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Published: Tuesday, 2/20/2007

Merck suspends lobbying for its vaccine against cervical cancer


TRENTON, N.J. Merck & Co. is immediately suspending its lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to mandate that adolescent girls get the company s new vaccine against cervical cancer as a requirement for school attendance, the company said late today.

The drugmaker had been criticized by parents and doctors groups for quietly funding the campaign via a third party to require 11- and 12-year-old girls get the three-dose vaccine in order to attend school.

Some had objected because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted disease, human papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer. Vaccines mandated for school attendance usually are for diseases easily spread through casual contact.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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