccine
- Report – Human papillomavirus vaccination crisis in Japan.
- Commentary – Consensus statement from 17 relevant Japanese academic societies on the promotion of the human papillomavirus vaccine.
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