Report: U.S. Failing to Protect Kids from HPV

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Source: USA Today

Too few American girls and boys are getting vaccinated against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new report from the President’s Cancer Panel. HPV is linked to cervical cancer as well as penis, rectal and oral cancers. So its especially alarming that one in four adults in the United States is infected with at least one type of HPV.

Vanessa Slots, MD, Pediatrician, Renown Medical Group Pediatrics, helps explain the HPV vaccine. “The HPV vaccine is currently a three shot series typically starting at age 11 and is strongly recommended for both boys and girls.”  Raising vaccination rates to at least 80% of teen girls could prevent 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer in girls alive today, according to the CDC.

“Many parents feel that their child does not need the HPV vaccine as they are not sexually active at that age,” says Dr. Slots. “But the idea is to vaccinate your children BEFORE they are sexually active so as to protect them from contracting HPV when they eventually become sexually active. This is the idea behind all vaccines – immunize before being exposed to disease.” Although the HPV vaccine is not a required vaccination, Dr. Slots strongly recommends the HPV vaccine for all those 11 and above.

If you have questions about the HPV vaccine, you should speak to your pediatrician. You can also visit the CDC website.

Report: U.S. Failing to Protect Kids from HPV

The USA is failing to protect children from preventable cancers that afflict 22,000 Americans a year by not vaccinating enough of them against HPV, a new report says.

Although a safe and effective HPV vaccine has been available for eight years, only one-third of girls have been fully immunized with all three recommended doses, according to a report from the President’s Cancer Panel, which has advised the White House on cancer since 1971. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a family of viruses that causes cancer throughout the body, including cancers that predominantly affect men, such as a type of throat cancer. Only 7% of boys are fully vaccinated, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the shots for them since 2011.

Raising vaccination rates to at least 80% of teen girls could prevent 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer in girls alive today, according to the CDC. [...]

Read the full story on USA Today.

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