Tags: hpv | vaccine | girls | cervica

Fewer Girls Receiving HPV Vaccine

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 11:53 AM





The number of girls and young women who are receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has dropped significantly since the shot was approved in 2006, despite health officials’ recommendations that they receive it to prevent cervical cancer.

New research by the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston shows the proportion of insured females completing the series of HPV shots has fallen by as much as 63 percent since the first year it was in use.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, shows the steepest decline among those aged 9 to 18 – when the greatest benefits are derived.
"The first generation of women that could benefit from the only HPV-related cancer vaccine in existence is missing the opportunity," said lead author Abbey B. Berenson, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health at UTMB. "This vaccine prevents one of the most devastating cancers in women."
For the study, researchers examined health insurance records of 271,976 female patients aged 9 and older who received the first dose of the HPV vaccine -- which is given in three doses over six months -- between 2006 and 2009.
They found just 38.2 percent received all three doses within a year. In all but one age group (27 and older), researchers also found a significant drop-off in the number of females who completed the vaccine series – particularly in younger girls and teens.
Berenson said parents may not be used to taking children to the doctor more than once or twice each year and rarely making appointments for vaccines alone.
The HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV strains that can lead to cervical cancer, which affects a half-million women worldwide each year and kills 250,000. It also protects against anal, penile and some head and neck cancers, and genital warts.

© HealthDay

 
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Tuesday, 08 May 2012 11:53 AM
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