Institutions and

Institutions and this website interests will likely play important roles, but a review of introducing HPV vaccine highlights the contested nature of ideas around vaccines, sexuality, and young people. HPV vaccination meets the standard criteria for policy uptake including epidemiological burden, safety and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Such criteria are likely to be met for other high-burden STIs. However, such criteria may not be sufficient to ensure policy uptake – importantly, HPV vaccine was framed as a ‘cancer vaccine’ in some settings [30] and [31] and this may have assisted its

widespread policy uptake. Thus, the first policy opportunity for other STI vaccines is to identify similar associative and compelling frames – for example, highlighting the role that chlamydia vaccines could play in preventing infertility, or how syphilis vaccines could contribute to significant reductions in the risk of adverse outcomes of pregnancy [63]. Based on the experience of HPV vaccine introduction, two ideational issues which

are deeply rooted in values and prevailing norms will affect the successful introduction and uptake of future STI vaccine policy – both issues centre on the concept of Y-27632 consent. The first concerns mandatory policy versus opt-in and we conclude that any STI vaccine policy should eschew mandatory approaches. A number of human rights and ethical arguments weigh against a mandatory policy for infections all that are not transmitted through casual contact, for vaccines that have unknown levels of population efficacy over the longer term, and (in the case of most HPV vaccine programmes) are targeted at one sex only. On these grounds alone, there is no human rights or ethical basis for forcing young people to be vaccinated against STIs. Coercive vaccination would not, we believe, meet ethical standards for public health programmes and may even engender increased resistance from adolescents, their parents/guardians and others. If STI vaccines are not mandatory, then the second consideration involves questions around who can give consent for young people to

receive an STI vaccine. As we have seen in this review, adolescents under 18 are recognized under international human rights laws and treaties as competent agents to seek services on their own according to their evolving capacity. In accordance with these evolving capacities, adolescents should have access to confidential counselling and advice, as well as to health care interventions (such as vaccines), without parental or legal guardian consent, where this is assessed by the professionals (whether in educational or health care settings) working with the child to be in the child’s best interests. A similar principle applies in cases where the adolescent does not have an involved parent or a legal guardian protecting their best interests, or is not under official care.

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