HPV vaccines effective, but vaccination rates still low

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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease, and also the cause of cervical cancer. While vaccination has proven to be an extremely effective tool in preventing both HPV and cervical cancer, rates of vaccination are still low.

In 2012, only 33 percent of girls got the full course of vaccinations. While new guidelines have been published, and emphasis on the importance of the vaccine has become more apparent, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the CDC reported that coverage has not increased at all from one year to the next. Zero.

One explanation for low vaccine rates is that doctors are not doing enough to urge patients to get the vaccine. A survey posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that doctors were failing to encourage their patients to receive the vaccine.

According to the CDC, the virus causes 19,000 cancers in women per year, and 8,000 in men. Women typically get cervical cancer due to the virus, while men get throat cancer. It is important to remember that this virus is highly preventable in both men and women.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava is disappointed in these results. She adds, Doctors really do have an important role to play in ensuring that patients receive the necessary vaccinations. And although it seems that with the HPV vaccine, most of the emphasis is on girls, doctors should be discussing the importance of this vaccine with parents of boys as well.