A new study from the CDC examining the rate of of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections showed that they have decreased by 56 percent among female teenagers 14-19 years of age since the vaccine was introduced in 2006.
The CDC recommends that all girls get the vaccine at age 11 or 12 to protect them against cancers that can appear 20 to 40 years later.
"This report shows that HPV works well, and the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates," Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. He called the results of the study "striking."
According to CDC, each year in the United States, about 19,000 cancers caused by HPV occur in women, and cervical cancer is the most common. About 8,000 cancers caused by HPV occur each year in men in the United States, and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers are the most common.
Other countries have higher vaccination rates, including Rwanda, where more than 80 percent of teenage girls have received the HPV vaccine.
As addressed in a Tween Us post in March, only 32% of teens were up to date on their HPV vaccine, according to data from the National Immunization Survey of Teens and published in the journal Pediatrics:
Just 52 percent of doctors recommended the HPV vaccine. In 2008, 47 percent of physicians recommended the vaccine.
There are two FDA-approved vaccines on the market. Merck's Gardasil protects against HPV strains 6, 11, 16 and 18, and GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix protects against strains 16 and 18. Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections, with strains 16 and 18 responsible for about 70 percent of all cases, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Do you think this new study will increase the rate of vaccination or lessen any of the reluctance among parents and doctors to have tween girls get the HPV vaccine?
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