Friday, July 26, 2013

Have Your Kids Received The Anti-Cancer Vaccine?

HPV Vaccine Grossly Underutilized Says CDC
In a press conference held today, top officials from CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that HPV vaccination rates in girls aged 13-17 years failed to increase between 2011 and 2012, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The HPV vaccine is an anti-cancer vaccine.

Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

The 2012 NIS-Teen data show that not receiving a healthcare provider's recommendation for HPV vaccine was one of the five main reasons parents reported for not vaccinating daughters. Healthcare providers are urged to give a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination for boys and girls aged 11 or 12 years.

The other responses parents provided indicate gaps in understanding about the vaccine, including why vaccination is recommended at ages 11 or 12.

Among girls unvaccinated for HPV, 84 percent had a healthcare visit where they received another vaccine (such as one aimed at meningitis or pertussis) but not HPV vaccine. If HPV vaccine had been administered, vaccination coverage could be nearly 93 percent rather than 54 percent.

CDC Director Tom Frieden M.D., M.P.H. said, "Doctors need to step up their efforts by talking to parents about the importance of HPV vaccine just as they do other vaccines and ensure its given at every opportunity."

"Parents need reassurance that HPV vaccine is recommended at 11 or 12 because it should be given well in advance of any sexual activity," said Dr. Frieden. "We don't wait for exposure to occur before we vaccinate with any other routinely recommended vaccine."

Parents also reported safety concerns as a reason for not vaccinating. In the seven years of post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring and evaluation conducted independently by federal agencies and vaccine manufacturers, no serious safety concerns have been identified.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to ask about vaccination every time they take children for a healthcare visit. If a preteen boy or girl (aged 11 or 12 years) has not started the HPV vaccine series, make an appointment to get him or her vaccinated. Teens who haven't started or finished the 3-dose series should do so—it's not too late for them to receive HPV vaccine.

For many, it's easier than ever to get the HPV vaccine. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurance plans must cover the HPV vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost, meaning no co-pay or deductible. Visit for more information.

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