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Health Experts Say HPV Vaccine Is Safe
Date:9/15/2011

edicine doctor. There is nothing in science or experience that would back that up."

Perry signed an executive order in 2007 requiring that all sixth-grade girls be vaccinated to protect them from the sexually transmitted virus, but the state legislature subsequently rescinded the order.

The HPV vaccine, approved in 2006, targets two types of HPV that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and most HPV-induced genital and head and neck cancers. It also protects against most genital warts.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that girls at age 11 or 12 get three doses (shots) of the HPV vaccine, also often called the Gardasil vaccine, and that girls and young women 13 to 26 years old get all three doses if they have not already.

"The best way to be sure that a person gets the most benefit from HPV vaccination is to complete all three doses before sexual activity begins," the CDC said.

Each year in the United States, about 6.2 million new cases of human papillomavirus are diagnosed, and about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer, according to the CDC.

Side effects of the vaccine tend to be minor, the CDC said. They include pain at the injection site, headache, nausea, and fever. Fainting has been reported on rare occasions.

Some cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that causes muscle weakness, have been reported after vaccination, but "there is no evidence that Gardasil has increased the rate of GBS above that expected in the population," the CDC said.

Blood clots in the heart, lungs and legs also have been reported, but "most of these people had a risk of getting blood clots, such as taking oral contraceptives," according to the CDC.

After reviewing 56 deaths that followed vaccination, the CDC said it could not find a pattern suggesting the vaccine was responsible. Autopsy and death records pointed to other factors, including illicit drug use, diabetes, viral illn
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