Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The HPV Vaccine Gains Ground Among U.S. Teenagers

For over a decade, scientists have been trying to raise rates of uptake for the HPV vaccine. About a decade ago, rates of getting one or more HPV shots among adolescents were as low as 30%. This is due to a variety of reasons that range from differences in doctor recommendation to the unfounded parental fear that vaccinating their children would encourage them to lead more active sex lives.
However, a recent release form the CDC has shown that uptake rates of the HPV vaccine among adolescents has doubled to 60% and is continuing to grow.

In the past there was also a gender gap between HPV vaccination rates, with girls being much more likely to be vaccinated than boys. This was due to the previous recommendation for the vaccine being primarily for girls, the thought being that they were the ones most likely to experience the cervical cancer complications that come along with certain HPV infections. However, it has since been realized that vaccinating both genders would be the most effective way to control the virus in the population as well as prevent some more rare penile and anal cancers. Recent releases have also shown the gap between female and male HPV vaccination rates closing compared to a decade ago.

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