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Mothers Less Likely to Pursue HPV Vaccination for Youngest Daughters
Date:4/30/2008

Mothers' Intentions Run Counter to CDC Recommendations

CINCINNATI, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Because the first national study of its kind has found that U.S. mothers report they are less likely to vaccinate daughters under age 13 against human papillomavirus virus (HPV), even though the vaccine is recommended for girls at age 11 and 12, it's incumbent upon the healthcare community to work to improve moms' acceptance of the vaccination for younger daughters, say researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who conducted the study. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus known to cause cervical cancer.

The study will be presented May 4 at the American Academy of Pediatrics Presidential Plenary session, of the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Honolulu.

"Because HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (see background information below) and often acquired soon after the onset of sexual activity, the CDC recommends that HPV vaccination ideally occur before a girl becomes sexually active, as the vaccine will not reverse HPV infection," says Jessica Kahn, M.D., a physician in the division of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's and the study's lead author. Currently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that 11- and 12-year-old girls be targeted for HPV immunization. But the researchers found that mothers surveyed are currently not inclined to follow that guideline.

In the study, while 86 percent of moms intended to vaccinate a 16- to 18-year-old daughter, and 68 percent intended to vaccinate a 13- to 15-year-old daughter, fewer than half -- only 48 percent -- intended to vaccinate a 9- to 12-year-old daughter, according to the data analyzed by Dr. Kahn and her colleagues. "Mothers' intention to vaccinate against HPV is lowest for the younger daughters. Yet, younger girls are more likely than older girls to benefit from vaccination, which is why the
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SOURCE Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
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