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More Teens Getting Vaccines Against HPV, Other Infections: CDC
Date:11/14/2011

t "the low level of HPV vaccination is because parents can't conceptualize protecting someone against a sexually transmitted disease when their kids aren't having sex."

Parents also underestimate the extent of the HPV epidemic, Siegel said.

"There are 6 million new cases [of infection] a year -- 80 percent of the population turns HPV positive in their lifetime -- it's not a debatable thing," he said.

The goal of vaccination is to decrease the amount of circulating virus, creating what's called 'herd immunity,'" Siegel said. "To do this, you've got to vaccinate a lot more than we are seeing here."

"The purpose of vaccines is to protect society," Siegel said. "These diseases are emerging and -- in the case of HPV -- epidemic. The only way to control it is with vaccine. The risk of the vaccine is outweighed by the risk of the disease."

More information

For more information on vaccinations for teens, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Shannon Stokley, M.P.H., National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University, New York City; December 2011 Pediatrics


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