‘HPV Vaccine Could Amount to Assault’, says Attorney

An attorney-at-law, Wendell Wilkins, says administering the HPV vaccine to students if they do not return an ‘opt-out’ form signed by their parent could amount to an assault.

His comment follows statements yesterday by Acting Director of Family Health Services in the Health Ministry, Dr. Melody Ennis.

Dr. Ennis say girls will be vaccinated if they fail to return an ‘opt-out’ form, indicating their parents don’t want them to be given the vaccine.

Dr. Melody Ennis was speaking yesterday on Nationwide’s Every Woman with Georgia Crawford- Williams. She says, in such cases, the girls would be interviewed first.

But Mr. Wilkins says a child cannot give consent to be vaccinated during the interview. He says that should come in writing from their parent or guardian.

Wendell Wilkins was speaking recently on Nationwide’s At-Your-Service with Vernon Derby.

The Health Ministry is administering HPV vaccines to school girls in Grade 7, as it seeks to reduce incidence of cervical cancer.

The programme was rolled out on Monday. The Health Ministry says it’s not mandatory.