Posts Tagged ‘ HPV vaccine ’

Why Are Millions Of Children Missing Out On Important Medical Care?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Millions of children don't receive the preventive screenings necessary for healthy growth Millions, that’s right, millions of children don’t receive the preventive tests and screenings deemed necessary for healthy growth and development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports this week.

The report highlighted 11 services that are most often skipped, including lead screenings, use of dental care, vision and hypertension screenings and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, among others.

The CDC has been tracking this type of public healthcare for many years, the organization notes in a press release, and chalks much of this absence of preventive care up to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inconsistencies, CBS reports.

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there is hope that these numbers will decrease, however, lack of health insurance coverage isn’t always to blame: CBS reports that “some of the discouraging numbers are a result of lack of protocols at medical institutions and individual failures on part of health care providers.”

“We must protect the health of all children,” Dr. Stuart K. Shapira, chief medical officer and associate director for science in CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities said in the press release. “Increased use of clinical preventive services could improve the health of infants, children and teens and promote healthy lifestyles that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”

Have your kids had their back-to-school hearing and vision tests? Learn how to make the most of theirs here.

When to Worry: Eye and Vision Problems
When to Worry: Eye and Vision Problems
When to Worry: Eye and Vision Problems

Photo of girl being vaccinated courtesy of Shutterstock.

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HPV Vaccine Rates Remain Low, Report Finds

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Only about a third of American girls–and less than 7 percent of boys–received the vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV, in 2012, a number that is too low for what public health officials had hoped would take hold when the vaccine was first introduced.  This is the finding of a report from the President’s Cancer Panel, which urged action to improve vaccination rates in order to prevent cervical, vaginal, anal, and some oral cancers.

Among other recommendations, the panel suggests that pharmacists be allowed to administer the vaccines, and that pediatricians be proactive in recommending the vaccine to patients.

The panel’s report has slightly different data from earlier findings, such as one report from the CDC that 1 in 5 boys are receiving the vaccine, and another CDC report, released in 2013, that said half of girls receive the vaccine.

The vaccine was first recommended for girls ages 11 and 12 beginning in 2006, and then recommended for boys in 2011.

Help your family get healthier in 12 short weeks with our program.

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Image: Child getting a vaccine, via Shutterstock

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One HPV Vaccine Shot May Be Enough

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

A single dose of the vaccine against human papillomavirus, a leading cause of cervical cancer, may be enough to immunize a woman against the disease, a new study has found.  Three doses are the current guideline, though research shows that fewer than half of American girls receive the recommended number of doses. More from CNN.com:

“Cervical cancer is a major cause of public health concern, especially in less developed countries where about 85% of cervical cancer occurs,” says study author Mahboobeh Safaeian. “The reason for that is mainly because of lack of screening infrastructure offered.”

Safaeian and her team followed a group of women in Costa Rica who were participating in the National Cancer Institute-funded phase III clinical trial testing the efficacy of Cervarix.  About 20% of these women did not complete the three-dose vaccine regimen. Safaeian compared the groups of women who had received one, two and three doses of the vaccine, as well as women who had antibodies from having been naturally infected.

The researchers found that women vaccinated with a single dose of Cervarix, as opposed to the current CDC recommendation of three, had antibodies against HPV that remained stable in their blood after four years. The findings suggest that the common recommendation for three doses may not be necessary to ensure long-lasting antibodies that prevent HPV.  Safaeian, a researcher for the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, Infections and Immunoepidemiology, says this could have significant implications for women across the world by simplifying the logistics and costs of vaccinations.

“This vaccine is about $130 a dose … It’s just not feasible in a lot of undeveloped countries,” Safaeian explains.

Image: Girl getting a vaccine, via Shutterstock

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HPV: More Boys Than Expected Get the Vaccine, Report Says

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

A new government report reveals that a surprising number of boys received the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) last year, the first year that it was recommended for adolescent boys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 in 5 boys received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, NBC News reports.

Shared through sexual contact, HPV can cause cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both sexes, and in rare cases, throat and anal cancer. The vaccine was first recommended for girls ages 11 and 12 beginning in 2006, and then recommended for boys in 2011. More from NBC News:

The shots are largely intended not to protect boys from disease, but to stop them from spreading a sexually transmitted virus to girls that could cause cervical cancer.

The vaccine hasn’t been very popular among girls. The government report issued Thursday is the first real sense of how many boys are getting the shots.

“It’s a good start,” said Shannon Stokley, a vaccination expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Introduced in 2006, the vaccine protects against human papillomavirus, which is spread during sex. Most infections go away on their own, without people developing symptoms. But the virus can cause cervical cancer in females, genital warts in both sexes, and some other, less common conditions like throat and anal cancer.

The vaccine was first recommended for girls ages 11 and 12 because it works best if given before a teen starts to have sex. In 2011, it was also recommended for boys that age to help prevent the virus’s spread.

The CDC report covers vaccination rates for last year, the first full year since the shots were advised for boys. It’s based on telephone calls to families for about 19,000 boys and girls ages 13 to 17.

About 21 percent of the boys had gotten at least one of the three doses. Less than 7 percent were fully vaccinated.

The rates look relatively good compared to the initial rates for some other vaccines aimed at adolescents. For example, the initial rate for a meningococcal vaccine was just 12 percent.

Rates tend to start low when a vaccine is first recommended and build after. So the HPV numbers for boys are reason to be optimistic, said the CDC’s Dr. Melinda Wharton, although she added a word of caution.

“Given how the coverage level has stalled for girls, though, a solid start isn’t enough,” she said.

 

Image: Three teen boys, via Shutterstock

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HPV Rates Down by Half in Teens

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

The rate of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) has decreased significantly among teenagers since a vaccine against the virus was introduced in 2006.  CNN reports on how the decrease in infection rates has surpassed researchers’ expectations and hopes:

“The prevalence of the types of HPV that commonly cause cervical cancer in women has dropped by about half in girls ages 14 to 19,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director. “That decline is even better than we had hoped for.”

Specifically, rates of HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 – the four types covered by the vaccines – have decreased by 56% in young girls.

Those numbers are surprising, said Frieden, because only about a third of girls have gotten all three recommended doses of the vaccine. He suggested that the extra immunity may come from girls who only got one or two doses, or so-called “herd immunity.” That occurs when those who have been vaccinated cause there to be less virus floating around, therefore lowering the risk for those who haven’t been vaccinated.

But despite the good news, Frieden says the CDC had hoped that 80% of girls would be vaccinated by this point, and more needs to be done.

“This should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates, because we can protect the next generation of girls from cancer caused by HPV,” said Frieden. “Fifty thousand women alive today will develop cervical cancer that could have been prevented if we had reached our goal of an 80% vaccination rate.”

In March, an article in the journal Pediatrics called on more parents to vaccinate their children, expressing concern that the overwhelming majority of girls had not received the full course of the HPV vaccine.  Another study, published late last year, found that receiving the HPV vaccine does not affect teens’ sexual behaviors, a concern for many parents.

Image: Teen getting a shot, via Shutterstock

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