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New Requirement Says Immigrant Women Must Receive HPV Vaccination

A new Federal Immigration Authorities mandate requires immigrant women ages 11 to 26 seeking permanent residence to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus. Women’s and immigrant rights are arguing that the requirement which is gender-specific and costly, is discriminatory.

Ana Correa, Executive Director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, said that the vaccine’s cost “adds $375 to the status change fee of $1,410 [and] hinders women looking to change their legal status….what we have noticed is that applying for citizenship decreases as the fees go up, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re pushing for a policy that would provide a burden on immigrants,” according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

Jennifer Ng’andu, Associate Director of Health Policy at the National Council of La Raza, told the Dallas News that “the mandate is of concern. There are benefits to the vaccine, and we’re not trying to downplay them, but this vaccine is not accompanied by education, and [the vaccinations] are only going to be [required]…for one group of people…it’s outrageous.”

Sources:

U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services; Daily Women's Health Policy Report 9/30/08; Dallas News 9/27/08