There’s mixed news coming from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Immunization Survey-Teen.
While the 2014 report indicates that the number of 13- to 17-year old girls and boys getting their HPV vaccine has increased a bit for the second year running, there are still not enough adolescents getting this potentially life-saving immunization.
Here are the numbers to know and the reason why we need to see a more marked increase in HPV vaccination.
Too Few Adolescents Vaccinated for HPV
The Latest Data
According to the study, 4 out of 10 girls and 6 out of 10 boys have not received their first dose of the HPV vaccine series. Only 60% of girls and 42% of boys have gotten one or more doses of the vaccine, a 3% increase among girls and 8% increase among boys since the 2013 research.
Individuals who haven’t received the recommended HPV vaccination are more vulnerable to HPV infections that can cause cancer, including cancers of the penis in men, cervix, vagina, and vulva in women, and anus and oropharynx in both sexes.
27,000 men and women are diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer annually, and HPV vaccination can help prevent these diseases from developing.
What Can We Do?
Certain parts of the country saw a larger increase in HPV vaccination, suggesting that different strategies employed by different communities can make a real difference in immunization coverage. Some of these effective strategies include:
- Linking cancer prevention organizations and vaccination organizations to establish that the HPV vaccine prevents cancer
- Education initiatives for healthcare providers so these professionals remind parents and caregivers of the importance of the HPV vaccine
- Assessments of HPV vaccination coverage rates and strategies by local and state health departments
- Public education on HPV vaccination
- Reminder-recall initiatives to help parents remember when a child is due for their HPV vaccination
ARCpoint Labs: Promoting Sexual Health
ARCpoint Labs nationwide provide STD testingto help individuals monitor their sexual health. Along with vaccination for sexually transmitted infections like HPV, STD testing is one of the best ways to prevent these diseases.
To get started, find your nearest ARCpoint Labs today.