HPV Vaccine Not Reaching Enough Girls, C.D.C. Says

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According to he the Centers For Disease Control, the HPV vaccine is not given to as many girls as it should be.  The very low vaccination rate for teenage girls against the human papillomavirus — the most common sexually transmitted infection and a principal cause of cervical cancer — did not improve at all from 2011 to 2012.  Only 33 percent of teenage girls had finished the required three doses of the vaccine in 2012, officials said, putting the United States close to the bottom of developed countries in coverage.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on a call with reporters that coverage for girls “has not increased at all from one year to the next. Zero.” Coverage rates for new vaccines typically increase by about 10 percentage points a year, he said.   The virus causes about 19,000 cancers in women every year, and 8,000 in men, according to the C.D.C. Women most commonly get cervical cancer as a result of the virus, while men are most likely to get throat cancer.

Why are parents not following up with all of the HPV vaccines? Convenience and time factors play in as the vaccine is administered in three doses over a three month period. Experts think that if the vaccine could be administered in fewer doses, that would improve the numbers. In addition, young men should also be getting the vaccine too as they are susceptible to the virus but their numbers are not going up for many fo the same reasons. It would appear that a serious education program is needed and more doctors need to start advising patients of the critical need for this vaccine.

In addition, general parental anxiety over all vaccines is on the increase thanks to multiple high profile lawsuits and stories in the media. Ironically, the HPV vaccine has virtually no side effects and the vaccines that have been targeted also have few, if any, side effects and most of the negative hype has been drummed up by plaintiffs attorneys hoping for a quick settlement with large pharmaceutical companies with deep pockets.

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Picture by theseoduke

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