Smart Woman: HPV Vaccine

Published 07/24 2014 04:18PM

Updated 07/24 2014 08:12PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent want more kids to get vaccinated against HPV, or Human Papillomavirus. A new government report finds only 57% of girls and 35% of boys ages 13-17 are getting the shots.

Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, says,"If we could raise HPV  vaccine coverage to the same level as the pertussis vaccinations or the meningitis vaccination, we could prevent thousands of HPV associated cancers every year."

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer in woman and throat and mouth cancer in men. It's best to get vaccinated before becoming sexually active.

According to the CDC, one main reason parents say they did not have their child vaccinated is because their doctor never recommended it.

Dr. Jessica Sessions, a pediatrician, always recommends the vaccinations to patients but some parents aren't ready to listen. She says, "HPV is related to genital warts which can sometimes be a tricky thing to talk to a parent about."

The HPV vaccine requires 3 doses. Some parents have safety concerns, but the CDC says no serious health risks have been linked to the vaccine.

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