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.
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