The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) awarded over $685,000 to HealthPartners Institute to test strategies for getting dentists to recommend the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to children and young adults ages 11-26, documents obtained by Children’s Health Defense (CHD) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed.

The NIDCR operates under the government’s taxpayer-funded National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The HealthPartners study is being conducted three years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added prevention of oropharyngeal cancer, a form of head and neck cancer, to a growing list of indications for the HPV vaccine — despite a lack of clinical evidence to support the claim.

Dentists remain generally reluctant to recommend or administer the vaccine to their patients, studies show.

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