In California, proposed legislation AB 6591 is gaining attention. The legislation would mandate the HPV vaccine for students in public and private schools without religious or conscientious exemptions. In March 2023, a physician’s organization known for opposing vaccines released a letter opposing AB 6591. The letter is currently recirculating as AB 6591 awaits action from the Governor. The letter claims the HPV vaccine is unsafe and unnecessary and raises concerns about the vaccine’s ingredients and alleged adverse effects. The authors strongly urge California legislators to oppose AB 6591. Social media users are sharing the letter and asking followers to reach out to their legislators and “end medical tyranny.”
Risk level: Low
Recommendation: While these social media posts are primarily circulating in vaccine-opponent circles, false claims about the HPV vaccine may promote vaccine hesitancy, especially when the messaging is coming from credentialed experts. These types of messages also may promote distrust in guidance from government and public health officials. It is recommended that doctors in California be prepared to answer questions about HPV vaccines, which have been shown to be safe and effective across multiple trials and studies.