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Texas almost mandated an HPV vaccine before politics got in the way. Now, the state has one of the country's highest rates of cervical cancer.

The state’s approach stands in stark contrast to that of Australia, where leaders have successfully pushed a nationwide program that has made a sizable dent in cervical cancer rates.

Matthew Holleman, 13, receives his shots at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas on August 30, 2013. The Immunization Collaboration offers low cost vaccines targeting hepatitis, the flu, chickenpox, measles, mumps and HPV amongst other illnesses. (Cooper Neill / for The Texas Tribune)

“We did not want to be the first”

Lessons from Down Under

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