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More parents say they won't vaccinate daughters against HPV, researchers find
Date:3/17/2013

Teens. They found that as of 2010, 8 of 10 teens had the Tdap vaccine and roughly 63 percent had the MCV4 vaccine. Only about one-third of girls were immunized against HPV.

The HPV vaccination rate did rise; it was only 16 percent in 2008. But at the same time, more parents reported that they did not intend to have their daughters vaccinated for HPV. Among the reasons they gave: the vaccine was not recommended; lack of knowledge; it is unnecessary; the vaccine is inappropriate for the child's age; worry about safety/side effects; and the child isn't sexually active.

According to parents surveyed, more clinicians are recommending the HPV vaccine, but still, they are advising it only about half the time. The facts show the vaccine is necessary, Dr. Jacobson says.

"HPV causes essentially 100 percent of cervical cancer and 50 percent of all Americans get infected at least once with HPV. It's a silent infection. You cannot tell when you've been exposed or when you have it," he says. "While most HPV infections clear, a percentage linger and start the process of cancerous changes. The HPV vaccine is an anti-cancer vaccine."

Dr. Jacobson says the vaccine is more effective in younger adolescents than older teens. Mayo Clinic routinely starts the series at age 9.

"The vaccine works better the younger the child is, and it doesn't work after the child is grown up and is exposed to the virus, so our message should be: 'Give this vaccine now to your child while your child is young and responsive to it,'" says Dr. Jacobson, medical director of the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic.


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Contact: Robert Nellis
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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