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Knowledge Portal > News > Posts > Love notes from Laurel: Good news about the HPV vaccine
February 05
Love notes from Laurel: Good news about the HPV vaccine

 

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​We all know one thing about the HPV vaccine: It protects against the most dangerous strains of the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer, genital warts, and cancers of the anus, vagina and vulva.
 
Actually, we know another thing about the HPV vaccine: It is available for girls and boys as young as 11 (some say 9), and as old as 21 (boys) and 26 (girls).
 
Wait, we know a third thing: Despite the aforementioned two things, rates of HPV vaccination in our country, state, and OUR OWN PATIENT POPULATION are unacceptably low. Why is this? Probably multiple causes. But one documented reason is a perception among some that HPV vaccination will lead to risky sexual behavior among teens.
 
IT'S NOT TRUE, according to this article from National Public Radio. Good news! As you read the article--which Dr. Rice asks that we all do--consider how this might change the way we communicate about the HPV vaccine to our patients, our colleagues, and the community.
 
In case you need a primer on HPV, the vaccine, and why our low vaccination rates are a BIG BIG problem, check out CDC Grand Rounds: Reducing the Burden of HPV-Associated Cancer and Disease.

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