U.S.

Health Officials Say Too Few Teens Getting HPV Vaccine

The President's Cancer Panel says only 54 percent of girls between ages 13 to 17 years old got an HPV vaccination in 2012.

Health Officials Say Too Few Teens Getting HPV Vaccine
National Institutes of Health
SMS

The White House says not enough teens are getting a human papillomavirus vaccination and the risks of going without one could be costly.

That’s according to a new report by The President’s Cancer Panel saying, in 2012, just about 54 percent of girls between 13 and 17 years old received an HPV vaccine dose. In boys of the same age group, fewer than 21 percent had received the first dosage.

 

And considering full HPV vaccination requires three doses, the numbers for those who completed all three were even lower.

About 33 percent of girls and less than 7 percent of boys got all three recommended vaccinations.

“These rates are far less than the government’s goal of having 80 percent of teen girls fully vaccinated against HPV.” (Via KSL-TV

 

“Health officials say doctors haven’t been strongly recommending it and leaving the decision to the parents.” (Via WXYZ

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says HPV is usually linked to genital warts and certain types of cancers — although vaccinations can help prevent the virus.

USA Today reports, even though three doses are currently recommended at least two months apart, “Emerging research suggest that two doses could be equally effective ... And at a total cost of $400 for three shots, the HPV vaccine is also more expensive than other vaccinations, although it's often covered by insurance.”

It’s also the same vaccine that got some public spotlight in 2011 when 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann made claims about the safety of the shot that were later refuted by many in the medical field. (Via The New York Times)

“I had a mother come up to me last night here in Tampa, Florida. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection and she suffers from mental retardation thereafter.” (Via NBC

“That is not a potential risk or side effect that’s been reported. … The risks are actually quite minor and benign being redness, normal allergic reactions associated with other vaccines.” (Via CNN)

 

The CDC says getting the HPV vaccine could prevent 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer in girls.